Prison Architect was released back in September 2012 as an alpha build – it has since been added to the steam store, receiving new updates every few weeks. As the name suggests the game revolves around you designing and running a prison from scratch. You must set up all the facilities that prisoners that need – such as a yard, cell blocks, canteens and offices for your staff.
As you progress further you will need to add more buildings such as a laundry room, workshops and visitor centres. You have to balance access to these rooms efficiently using a regime which all inmates will follow. Balancing your regime is more of a challenge than it first seems as you want to satisfy the needs of your prisoners (or else they will riot and run wild) but also ensure you don’t get a reputation for being too soft on prisoners (which increases the chances of prisoners re-offending).
There is no real ending to this game as it stands, so the main goal at the moment is to make your prison profitable and then sell it on (you can use the funds from your sold prison to make a new one). You can make money in a variety of ways such as completing grants and exporting products made in your workshop.
One final feature worth talking about is the contraband. Prisoners will constantly attempt to steal items such as drugs and tools from workshops, medical wards and even from visitor centres. It’s up to you to minimize the access to these contraband items through the use of items such as metal detectors and guard dogs.
Overall it’s a very fun little game, plenty of content in it at the moment and constantly getting more content added to it. This is one to check out for sure, it is bound to be coming up in the steam summer sales, so keep your eyes peeled!