Prison Architect

Detailed simulation game for building and managing prisons


815 Votes

  • Category Strategy
  • Program license Paid
  • Works under: Windows 7 / Windows XP / Windows 10 / Windows 8 / Windows Vista / Windows 8.1
  • Program available in English
  • Program by Introversion Software

Prison architect is a construction and management game. Released in 2015 by UK-based Introversion Software, this game asks you to construct and manage a prison. You'll take on responsibilities including designing and laying out the cells and other areas of the complex, hiring staff, keeping the inmates happy, managing the budget and set prison schedules. You'll even be able to add facilities and activities that will teach the inmates useful skills and lower their risk of reoffending. This is a private prison, however, so you have another goal: turn as much of a profit as you can.

Prison Architect uses a top-down view to show you the prison; you'll start by clearing the land, assigning workmen to tasks and managing supplies. You'll supervise every aspect of prison construction from laying the foundations to installing drains and wiring. Additional funding can come from grants; these task you to build certain types of structures and come with financial rewards. While your workers are accumulating supplies or putting up buildings, you can speed up time so that you don't have to wait while you watch them build. Once you've built the prison building itself, you can furnish your facility and hire staff. Staff add new abilities to the prison -- for instance, hiring an Accountant allows you to access more grants.

Once you've got your prison together, you'll need to run it from day to day. Prisoners come in all shapes and sizes; some are relatively harmless minimum-security inmates, while others demand more careful watching. Hard living conditions make your prisoners more likely to riot, so make sure they're kept clean, well-fed and happy.

As you go on, you'll receive more grants that may require you to expand your prison. This can mean more prisoners and therefore more money, but you need to watch out; construction work provides a lot of opportunities for prisoners to escape.

If you like Tycoon-style games, Prison Architect provides an unconventional spin on the genre. The graphics are simple but clear, and the initial gameplay is straightforward. As the game progresses, though, you'll find yourself racing to stay on the top of the many things that need to be done in your prison.


  • Novel theme
  • Charming, colourful graphics
  • Addicting level of detail


  • Still incomplete
  • Slow startup
  • Possibly objectionable theme
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