If you always wondered how you would fare in the boots of a prison manager, you will be able to do so relatively soon because Prison Architect is coming to Xbox One, 360 and PS4 this Spring 2016. After being in the Steam Early Access program for almost a year up to this point, the game was fully released on PC back in October 2015.
Prison Architect puts you in charge of a prison. You will have to build everything in order to house inmates and staff. Bathrooms, cells, classrooms, churches, courtyards, everything must be planned to the most minute detail if you want to circumvent the possibility of a riot occurring.
Players do have to keep in mind that this is a tycoon game, similar to the Zoo Tycoon and Railroad Tycoon games of yore. This type of business simulator has been at home on the PC, so players should not expect the controls in the console version to be extremely fluid. It will be interesting to see how Prison Architect fares when users will not have the capability of using a mouse because the game on PC is almost entirely mouse driven.
The main meat of the game will be its sandbox mode, where you will be tasked to build a prison from scratch by using a limited amount of money. The process through which you will gain more funds is based on the use of grants. These grants are basically quests from an RPG game and can range to building a warden’s office to housing a certain number of prisoners at a given time.
You will have to start with a smaller prison, with a few staff rooms and utilities. But if you are up to the task, you will be able to expand that small and humble prison into a facility that could easily dwarf Alcatraz. It all depends on your capabilities as a manager, planning how utilities get distributed around the facility, where guards are posted and what prisoners go into maximum security.
Prison Architect has a rather cute art style, with simple 2D characters going all over the place on a daily basis. Prisoners’ moods and personalities are influenced by their short backstories, so one should take their time to read them. If you spot an inmate that has tendencies to react violently to certain events, you can easily send him into solitary confinement and rest easy, if you feared you were about to have a riot on your hands.
Because Prison Architect is coming to Xbox One, 360 and PS4 this Spring, it will be interesting to see the game’s adoption rate on consoles, given the fact that tycoon games are at home on PCs. Besides sandbox mode, the game does have a story campaign, but the idea remains more or less the same, with the addition of scripted events like power outs, riots, earthquakes and others.