You have the right to be concern when a top-down simulation PC game was ported over to a console platform like the PlayStation 4. This is what happened with Prison Architect, a somewhat intricate game that works well on PC and surprisingly – works well on the PS4.
Prison Architect is as the name says it, you’re in charge of designing and building a prison plus keeping all the in-mates at bay. It’s weird concept that video-games like this are actually interesting and fun to play which isn’t uncommon these days. If you enjoy things like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Hospital – you’ll understand where I’m coming from here. Prison Architect is a title I’m very familiar with playing countless hours on the PC platform.
There’s many ways to play Prison Architect: you can start from scratch, plan and build on a block of empty land before bringing in the prisoners and managing it day to day. Or if you prefer the management side of things, you can jump straight into a pre-built one. The first route is obviously the better way to play Prison Architect but if you’re lazy or not really good at planning out the layout of the prison then it’s probably ideal for you.
There’s a lot of things at the start that can be quite daunting to first time players and it’s something I’ve experienced on PC as well. A well-constructed prison is all about the pre-planning, placing the right buildings, doors, fences and everything in the right spots. There’s also things like providing power and running water to the different sections of the prison which you have to take in account. Your management skills will definitely come into play in the later stages when problem arises. The best parts about simulation titles like Prison Architect is where everything starts to fall apart as you try and keep your prison running. Prisoners will try to escape, cells will get crowded, funds will deplete – it’s all part of the fun of managing a prison and that’s what Introversion has set out to create.
With plenty of building, planning and organising yourself – it was hard to understand how this will work on the PS4 but Introversion Software somehow did it. It doesn’t work well as it should and probably will be an easier experience on PC but it’s somewhat manageable on PS4. There’s lot of moving around with the camera and scrolling through menus to find the right things but they’ve made it as easy as it can with limited controls.
Prison Architect works well on console to a limit. It’s a straight out port with menus becoming easy to navigate compared to PC but everything from its original state is on the PS4 platform. You don’t really see many titles like this hit the console platform which is a niche in itself but it’s definitely worth a shot. If you have a craving for silly job simulators that are actually a lot of fun but don’t own a PC to try it out then hit up Prison Architect on PS4.
Developer: Introversion Software, Double Eleven
Publisher: Introversion Software, Double Eleven
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Linux, Mac OS
Review copy provided by publisher.