If you're tired about me talking about my gaming purchases, you can scroll to the bottom and leave a comment about pancakes or something.
I went to Ihop for the first time the other day, they were pretty good.
Today we'll be talking about another indie game. I'm certain that most people have played or heard of Simcity, the game where you're tasked with designing and caring for a sprawling metropolis. You control everything from taxes, to where residential areas are built, or getting more police to deal with crime.
Prison Architect is in the same vein of gameplay, except you are now in charge or building and maintaining a maximum security prison. You decide their daily regime, how many cells are in maximum security, what kind of staff to hire, and even providing power and water to your entire facility.
Things get hectic very fast.
It's such a simple concept, but it really makes you think about the kind of decisions you make. Should a man on deathrow have a window in his cell? A fenced off area outside technically counts as a yard, but should you put the effort of adding trees or weights for your prisoners to use? You're low on money, is it ethical to lower the quality and quantity of the food provided?
The decision is yours. If you wanted, you could even take in more prisoners than your prison can handle. Just keep the excess in a holding cell forever. Who cares right? You're still getting money from the government. Which is actually what some prisons do so it's not completely unrealistic.
But to keep things interesting, each prisoner has an individual psychological profile. And you have no way of knowing what they're actually like. Is Prisoner A just quiet and boring, or is he actually quietly waiting for a chance to start a riot and murder everyone in his cellblock? Is Prisoner B spending a lot of time in visitation, or is actually getting contraband from his family?
Or I can just search Prisoner B all the time for no reason.
But your prisoners will care and will complain if they aren't treated right. For example, I thought that simply serving food in a canteen was enough. Nope, turns out prisoners don't like standing and eating. In fact, they hated it so much that after a week they started rioting, and murdered all my staff. I can only imagine what would happen if I revoked visitation rights.
The game however is still in its alpha stages. So things are still very buggy and features are continually being added. For example, there's a glitch where a fire can start but prisoners will continue to eat and burn to death. I have personally experienced workmen refusing to construct things for me.
I'm personally excited for features such as parole. 50% of your prisoners will claim that they're innocent, but only a fraction of them actually are. And now you're in charge of deciding who gets to be released early.
Riot police would also be nice if they actually did anything.
Prison Architect is still available for purchase and because it's in the alpha stages, you can pay a bit more to get addition benefits. For example, I paid just enough to name a prisoner and provide his personal information.
Regular posting will resume later this week.