39 people found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 66.3 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 22, 2017 @ 10:40am
Updated: Jan 22, 2017 @ 10:42am

I'm a Time-Travelling Dictator

I have to ration how often I load this game, as I'll start playing it and then wonder how I've invented time travel, 6 hours passing in the blink of an eye. It also made me realize I'm a bit of a cruel dictator when it comes to human rights. I build the smallest possible, cramped yet efficient rooms, give the bare necessities in visitation and entertainment, lock up prisoners who complain and make the rest work 10 hours a day, all whilst banking fat cash into my account and cackling maniacally.

An In-Depth Simulation

This is a somewhat realistic simulation of the basics of human life in a prison. Each prisoner has needs, and you have to meet those needs by building a variety of rooms and filling them with objects. It sounds simple, but the gameplay is fairly complex, with emotional, psychological and physical needs all coming into play.

The mechanics are straight forward seeming, but it's easy for riots to start and things to escalate wildly out of hand. Oops, turns out people reeeeally don't like it if you don't feed them. There is a deceptive amount of strategy and forward thinking required that makes each prison you create more efficient as you build up your knowledge. My first one burned to the ground and resulted in a few dozen guards getting shanked whilst the prisoers escaped... yeah okay, not only should I have fed them, I guess I should have built prison walls too. Live and learn (unless you're a guard in Prison Athravan, RIP!)

Add to this research trees, staff management, educational and recreational programs, managing addiction, guard rotas and pathing, shakedowns and security, visitation, resources and financial stress and you have one hell of a deep simulation game.

Modding Community

On top of the pretty much endless simulation, the modding community for this game is fantastic. Thousands of people have poured their heart into prison and object design, as well as scenarios and additional features, and it's all available free. The game was great to begin with, but kudos to all those who have submitted to the workshop, and to the developers for providing the tools for the people who are way smarter than me to share their creations. All I can do is scroll through page after page in awe of their dedication and skill.

TL:DR A game that may look simple on the surface but has an absolute ton of depth. An extremely well built simulation game; with the added bonus of a very active and creative modding community to boot. Big thumbs up!
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