Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown

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a game by Virtual Playground Ltd.
Platform: PC (2007)
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.6/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Tycoon Games
Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown
Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown
Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown
Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown

At this point, its quite possible that you’ve grown tired of all the regular simulation and strategy games that have been released up until this point. I say that its possible but not probable simply due to the fact that there are so many strategy sim games out there that are fantastic and lose none of their replay value. In fact, you could try playing all of the ‘good’ ones at a rate of one per day and it would still take you years to finish them. Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown would probably not make it into the likes of the ‘best’ strategy games ever made, meaning you probably wouldn’t see it in your years-long quest, and for good reason. Its got a few good ideas woven in there, with some promising mechanics, but the final execution comes off incredibly weak, both by today’s standards and those of 2007 that probably put this into the ‘don’t touch’ pile unless you’ve absolutely no other choice.

An Alright Premise

The only really strong part of this game is that it has decent premise behind it. No, its nothing revolutionary, but at least there’s some substance to look at. Your goal, as a prison warden, is to contain prisoners, make some money, and keep expanding. Pretty simple. From there, things begin to fall apart pretty quick since there’s no real tutorial in the game to help you along. Everything can be found within the game’s manual, fortunately, though it won’t take you long to realize that there are tons of things in said manual that just don’t line up with any in-game possibilities.

There are commands that don’t even appear in the game whatsoever no matter how far you progress, which just makes it all feel that much more misleading. On top of that, the game can be difficult to get properly working. Launching might go just fine, though you’re still likely to experience bugs that prevent you from placing down fences/factories, which can lead to a quick game over. Plus, the game even has a small chance of never actually shutting down once you’ve exited out, which can keep it running for ages until you notice.

Larger Issues

In its current state, one that is never to be updated, the game is hard to handle. Its not hard because there are a lot of mechanics to master, or because you have to be a bit craftier, or even because you just need more practice. Games like RollerCoaster Tycoon and even Prison Architect were able to include difficulty and playability quite well. For Prison Tycoon 3, its hard because guards and prisoners will get stuck on almost anything in their way.

Bottom Line

The time progression system is incredibly slow, tedious, and outright boring (1 second = 1 minute in game). If you go even $1 into debt, the game ends immediately, which is just bad design for any tycoon or strategy game. Finally, there’s no explanation on how to play or utilize any of the game’s systems. Its just a long trudge through unnecessary menus that never pays off or gets any better.


Do yourself a favor and avoid this if you can. Few redeeming qualities in terms of gameplay can support the game – the graphics are alright for the time, but that’s hardly worth your time.


  • Generally good premise
  • Initial systems/strategies have thought put into them


  • Most of the game’s systems are bugged/broken
  • ANY debt means game over, fences are useless
  • Looks/sounds terrible, near-impossible learning curve

Download Prison Tycoon 3: Lockdown


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

The Most Outstanding thing about the Prison Tycoon series is the fact that it's made it to this, the game's third iteration.

It's a bit of a comedy cliche to imagine a whimsical development process, but it does help to imagine the devs excitedly suggesting "Let's make the prisoners even sassier," or "Let's study the mismatched worlds of extreme masculinity and Hobsons choice homosexuality with jokes in the showers". The reality is, of course, a mirthless treadmill of just-good-enough Identi-kit Tycoon rubbish, but it's more pleasant to imagine that someone, somewhere cares.

If you've played any of the budget Tycoon games, you'll recognise the template immediately. Hell, the template fits even the best Tycoon games from their '90s heyday. The only way to charm 7ycoon-sawy punters is to make the premise entertaining, and slap some playable detail meat on the poor, embarrassed bones of the genre.

Prison Tycoon 3, however, is a doctor's skeleton, held up by the inexplicable fact that the first two games sold enough to justify making this one.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

See Also

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