Prison Tycoon

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a game by Virtual Playground Ltd.
Platform: PC (2005)
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Tycoon Games
Prison Tycoon
Prison Tycoon
Prison Tycoon
Prison Tycoon

Isn't it every child's dream to own and run a prison? No? Well, clearly, the lovely folk at Virtual Playground didn't get the memo. The developers have made a game to fulfill every ambition of being the world's greatest prison - with an intimate simulator under the name Prison Tycoon. Dreams do come true, it seems!

In all honesty, it's hard to imagine the train of thought leading to the game's conception. Are there really enough people out there that would be interested in the administrative work of building and maintaining a prison? Whether there are or not - Prison Tycoon not only saw the light of day against other more charming simulators - but had sequels as well. Let's have a look at what spawned the great Prison simulator revolution.

I've Always Wanted a Prison!

How do you even incorporate prison operations into a game? The whole point of the institution in the first place is for delinquents to be placed in a facility that keeps them away from public harm. Can you really make something that symbolizes grim and misery fun? Apparently, there's money to be made in the prison business - and that's the point of the game. The concept, in general, is just as questionable as Prison Tycoon itself.

With very little in the way of objectives - you'll be given a pre-existing prison or a blank space to work with. You'll build your prison with dull amenities such as walls, weight rooms, cafeterias, and more - while shifting through the paperwork of your prisoners. You can manage them, rehabilitate them, or parole them. If you find anything intriguing about the above - let me burst your bubble. This game does not work well.

Apart from the mundane gameplay of constructing a prison with very few assets - the visuals are very uninspired. The prisoners just look like zombies striding around, bumping into each other and occasionally beating the snot of one another. Nothing is rewarding or interesting about the gameplay - up to a point where Prison Tycoon really starts to feel like a sick joke. Even if you're playing because you have some fascination with serial killers or have a dark entrepreneurial flair - nothing is intriguing about the game. The whole experience is like trying to chop wood with a plastic knife.

Grim in Every Sense

The concept of Prison Tycoon raised eyebrows at the start. But the gameplay confirms that being a Prison owner does not translate well into gameplay. Believe it or not, there are actually prison simulators that did a pretty good job, such as Prison Architect - or the more action-based The Escapists. They offered something unique, which made the experience more fascinating such as building details or narratives.


Prison Tycoon offers squat. How there have been 2 more of these will be a tale untold. The graphics are terrible, the camera is awkward, the idea is dark, and there is no potential. This isn't one of these games that's so bad that it becomes a cult classic - this is just a bad game. Avoid at all costs.


  • Set the groundwork for other prison simulators


  • A dark concept that does not translate well into a video game
  • Clunky mechanics, little objective, and no detail
  • Models, environments, and animations are dead poor

Download Prison Tycoon


System requirements:

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

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