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Prison Architect's Alpha9 update opens the doors to visitors, sets prisoners to work

Prison Architect 9
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Prison Architect has received its first update since being transferred to Steam's high-security Early Access wing. The Alpha9 patch is out now, and brings some big new features - including prisoner employment, laundries, workshops and family visitation. Introversion's Mark Morris and Chris Delay run through the additions, while simultaneously assuring that prisoners "can't hydraulically press the heads of other prisoners... yet." That's probably the most alarming feature tease in the history of management sims.

"Central to the new version is the concept of Prisoner Employment, and we've been planning this feature for a long time," writes Delay. "Prisoners can now perform a variety of jobs around the prison, saving you money on staff and raising money for you by selling goods manufactured by your work force. Prisoners can work in the kitchen, they can clean the prison, and they can work in the laundry and the workshop, both of which are new in Alpha9."

This is just the beginning of what Introversion have planned for employment. Future versions will require you to pay prisoners a small wage, and each building will come with its own set of potential dangers. Possibly including the head pressing thing.

See the full patch notes here . Prison Architect is available to buy from Steam Early Access or direct from Introversion .

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.