Prison Architect's new expansion lets inmates brew booze and grow 'herbs'

A few years ago inmates at the Fulham Correctional Facility were busted for growing pot in their prison vegetable patch, the kind of story that crops up countless times over the years. Prison Architect's latest expansion, Going Green, is on the one hand about introducing farming and green energy to the world of high-security risk management. On the other, it gives prisoners the opportunity to grow pot, ferment booze, and foment some chill lock-up vibes.

The green energy side of this is about making your prison self-sustainable, with the option to use wind and solar energy, and allowing prisoners to farm food like potatoes, wheat, and apples for their own meals (or to be sold). The craftier inmates will use this opportunity to produce what Paradox coyly refers to as "thematic contraband" and "herbs", which I'd think would make the prison a less violent place but apparently here can lead to big problems.

Going Green comes with a bunch of new structures like pantries and sheds, eco versions of existing structural materials, and three outdoor 'rooms' to grow different things. The fields themselves have the risk of becoming gang turf but, in a nicer addition, inmates who enjoy nature will become best buds in the new facilities and be much happier. There's no mention of whether, as in Orange is the New Black, prisoners can bury bodies beneath the taters.

Launching alongside the paid expansion is a free content update, The Glasshouse. This adds "additional objects, quickrooms, community improvements, and two new top-notch employees: K9 units Shepherd and Bowtie Bandit." There's also a minor eco-flavour here with the addition of a recycling system and solar lights, as well as a bunch of menu improvements that the developers credit to community feedback.

“The Glasshouse also kicks off a series of updates we will make to the game’s interface, starting with the dump and demolition tools, making it more user-friendly. We understand this is something the community has been asking about for a long time and we want you to know your voice has been heard," writes Steacy McIlwham, product manager for Prison Architect at Paradox Interactive.

Going Green and The Glasshouse release January 28. The former's price has not been confirmed.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."