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Prison Architect Going Green adds farming and illicit "herbs"

A screenshot showing a field in Prison Architect's new Going Green expansion.

Prison Architect‘s next expansion is called Going Green, and it marks the incarceration simulator’s arrival in the pantheon of games that really want to be Stardew Valley. It introduces farming as a new type of labor your inmates can undertake, the food they grow can be turned into meals or exported for profit, and it also creates the possibility sneaky prisoners might grow illicit “herbs”. Oregano, I assume?

Here’s the trailer:

With the expansion, prisoners can now grow potatoes, wheat, apples and more in their fields, and construct pantries and sheds in which to store the food. Certain inmates can also grow flowers as a new recreation activity. As well as growing the forbidden herbs (cumin, maybe?), naughty prisoners can also grow the ingredients to make booze. Finally, you can give your prison an “eco-friendly makeover” with solar panels and wind turbines.

I’m fascinated every time Prison Architect gets a new expansion. Original creators Introversion Software walked a fine line with the base game, hoping to represent the dismal reality of prisons without allowing players to revel in their cruelty. Introversion then sold the rights to the game to Paradox Interactive, and development on expansions has continued at new studio Double Eleven. Some of those expansions, such as Psych Ward which added “criminally insane” inmates, make me wince a bit.

Going Green sounds like it walks that fine line better in giving you systems that can be used either in service of your inmates or in service of profits, although obviously there are more serious problems with real prisons than them not being carbon neutral.

This next expansion will launch January 28th on Steam alongside a free content update called The Glasshouse, which also adds new objects and employees.

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Graham Smith

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