- Broken Base:
- The game being bought by Paradox Interactive and having regular DLC releases similar to other Paradox titles. Some players are incensed, believing that the game has become yet another case of Paradox turning a product into a DLC platform, while others are fine with the game being continuously updated and expanded, both with free patches and paid DLC.
- Demonic Spiders: Any prisoner with a reputation as a "Skilled Fighter" or "Extremely Tough" can be this if they get into a brawl. Legendary prisoners can solo entire squads of normal guards, ignore taser hits, and tank multiple shotgun blasts.
- Gangs are specifically built to be this way. They seize territory with useful need-fulfilling items, locking out rival gang members and charging non-gang prisoners money to use the facilities, as well as preventing you from making changes to the territory. Evicting them from that territory kicks off major fights between your guards and the gangs. Gang leaders can initiate massive, violent riots if they are locked up or killed, which can quickly doom your prison.
- The Mutators update added many, many more optional reputations, one of them being "Connected". These prisoners, no matter how many dogs or metal detectors you have, will generate contraband whenever they feel like it. This includes firearms. They also have a tendency to spawn and distribute a ridiculous amount of drugs, to the point where entire prisons could be overdosing.
- Game-Breaker: For a while, Tazers. They could be given to every guard, and could instantly knock out anyone hit by it. It meant solving fights was as simple as having a few guards with tazers nearby to defuse the situation before it could spread. Alpha 25 solves this by making some prisoners resistant to tazers and requiring guards to pass an exam before they can use them. Passing is not guaranteed either, so without micromanagement of your personnel (that is, firing everyone who fails the exam) you'll never have everyone equipped with tazers.
- Gameplay Derailment: It turns out that the way to make the most profitable prison isn't to make a prison at all. It's to make a tree farm. Then, after your profit margins are ludicrously high, you can trash the lumber yard and build an entire prison complex from scratch.
- Good Bad Bugs: Quite a few of the Gamebreaking Bugs mentioned in the trailer from one of the much earlier alpha stages. How is a prisoner eating their food while bareback in a shower not hilarious?
- A similar bug occurs every so often as of the implementation of releasing prisoners in Alpha 11, where prisoners that are about to shower who get released immediately run out of the prison completely naked.
- This can also happen when a prisoner on Death Row is about to be executed. Scheduling their execution at a certain time may have them shower, but not re-dress, resulting in said prisoner going to their death buck-ass naked.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- Scheduling an execution of a death row inmate mutes all of the game's sound, replacing it with an ominous sounding tune that gets more and more intense as you complete each step of the execution process. Then when the actual execution is complete, the tune suddenly stops and is replaced by what sounds like a distorted angel choir until you dismiss the staff and witnesses and finish clean-up.
- The lockdown alarm sound is pretty unsettling.
- Imagine how it would feel to be a prisoner in a cruel player's prison. You shoplift, get caught, and sent to prison. Ok, you think, it's just one year. No big deal. Then one day, the owner of the prison locks you and several other prisoners in a room. You're all slowly starving to death in your own shit and piss. Then one of the more violent inmates snaps, and suddenly everyone is fighting. You can't do anything about it except try to fight back... And then the gunfire begins.
- Older Than They Think: Contrary to what the Steam page said nearer the Early Access release, this isn't the first prison management game, although one could make a convincing case for Architect being the first competent example of this, knowing what "Tycoon" is known for.
- Paranoia Fuel: Once you realize how much time your prisoners spend smuggling things into your prison and the lengths they'll go to in order to escape, it's very hard to not order shakedowns and tunnel searches at every available opportunity.
- Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Alpha 23 adds logic circuits that are made to automate certain actions like opening doors from a control room or at certain times of day. The addition of logic breaks and programmable circuits, on the other hand, are purely there to let you make your own logic arrays with.
- Spiritual Successor:
- Introversion frequently cited Dungeon Keeper, but the resemblance to Theme Hospital is more obvious. Either way, the Bullfrog influence is pretty apparent.
- Fans of both games have referred to it as a prison version of Dwarf Fortress with graphics.
- Still others call it Sim Prison.
YMMV / Prison Architect