The game concept looks neat, but I object to the theme. I think prisons are one of the most vile and counter-productive institutions created by mankind, and this game encourages them; if only in a roundabout way. I wish they would have chosen something else as their subject material.
I don't buy that this game encourages the institution of prison. If anything, it brings the very serious realities of prison, and of crime, into your home in a way which on the surface feels accessible and soft; but underneath is dark and real.
The death row tutorial mission is pretty harrowing stuff - you're constantly being reminded that the decision to proceed is out of your hands; you're basically just a necessary part of the institution. And the truth is, you do feel
necessary. Sure, you might think the institutions need to be replaced with something better; but you can't deny that while they exist - as they do, in our status quo - the running of them is no small ask. Especially
if you deem to run the most humane operation you can, with the highest chance of rehabilitation. This is gaming in which you don't just revel in the abject horror of the situation - like most war games - but actually consider the implications of what you're doing. And the procedural AI genuinely makes the whole thing feel... alive
It's a remarkable game in large part because of the subject matter.