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Whenever we see "Tycoon" printed on any of the many games out there in the market, the thought "A sims game" comes to mind first, and I'm not here to tell you otherwise. Yep, you got it right, this is another sims game. In fact, its the 4 version of another sims game and seriously, sometimes I wonder when will they learn to stop?
Usually, I wait until the end before I deliver my tirade of whether one should buy a particular game or not. But with this game, I'll spare you the agony and tell you right now. Don't. Don't for heaven's sake buy this game. You'd think that with 3 previous versions, the developers would have understood that we don't want anything like this, but unfortunately they haven't realized it yet. Maybe you'd like more solid reasons first before making a decision, so here are my reasons for why you shouldn't buy this game.
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As the title pretty indicates, you're going to run a prison. This means run, as in one of those cool Bullfrog games like Theme Hospital or Sim Theme Park, where you - as the game warden of a prison this time - need to manage a prison (though why anyone would want to do that, baffles me). You'll literally be a prison warden here, but you'll also be an engineer and architect too. You manage the prison layout, keep your team's morale up, and keep the peace for those behind the prison gates. You'll be doing all that and more - isn't it exciting? Well not really.. The prisoners are prisoners, and they won't always follow your command. After all, they're already locked up right? You'll order them, edit their routine, beat them up, and still they won't work. Its irritating and it will frustrate you.
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Ever imagined what music in prison would sound like? Well this game provides it. So I guess for sticking to the original theme of the music, you get to score high. But the drabness of the sound will bore and you'll wish you'd been playing something else in the background instead.
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I think somewhere during the process, the developers screwed up the graphics engine and loaded the worst one possible. Or maybe they wanted the music, graphics, and gameplay to run parallel each other? If that's the case, they're pretty consistent! The graphics of Prison Tycoon blows, and I wish I had tons of dynamite to blow this game apart. The coloring looks dull and lifeless, and the icons and avatars look all smudged up together. It will take you sometime to figure out what to do. It's not something appealing to the eyes, and it won't be appealing to your wallet either.
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Have I said enough or do you still need convincing? I'm not usually harsh with reviews, but a bad one deserves all the smashing it gets. From poor gameplay to poor sounds and poor graphics, this game fails on all levels. I seriously suggest going out and buying something else. There are plenty of sim games out there, and buying this one might just end up scarring you for life or worse yet, give you a bad impression of what is otherwise a pretty neat genre of gaming.
Try Theme Hospital, The Sims, or better yet Sim City. Now those are REAL simulation games.