Prison Empire Tycoon Review: Best Prison Management Game

Prison Empire Tycoon is the newest tycoon game from CodiGames, creators of the smash hit Hotel Empire Tycoon, which allowed players to manage plush hotels.  The same developers have also created a nice casual idle game with a story mode. Check out our Idle Barber Shop Tycoon review to know more about this brand new game.

From owning lavish auberges to managing a “hellhole” does sound like a demotion, but this game is as addicting and immersive as its predecessor.  

Prison Empire Tycoon

The prison guard’s rhetorical question “Do they think managing a prison is like managing a hotel…?” in the tutorial mode throws some light into the gameplay. It won’t be easy managing one. You will be overseeing high-security prisons where menacing prisoners arrive every day, brawl and riot if their needs are not met and even run away if they are stressed out.  

Not an Easy Job  

Looking after prisoners is the toughest part of Prison Empire Tycoon. Because they have very little freedom, they can go crazy if conditions are bad. Dirty surroundings, unhealthy food, no entertainment or activity and low health can really make them lose their sanity.  

The colored indicators above prisoners show their stress level. Different needs, such as hunger, comfort, health, hygiene, entertainment and security affect their stress level. Each need has a specific icon which shows up above a prisoner when he needs it. If he is hungry, a loaf will appear above him. If he is not feeling well, a red plus icon indicating health will be displayed above him. And when his needs are not met, his mood will be low, which will be reflected in the overall stress indictor menu located on the lower right corner of the screen.  

Stress Level meter

Tap on prisoner card on the bottom-right corner of the screen. A gauge will display the overall stress level of prisoners. Everything’s OK if it’s in the green zone, but careful monitoring of all prisoner needs is required if it falls in the orange zone. And this is when you should upgrade or add new facilities in each cell, upgrade kitchen facilities and improve health by building the infirmary.   

Love tycoon games? Check out TV Empire Tycoon Review.

One or two prisoner’s low stress level may not be of a worry and will have negligible effect on the overall stress indicator menu, but when 8-10 prisoners needs are not met, the stress level indicator’s color changes and if its closer to red, it can lead to prisoners escaping their cells or even riots!  

Riot in a Prison
Riot Alert!

Riots can be dangerous. You will lose security guards. I lost 6 and the government had to intervene by sending special guards to arrest prison rioters. You will have to hire guards again, else you can’t escort more prisoners to cells as guards play an important role in escorting prisoners to their cell, stopping fights and intercepting escaping prisoners. You can upgrade guard equipment in the “Guard’s Room” to catch escaping prisoners and decrease the number of casualties or read Prison Empire Tycoon Tips: How to Avoid Riots to circumvent this grave situation.

Managing Finances Won’t be Easy  

Speaking of guards, you will have to hire employees to take proper care of the prison. You can hire more builders to speed up construction of cells, cooks to prepare and distribute prisoner meal to the dining hall, janitors to clean the prison and take care of laundry and finally guards, who will be in charge of the prison security and will patrol the premises. To hire employees, tap on the employee card, which is located on the bottom-right comer of the screen.  

You will also have to pay your employees, and this is where managing finances comes into play. Total employee wages are deducted every hour. Tap on the employee card in the lower-right corner of the screen and to check their hourly wages.  

Thank to government largesse, you won’t have any problems receiving funds from the state. The state pays you for every new prisoner. Your prisons will also be subsidized by the state so you will be receiving govt. funds every hour.  

There will be more funds, such as set fee for each prisoner who remains in the prisons and does not run away and finally a fee is paid to you when a prisoner is reformed. You will also receive bonus money when reformed inmate leaves the prison.  

Funds or “profits” are earned every hour after deducting employee wages. Check the stats by tapping on the bar graph on the right side of the screen to know more about income and expenses.  

Managing finances will be tough once you expand your prison. As more and more prisoners throng your high-security prison, you will need more guards to monitor them and avoid lapses in the security. Fewer guards would give prisoners an opportunity to escape.  

You will also need more cooks to prepare additional meals and serve them at the dining halls. And don’t forget janitors. They will clean the mess and keep your prison spic and span. Hungry prisoners and unclean environment can stress them out which is why you will need to hire more cooks and janitors when you expand your prison.  

Codigames’ new idle game is all about managing a police department. Check out our Idle Police Tycoon Review to know what’s unique about this game how different it is from Prison Empire Tycoon.

Limited Offline Earnings 

Like its predecessor, Prison Empire Tycoon has a time limit for offline income. You can only receive 1 hour of AFK earnings when you are not playing. You can increase offline time by hiring permanent “offline time managers”.  

Offline Earnings

There’s no escape from in-app purchases in the game if you want more idle income. Tap on the shopping cart and then tap on the blue clock on the bottom of the screen to purchase managers. Purchase the Warden if you want 12 hours of idle earnings. 


Graphically, it’s very similar to Hotel Empire Tycoon. Low-poly 3D visuals look quite good on a smartphone. The animation is smooth and you can zoom out to have a birds-eye view of the prison. New prisons have unique design, and will be completely different from the older one. This increases the complexity of the game, and makes prison management more challenging and satisfying.  

Can You Play It Without an Internet Connection?  

You can’t play Prison Empire Tycoon offline. You must have an internet connection to play it. We tried playing the game by turning on Airplane mode, but the game displayed an error. Internet connection is required in case you want to use the x2  income multiplier for which you will have to watch a video or maybe you might be interested in their in-app offers.  

Wrapping Up 

Prison Empire Tycoon is an excellent game, but you will need to pay closer attention to the tutorial if you want to play it better.  

Fulfilling prisoner needs won’t be easy and riots are inevitable until you have built the infirmary. I have noticed that the health meter in the overall stress level often goes down quickly. This is because of low quality food and no laundry services at the beginning. Prisoners will often complain about their health as shown plus symbol above their heads. And low health is one of the prime reasons for the decline of the overall stress level, which can lead to riots or prison escapes.   

Overall, the game’s addictive and will keep players busy for quite a while, especially when there are several different types of high-security prisons, including the famous “Alcantraz” Federal Penitentiary to manage. You will need to reform a certain number of prisoners to open new prisons.  

Prison Empire Tycoon is unstoppable once you know how to play it. A solid 4/5 for its complexity, (because people are bored with easy idle games), visuals and the attention to detail given to the entire prison. 

Last Updated on June 8, 2021 by Jude

4 thoughts on “Prison Empire Tycoon Review: Best Prison Management Game”

    • Congratulations! Please use the contact page at Codigames (dot) com. Developers might update you on new prisons/features.

      • Game is not really that great when I was on the alcatraz prison I closed the app out and when a short time later all my prison and hard work went out thpe window now I had to sstart at beginning .


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