Wednesday , 24 April 2024
PSVR2 GamesReviews

Prison Boss VR Review

Prison Boss VR has made it over to the PlayStation VR2, with it originally releasing in 2018, does it still hold out today, or does it all feel a little dated?

Release Date: December 6th 2023
Developer: Trebuchet Studio
Publisher: Trebuchet Studio
Price: US $19.99 / CA $26.99 / €19,99 / £15.99
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR2
* Code Provided For Review *

CRAFT YOUR WAY TO FREEDOM

The game does not really craft a story (see what I did there), but more sets you a goal of rising your rank in the prison and eventually get moved to another. How do you do this? Craft items to complete jobs and goals. However, there is more to the game than just crafting.

When you are in the first prison you will learn to craft cigarettes, write erotic letters and make ropes. You will start by only being able craft cigarettes, as you make money to allow you craft more – by selling them to another prisoner who visits your cell in the day time. But, not only can you sell, you can trade for more contraband to help your next crafting session.

This is not how you progress though, buying more contraband will allow you to complete jobs taken from the same guy. Once you have completed these jobs it will teach you how to craft something else and your progression is moved along. These jobs might be craft five cigarettes for staff, then completing this job will give you some progression and also bonuses like opening up more materials in the trade shop. This brings in some money management that gives the game a little bit extra. Don’t worry if you run out of money, you have a little character in your cell called Bobby you can trade, but this will remove and remaining stock you have in your cell as part of the deal.

You might be thinking this all sounds a little easy? But, the challenge in the crafting comes by only being able to craft at night (which is moved to by clicking on the clock in your cell). On a night time you will have guards patrolling the cells, and of course these cannot see you crafting or your contraband. Meaning as they approach you need to make sure everything is out of sight, if they see anything they will take that item from you, reducing your stock and money making potential. Each guard will come with their own movement speeds, so you need to make sure you also take this into account.

In order to hide your contraband and money, you will start with a table with one drawer and a small cabinet to hide it in. So, make sure you only have the required items out and you are able to stash them quickly. If you have stockpiled enough contraband you can use your money to buy more storage for your cell, which does come in very important for stock management and keeping everything in order for stashing away quickly. But, remember you also need that valuable stock to progress, so don’t go decorating crazy.

The game is made with no locomotion in mind, you will be working within your play-space when it comes to reaching and putting things away, or if you don’t have much room you will get a point and click pick up. You can also snap turn at 45-degrees increments, this is mapped to buttons rather than analogues, which at first seems like an odd decision, but some of the crafting will have you using the analogues, for example; rolling the cigarettes, which does offer a lot in the way of immersion.

YOUR CELL-SHADED

Trebuchet have brought this game to life using a cartoon cell-shaded look, sort of cross over between the likes of Job Simulator and Borderlands in style. All the characters, materials and everything around your cell are all well finished and look clear and the odd egg-shaped character models do suit what the game is doing – although, at first it might seem a bit weird.

When it comes to the audio there is no spoken words in the game, more just mumbling noises with subtitles. The main sound design is what you would expect in the prison with general busy noises in the day time and the night time the footsteps of the guards walking around and sometimes whistling. You will also hear a whistle being blown when spotted, and sometimes when lost in crafting and forgetting to keep an eye on the guard this made me jump. With it being finished off with a jazzy soundtrack playing in the background.

COMFORT

62%
THE VERDICT
Summary

Prison Boss VR is a unique game with its approach in many areas, with an interesting control and crafting system, and brings something more light-hearted but, in a more adult setting. With it originally releasing back in 2018, it does now show its age when it comes to the concept and how it uses VR, but it’s still got that element of fun and I have enjoyed playing it on Sony’s latest hardware. With it being a game I think many will keep dipping into for the six-hours playtime rather than just flying through it, it does give you good value for the price of the game.

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