The Best PC Games of 2015

PRISON ARCHITECT

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Leo’s Take:

The developers of this game however set a superb example of routine updates, as well as, listening to user feedback. The end result shows it. Not everything worked at first, I acutely remember prisoners randomly dying in a corner because they could not find a way to a canteen, or when I built multiple canteens to manage a growing population they would still overcrowd one and half my prisoners would die. What has made retail is a fine game one that I happily for considerable stretches.

Prison Architect feels like two games in one. You have a the building side akin to classic Sim City games. Zone out areas of necessity, cell areas, visitor centers, showers, etc., then design the utilities. The best and most efficient prison design is left for you ultimately figure out. Running split design prisons, and monitoring all escape accesses is import (and they will escape). Designs that allow for max security inmates to remain apart from the general population will help you in the long run.

While zoning and layouts are important, but the other intriguing part of this game comes in play as you manage inmates, expenses, government grants, and employees. Your prison may start with 8 inmates but can soon balloon to 150. As is true in real life, it’s hard to have a bed for every single one. Not to mention prisoners have backgrounds and traits that can make them difficult to deal with. You cannot run your prison like a hotel, are a complete hostile concentration camp. Either end of the spectrum leads to mass escapes and deadly prison riots.

To that end how do you as Warden, plan their daily schedule? Which prisoners belong in the prison labor programs (which can help turn a small profit)? How harsh should your solitary confinement policies be? Intense lockdowns and contraband searches sets the inmates on edge, but you can’t let them have run of the prison. Do you hire dogs patrols now, or psychiatric wing to quell personality conflicts? These questions have important ramifications, and they are not easy answers when balancing a monthly budget. If presented as two individual games, either would be good fun. However, Prison Architect wraps them together into one impressive simulation.

 TALES OF THE BORDERLANDS

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Leo’s Take:

In the months after completing Tales From The Borderlands (full review) I’m still making inquiries about a sequel. The news of the a Michonne miniseries is great and all… but where’s Tales of the Borderlands II? A Batman TTG game you say? Why that’s phenomenal, you know what would be even grander? Tales From The Borderlands II news of course! Alas there’s not. Even after finishing Game of Thrones, I was left wanting more Tales From the Borderlands. I am deeply aware, that if I’m left craving something this much, there was something special to it.

There are games you play to waste time, there are games you saturate yourself with and call it ‘an experience’. Tales is the later example. This game is fun. It’s funny. It’s memorable. It has charisma. It will warm your bitter cynical heart. It’s a fine story on it’s own, but infused with humor and one damn good soundtrack. There’s plenty of adventure, and most of all compelling and meaningful choices.

I’ve sat back and watched others play this game while I take a backseat instead of replaying it outright – making the choices that I didn’t always make. It can be just as fun as a spectator. There is a possibility that Fionna, Athena, Sasha, Loader Bot, Vaughn, and the rest of the Pandoran posse never return again, they will be missed. I decided to jump in with no expectations and allowed myself to be taken for one of the best rides of this past year.