Prison Architect Alpha 13 released, prisoners can now dig escape tunnels


Introversion’s Prison Architect has just hit Alpha 13, which is unlucky for you because it introduces the ability for prisoners to dig tunnels, Shawshank style, out of their cells using stolen spoons and papier macher dolls of themselves propped up in bed. The update will automatically apply to Steam versions of the game, flooding all existing prisons with burrowing prisoners, alongside a tidy list of other changes.

After applying the update, any prisoner fearing for their safety in your facility — and able to steal the appropriate digging tool — will now endeavour to dig outwards from their cell’s toilet, avoiding buildings and walls and tunneling most efficiently along water pipes. Just like Tim Robbins did. Their subterranean escape attempts can be discovered by searching cells at night to reveal the dummy bodies left in prisoner beds, but sadly not by thowing tiny figurines at a poster of a pretty lady. Prisoners will even join their tunnels together to increase the speed at which they dig.

From the Introversion blog: “An important thing to realise is that when prisoners are tunnelling, they are actually deep underground and often far away from their cell. However you will still see them in bed asleep. If you search a sleeping prisoner who is actually tunnelling, the fallacy will be immediately revealed – his face will be replaced by a papier mache dummy with a face painted on the front, enough to trick your guards into not realising what was happening. The tunnel will be revealed and the prisoner will pop out of the ground wherever he is, and will make a run for it.”

The update also introduces expensive new perimeter walls, as well as a new policy system to crack down on bad prisoner behaviour with custom-length punishments. Here’s a video of Introversion explaining it themselves, including a hilarious Benny Hill moment in which a dozen prisoners explode out of the ground holding dirty spoons and make a mad dash for the exit: