Prison Architect is five years old, so celebrate by playing the original version

Prison Architect, Introversion’s carceral spin on the Rimworld-style colony management game, is now five years old, and lots has changed since it started doing time. To celebrate the occasion, publisher Paradox has taken the unusual step of unlocking two older builds of Prison Architect, which anyone who owns the game can play from now on, whenever they like.

There’s also a sale on Prison Architect going on to mark the fifth anniversary. The base game is 80% off, at $5.99 USD / £4.80. The Psych Ward – Warden’s Edition expansion is 25% off, putting it at $4.49 USD / £3.60, while the newer Island Bound DLC is 33% off, going for $6.69 USD / £4.80. That sale lasts until October 12.

That’s a particularly great deal if you’ve been interested in picking up the base game, which now allows you to go back in time to check out two older builds of Prison Architect. There are two you can try: the original Introversion 2015 build, and the 2018 build, which was the last version released by Introversion.

Introversion, for its part, has worked with Paradox on this new feature and has turned the multiplayer servers back on for the 2018 build, which means “you will be able to re-live the original experience in its entirety”, Paradox says.

Those classic versions of Prison Architect are here to stay, so you can check them out whenever you like. To install them, right click on Prison Architect in your Steam library and select the Betas tab in the menu that appears. Select the version you want to play in the drop-down menu, and wait for the game to update. When you launch Prison Architect, you’ll see a pop-up window that lets you pick the version of the game you want to play – either the current build, or the anniversary version you’ve just installed.

Paradox has shared some numbers that map out Prison Architect’s five years on Steam: in that time, players have built almost nine million prisons to house 806,190,699 prisoners. Now’s the time to make those numbers go up – by now, most of us have celebrated a birthday in lockdown, right?