Prison Boss VR – The Review

October 4, 2019 ·

Let’s play a game. Put on your PlayStation VR headset and I want you to close your eyes for a moment. And as your eyes are closed, try and clear your mind and think of a spinner. And on that spinner, it lists your destination and your job. Now imagine that spinner spinning and then it stops. What did yours land on? What was your job? Let me tell you what my spinner in Virtual Reality landed me. It landed me right into prison, it made me be crafty person surrounded by live eggs…wait…what? Could Developer Trebuchet allow you to be behind bars and craft while still having fun? Let’s find out with Prison Boss VR for the PlayStation VR. 

So what does one do in Prison Boss VR? The premise is simple. You must craft your way to become the Prison Boss. To do this is When you start Prison Boss VR, you get a personal viewing experience of a silent film that shows how to craft items by “not crafting” them. Because crafting is wrong I tell you…wrong!!!

Before really getting into anything, I want to say that having these silent films that show you how to craft different items, sorry, I mean how to “not craft” is very refreshing and just adds to the fun that Prison Boss VR sets out to give.

At the very beginning, you learn how to “not craft” cigarettes and introduced to Bobby. Bobby is truly awesome. So at any time when you have nothing, you can trade in Bobby to at least get some paper and tobacco to help start you on your Prison Boss VR empire. But Bobby is one of those things that you wish in some form or fashion you could have one sitting on your shelf. If only there was a way Trebuchet…if only there was away.

When you start, you have a table with a drawer in your cell with some paper and tobacco. So your first crafting job is to make cigarettes.  You need to tear the paper, pour the tobacco on each piece that you tear, use the Move buttons to roll the paper, and lick the paper to complete the cigarette. Thing is, you can only craft at night and you must craft without getting caught by those pesky Keystone egg cops. Lucky for you, you are able to take jobs. For example, one job may require four cigarettes that you must craft like I mentioned at night and then hide what you crafted. If the guards catch you, they take what they caught you with. Sure you could plead insanity or that someone from the inside was plotting against you and your Humpty Dumpty self, but it won’t work here.

After completing the jobs, you will be rewarded with items that can be used for crafting as well as learning new crafting abilities that will show you a new silent film that again will help you to “not craft”. Of course, in order to craft, you will need to buy items, such as furniture, and sell the items that you crafted. then over time, your crafting reputation increases and you learn new things to craft, such as love letters to ummm other inmates. 

I mentioned getting caught and furniture. Crafting at night while being on the lookout for the guards adds some intense moments. When you are able to upgrade to add more furniture, I would recommend doing so. I mean the further you get into it and when jobs start requiring more items, such as four cigarettes, three ropes while another job may require six love letters and two hookas just to name a few, you will need a place to stash all the stuff. And when you accidentally tear paper that falls to the ground or you bought too many items and cannot even shut the doors or drawers in addition to trying not to get caught. 

So if you have a paper sticking out the drawer and if they spot it, it’s over. At night time, there is a clock on the wall that can be used to fast forward to the morning and vice versa to the night. When you need to stash items, use what you can from the trash can to any furniture you can. Trying to put pieces of paper in a drawer while the drawer is trying to close, is funny at first, but after you get caught because there is the edge of the paper sticking out…ok ok…I had to put the stacks of cash somewhere and the paper will not just slide under the stacks of cash. But as a reminder, if you have anything in sight and try to fast forward to the morning, you will instantly be caught and caught and caught. Yes, I was caught many times. This is beside the point. The point is to do as I say and not as I do.

Sound wise, the music is calming and speeds up and slows down when it needs to. Hearing the silent film play just somehow put a smile on my face. It’s the small things that get added, that added to the experience that I really enjoyed. Visually, I really like the art style. I didn’t see anything that needed to be toned down. The colors were bright and fit the environment. I mean you are playing from within your cell, so there doesn’t need to be this overbearing vibrant display. The developers got the tone just right.

Now, of course, there is a reason why I only showed a few of the many things that can be crafted or primarily the first cell and that  I didn’t want to spoil any more of the surprises here as the discovery of what you can craft is part of the fun. As I was playing, the hours flew by and honestly I lost track of time. That truly says something if you can have fun where there is no time. Well done Trebuchet…well done. But there is a sense of satisfaction when you finally get the point where you can escape from your cell. 

If anything, I would love to have additional things to decorate my cell and even more items to craft or even adding leaderboards to see who could be the top Prison Boss of them all. Sure these can be added, so is it necessary to add them? No, this is more of me saying what I would like than anything. Prison Boss VR shows us that we don’t always have to go too far off to have fun that might already be close to us.

Prison Boss VR is out now as well as the demo on PlayStation VR and is also available on the Oculus Store, Steam, Viveport, and the Microsoft Store. A review code was provided.

To learn more about Trebuchet, please visit their site and follow them on Twitter.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to see if I can escape in fewer days than I previously did. 

Mr. PSVR, December 19, 2018,
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