Oooooookay. Honestly, what has all the fuss been about this whole time? Over the weekend I got a new, relatively small, and underpowered PC, but was able to determine it would run the holy grail that (apparently) is the PC version of everyone's favourite jail sim. You know, that one with the fancy extra thing where you have to get out of jail....
Anyway.... seriously, what's all the fuss about? I got a great deal (£5) for the base base version of Prison Architect PC Edition (hehe), and after playing it fairly copiously, I can honestly say I don't care for it. After playing the (much superior) PlayStation4 version first, then the tablet version (yeeeeah). Compared to the console version, in my opinion the tablet version has a lot of, uh, unique and interesting features (glitches) which I didn't care for, the main one being that stupid Foundations/Structure thing that actually knocks down pre-erected walls because it thinks it knows better than you what you want. Note to developers: I put that wall there for a reason. Just because I want to build a room adjacent to it, you don't need to remove the wall! So, in that respect, the tablet version is very close to the PC version. This is not a good thing. The PC version then, although allowing you to play with unlimited funds (yay), only gives you $30,000 to start. Assuming my usual building method and style, I tinkled that away easily and was in the red in no time, clamouring to beat a few grants to raise some cash.
I do like that you can keep the To Do list on the screen at all times so it's there at a glance, and that the individual rooms once 'zoned' change the colour of the concrete floor in some rooms. One, it's pretty, and two, I like being able to see what the room is by colour coding at a glance. And it's much easier to play with a mouse. If I could pick just one PC 'feature' to put in the console edition, it would be mouse support.
THAT'S. ABOUT. IT.
Otheriwise, as a playable ENJOYABLE property, I'd say the console version is the far more superior version. Lots more content for one. Assuming you have all the DLC, more wardens, more beautification options, Criminally Insane, cool maps like Black Knight City, better Quick Rooms, Insta-Build from the Planning tool, more starting funds (even at the lowest amount), and so on and so on and so on. And, I can't put my finger on it, but something about the PC game seems a little 'unfinished.' Considering I've paid money for it, real actual pound notes, it feels like I've bought a piece of software still in development. Like I'm a beta tester or something. The console version has a lot more polish on it, and seems a lot more complete.
Yes but! you cry in amazement. Surely, Paul, you jest? After all, didn't you plunge into the amazing awesomeness that is the very essence of Escape Mode? Well, yes. Yes I did. For all of ten minutes. I read the unhelpful help file, guided my prisoner (slowly) inside, and watched as a guard manhandled him into an orange uniform. Then I'm like, now what? Oh, right, reputations, fights, digging. Yeah. I did that. It's called the Escapists. It's alright. But honestly, in my opinion The Escapists is better than Escape Mode.
So, for those that are fortunate enough to have the Console Edition, enjoy it for what it is, and stop worrying about Escape Mode. You're missing nothing.