Viveport Review: Prison Boss VR
This fun and addicting game offers tense moments but ultimately feels dull.
By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content
Prison Boss VR thrusts the player into the life of a prisoner, locked in their cell as they try to craft various items to earn money and reputation with other inmates. The overall goal is to eventually become the boss, or the guy that everyone comes to for the things they need, and while the game is fun for a bit, it ultimately grows dull and repetitive.
During the first hour or so, Prison Boss VR offers an amazing feeling of presence and intensity that makes it worth checking out, even if you end up putting it down after a few runs. The overall idea is to purchase items from a traveling merchant during the day, then after the sun sets, you craft items in your cell while avoiding the guards who patrol the area. There’s no real challenge, though, at least not until you craft larger items like rope and letters.
When a guard comes around you’ll need to hide your illegal goods in drawers and nightstands. These items can be purchased from the traveling merchant and will be delivered to your cell for you to make use of. You’ll quickly become trained at throwing things in the nightstand, because there’s precious little time to worry about organization when a guard is bearing down on your cell.
I wish there was more challenge in this part of the game. All of the recipes are hand-fed to you through interactive tutorials, and while this isn’t a bad thing, the guards all move pretty slow and are extremely predictable. This means that you’ll only feel that intensity I spoke of for so long before hiding things becomes too easy to bother with.
You aren’t just crafting items for the sake of doing so, though. In fact, you’ll have an assortment of lists that can be completed each day to unlock rewards like more items, as well as to gain reputation with the inmates in your cellblock. This is the overall goal—to gain as much reputation as possible—and you’ll need to be careful which quests you choose to undertake, as this will often require you to hide multiple items for multiple nights.
Prison Boss VR has an excellent sense of presence, and the game’s cartoony graphics fit perfectly with the fun-focused game. I just wish that it had more challenge and some variation in the way the guards react and move around. There’s no real sense of failure, as guards simply take the items that they see when they spot illegal goods hidden in your cell; I personally would have loved to see the entire cell tossed when this happens.
Ultimately, Prison Boss VR offers some fun and tense gameplay moments, but at the end of the day the repetitive gameplay may grow dull and boring for players.