• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

Crapshoot: Hard Time, a real-time prison sim where you’re the prisoner


May 8, 2021

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, crime meets punishment, only to end up in a head-on collision with the prison whose only regular break is with reality.

Hard Time is the only game I’ve ever played whose character creation screen lets you choose to be a child abuser, a terrorist, or a rapist. You don’t have to be, of course. You can simply be a drug abuser, a vandal, or in trouble for prostitution—though Hard Time doesn’t specify what part of the transaction led to your arrest and incarceration at the brutal Southtown Correctional Facility.

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