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Prison Life is one of the legacy games in Roblox that has been around for quite some time. With a rich history as you will see in our Roblox Prison Life explained guide, this is one experience that has been at the very peak of the game in the past.
That said, this game is not perfect by any means and there is a lot of baggage surrounding it, should you choose to play it. To help you make an informed decision about playing this game, I am here to help you find out about the three main roles, how to play it, and how it is broken and not fun most of the time.
Bottom Line Up Front
Roblox Prison Life is the original prison break game that came out in Roblox and shot off in popularity. Launched in 2014, it was once the biggest game in Roblox for a while. The gist of the game is there are guards, who arrest and kill criminals/prisoners, and there the prisoners, who wish to break out of jail. You can choose whether you want to take on the role of a guard or the role of a prisoner. That said, Prison Life is in a broken state today with far fewer players and little to no updates on the horizon.
Roblox Prison Life Explained
Roblox Prison Life is an experience that has been around for a long time and, therefore, enjoys an overwhelming number of visits to this day. While no longer the most played game in Roblox, it is among the highest of all time and was once the cream of the crop when it comes to experiences.
The gist of Prison Life is that it is in the prison break genre of experiences in Roblox and is the father of all of them. It all started with this game that created the idea of an experience where players are choosing between two factions: the guards and the prisoners.
As you can expect from the title of the game, the idea is to break out of prison and become a criminal while the guards are on the opposing side, trying to stop the criminals and prisoners. It creates this interesting war of sorts between the two sides with a delicate balance keeping everything together.
What is also interesting is that, while it is an action game at its core, it is also a role-playing experience at the same time. This is one Roblox experience where you get the most out of it by chatting with other players while in the match, working together, causing drama, joking around, and so on.
It can even be a slower game at times, depending on the lobby that you are in, with some players just going about their business acting like they are a guard in some prison or a prisoner who did some random crime to get put in jail. This slower pace sets it apart from some of the copycats that would try to steal its thunder in the future.
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Prison Life first began in 2014 and was created by the Roblox developer known by the username Aesthetical. It did not take long for the unique concept of the guards versus the prisoners to take off, allowing it to be among the most popular Roblox games ever made.
For many years since its launch, it was on the featured page for Roblox when you booted it up, ranking among the all-time greats and allowing for easy access to jump into it. Since its creation, it has had a whopping more than two billion visits, marking it as one of the biggest Roblox experiences of all time.
At one point, it was the largest game on Roblox with the most visits and a steady stream of players. But that was years ago and it is no longer in that place now. There are still several hundred, if not thousands, of players playing it most hours of the day but it is far from the success it once was.
This is due to two main factors, including the developer supposedly going off to college and leaving the game in a broken state. There have been updates since the developer entered college in 2017 but they are far and few between, doing little to help with cheating and other exploits.
The other major reason why Prison Life is a shadow of its former self is the fact that there are copycat games that have taken the same premise and done it much better since its release. They are less broken and more balanced experiences with regular updates that ensure that they are much more worth playing.
Even still, there are glimpses of a possible future for this game with the developer recently updating the game in 2021 for the first time in years and hints at possible new features someday. There is a Game Pass that has been teased for prisoners, a sniper rifle that is in the game’s code, and much more that seem to point to a possible revival of Prison Life.
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The gameplay in Prison Life is a mix of action and role-playing. This allows for a wide variety of players to enjoy it since you can choose how to go about your day in the experience. If you want a more action-packed time, you can engage in fights with the other players and battle it out over the prison.
But if you want to just enjoy yourself and chat with new people, you can do that, too. You can find new friends among both the prisoners and guards, allowing you to joke around with each other, pretend like you are hardened criminals, party it up, and have fun.
This unique blend of the two styles of Roblox gameplay comes from the roles that you can choose at the start of joining a lobby in Prison Life. There are two main roles that players choose between, with a third optional one for both of them. Here’s everything that you need to know about these three main roles.
Roles Explained: Neutral Team
As mentioned, there are two main roles that you can choose in Prison Life when you first start and they are the guard and prisoner. Before you can choose them, though, you will be part of the neutral team. This team has no actual meaning in the game whatsoever outside of the initial menu.
You are simply assigned to the neutral team while you are still picking your role for the current lobby and you can switch teams at any time, so long as the side you want is not full. That said, there is a third, more hidden role known as the criminal that is harder to get to in Prison Life and is the endgame goal for many.
Here’s what you need to know about the first of the two starting roles, which is the guard. As the name states, picking the guard will set you as one of the peacekeepers who are trying to protect the prison and make sure that the prisoners are doing their diligent duty every hour of every day.
You are part of the police force and, therefore, have access to various weaponry that you can use to keep the prisoners in check. As soon as you spawn in the base location for the guards, you will be in the middle of the prison. You will look naked basically but there is some gear in the next room.
You will be able to put on a guard uniform and pick up some weaponry like a pistol, taser, and handcuffs. These three items are the basic weapons in the arsenal of a guard. The pistol is for taking out criminals and prisoners who have weapons while the taser is used for stunning them.
This can be great for allowing you to come up to someone and arrest them. Arresting is a tricky part as you can do it anytime on a criminal but, for prisoners, you can only arrest them when they are doing something bad. If they are within the confines of where they are allowed to be, you cannot arrest them.
However, you can still kill them but you have a three-strike rule of killing three innocent prisoners before you are forced onto the prisoner side. That said, this is not a strict rule and many guards can get around it. The main goal for the guards is to make sure prisoners are not breaking out and defeat any criminals in the city or prison.
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For the prisoner, this is arguably the more fun role, though also the hardest to play. With this one, you have a schedule that you must adhere to every day while you try to find a way to escape from prison. Your ultimate goal is to escape prison and become an elusive criminal status.
As you go about your day trying to figure out how to best break out, there is a schedule that you should follow. The schedule goes like this:
- 6 am-8 am: Breakfast in the cafeteria
- 8 am-12 pm: Yard time outside
- 12 pm-2 pm: Lunchtime in the cafeteria
- 2 pm-6 pm: Free time
- 6 pm-9 pm: Dinner in the cafeteria
- 9 pm-10 pm: Lockdown in the prison cells
- 10pm-6am: Lights out
From there, it starts all over again and the day is renewed. During any specific time of day, you are allowed to roam around the areas that you are given access to. If you are found in an area outside of your allowed place, like being in the yard outside during breakfast, you can be arrested.
You can also be killed at any point in time, even if you are doing the right thing, which is a huge problem in Prison Life. That said, some players are reasonable guards who will allow you to live so long as you are sticking to the schedule majority of the time.
That said, while you could have fun for a while with friends just going about your day role-playing and adhering to the rules, the goal of the game is to break out of jail. To do this, you have to employ one of three main ways of doing so.
How to Escape in Prison Life
The first of the three main ways of escaping in Prison Life is the easiest one, in my opinion, and that is through the sewers. What you should do here is find a moment during either the yard time or free time to head into the workout recreational area.
While you are there minding your own business as a prisoner, you should either walk over to the bleachers and pick up the crude knife or head to the workout area and pick up the hammer. Once you have these, head to the cells on the bottom floor and go in one of them (you can wait until lockdown if you want).
From there, equip either the hammer or the knife and then destroy the toilet until it disappears. Crawl and enter the sewers until you reach the ladder and can escape.
The second method is another easy one in theory but the execution is difficult. That is the keycard method by killing one of the guards, like with the crude knife and getting a keycard. This will allow you to access any room in the prison and easily escape.
The third method is the cafeteria, which requires you to access the back area of the cafeteria which is the kitchen. Unfortunately, this requires a keycard itself or for you to sneak in when a guard goes through the door as it remains open for a very short window of time.
While in the kitchen, you will head to the hood of the oven and go through the hole there. This will lead you outside through the vents so that you can jump down and escape.
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Once you have used any of the three methods of escaping as a prisoner, you will become a criminal. This is the third role and the only one that you are not able to pick from the start of the game. As the criminal, you can respawn at the warehouse base anytime you die, so long as you are not arrested.
As a criminal, you have access to cars, weapons, and the entire city. That said, the city is a bit empty and uninteresting so the goal of the criminal is to take the fight back to the guards. You will want to wage war on the guards and, hopefully, free some of the other prisoners in the process.
However, there is one more way of becoming a criminal that is worth mentioning. There are times when a guard might want to switch sides and become a criminal. In this case, what you can do is leave the prison and head towards the warehouse in the city.
So long as you are not defeated by a criminal, entering the warehouse base will immediately change your status to criminal. This will allow you to become a traitor and start helping out the other side. In some cases, it is even an easier way of becoming a criminal than going the prisoner route.
There is a single Game Pass that is available in Prison Life and it is the Riot Police one. Purchasing this Game Pass is a one-time permanent option that allows you to unlock better gear as the guard. This will allow you to carry around the riot police gear, outfit, and even riot shield.
This is useful for defending against criminals who have guns of their own and will protect you with some better armor. There is even the M4A1 that is an exclusive gun to this Game Pass. Without it, interacting with this gear in the guard base is not possible.
Unfortunately, this is a Game Pass that is geared towards guards. Prisoners and criminals can pick up some of the items, including the M4A1, but have no access to the armor or riot shield. There is a Game Pass for criminals and prisoners that have been revealed but it is still in the game at this time. It is not recommended to buy this Game Pass until the game is in a fixed state.
PSA: Prison Life Is Broken in Several Ways
Here at The Blox Club, we are for you, the player, and, therefore, have your best interests in mind. As such, we are going to let you know our PSA that Prison Life is broken in several ways. We do not recommend playing this game at all for most players as it is not worth your time and money.
Given that the developer has rarely updated the game or touched it, this has led to countless exploits, cheating, and other problems in the game. There are cheaters on PC that will wreck lobbies when you enter them with instant kills and unfair aiming as guards.
There are plenty of exploits, some helpful and others not, that will break the experience even more and make it not fun to play. And then to make matters worse, there is the general state of the gameplay itself. Even if the cheating and exploits are all taken care of, there are issues with Prison Life’s design.
For one, the guards have the overwhelming advantage since the punishment for killing an innocent player is not harsh enough. I have entered many lobbies where the guards are constantly killing the prisoners as they spawn so they cannot do anything at all or lock them in a room where they cannot escape.
To make matter worse, even if you do somehow escape and become a criminal, there is no incentive to this. It is all there to just go back to prison and wage war. The city is uninteresting and empty with no purpose to it at all.
And if you are on mobile, you have an even more broken experience. There is no crawl button at all, which means that you cannot interact or use the sewers method to escape. This is bonkers given that even the lamest copycat games on Roblox are at least capable of implementing a crawl or interact button. Prison Life is, put simply, a waste of time even if you have friends and family playing with you.
The main reason why Prison Life is such a waste of time is that there are far better alternatives that are also free-to-play games within Roblox itself. Seeing the broken state of Prison Life, there are a few developers that have created their own experiences that are much more worth your time and money.
Here are the two best alternatives that you should better spend your time with:
- Mad City
Breaking down the two alternatives that you should play in Roblox, we first have Jailbreak. This is a massively popular Roblox game that feels like the exact answer to everything wrong with Prison Life. It has the same idea of picking the prisoners or the police but better in every way.
For one, the number of exploits and cheaters is pretty much none, allowing for a balanced gameplay experience. It also does not matter if you are on mobile, console, or PC as you will be able to handle almost every function and crawl if you need to.
Then there is the fact that the police are better handled when it comes to bullying the prisoners. Even killing a single prisoner will turn the police officer into a prisoner, reducing the cases of encountering an unfair police officer. It is also much more simple to escape, making it both possible and fun to do.
And then when you do escape and become a criminal, there is a purpose behind everything. You will be able to earn money by stealing and doing heists around the city, and not just wage war on the prison itself. You can use that money to buy items, vehicles, and so on to better your criminal status.
Jailbreak single-handedly takes all of the issues with Prison Life and fixes them. It is an unbelievably much better game and well worth your time. It is also especially fun to play with friends as you can plan your escape and then later heists together.
Mad City is a much better alternative for many of the same reasons as Jailbreak. It is much more balanced, less exploitative, the graphics and performance are better, and there is a reason for everything. The unique part about Mad City, though, is that there are superpowers thrown into the mix.
In Mad City, there are three roles that you can pick at the beginning: the police, superheroes, or prisoners. The police and superheroes are there to stop the criminals and prisoners, but the catch is that heroes can have special powers that they can use in combat.
For the prisoners, if they can escape and become criminals, they can unlock their superpowers and become supervillains to fight the heroes and police in the streets of the city. Like Jailbreak, there is so much more to do in the city beyond just what is happening at the prison.
You can collect money, buy stuff, and complete heists all while being a supervillain. That said, I, personally, prefer Jailbreak just because the superpowers idea is cool but a little bit too wild at times in Mad City. It can be quite crazy at times and not that easy to fight in situations, especially when there are a lot of players involved.
That said, Mad City is leaps and bounds better than Prison Life and a game well worth checking out. It is popular for a reason and there are many who like the superpowers feature thrown in there. It is also really fun to play with others since you can use your powers together for good or evil.
Question: What does neutral mean in Prison Life Roblox?
Answer: As we mentioned earlier in our Roblox Prison Life explained guide, the neutral team will show up in the leaderboard for some players. While it may sound like a fun team to be part of that is neither the guard nor the prisoner, it is not actually that at all.
Instead, the neutral team is simply there for someone who is still in the menu where you choose which role to select. So long as someone remains there, it will say that they are neutral. However, they will not be able to play and enjoy Prison Life while they are still carrying the neutral tag.
Question: How do you open the gate in Prison Life?
Answer: The main gate to the prison in Prison Life can be opened in a couple of different ways. First, there is a glitch with the camera where you can access the button to open the gate from the outside but this is a bit trickier to work. Otherwise, you will need a guard to come through and open the door for you or to steal the keycard by killing a guard.
Question: What is the best prison game on Roblox?
Answer: Put simply, it is not Prison Life at all. While we have Prison Life to thank for creating this subgenre of experiences that are focused on breaking out of prison, Prison Life is far from it. The slower nature and more methodical approach to breaking out is interesting and fun, but not enough to carry this broken game.
Instead, if you are looking for the best prison game in Roblox, you will want to look towards either Mad City or Jailbreak. At the end of the day, it will vary from person to person which one is their favorite. Personally, I think that my favorite is going to be Jailbreak.
I like the idea of superpowers and supervillains that is in Mad City but there is not enough there just yet to make it interesting enough for me. It is a fun time for a little bit but I keep coming back to Jailbreak as the prison game that is best for me.
There is just something about the simplicity of the game that balances nicely with the subtle depth that it also has going for it. It took the idea of breaking out from Prison Life, simplified it, and balanced it at the same time. And it made being a criminal a real goal and its own separate experience, with progression, money, and the like.
Prison Life is such an important game for this history of Roblox. Without it, Roblox may not have experienced the grand success (at least on its current level) and we would have no some of the best experiences that are out there now. However, the complicated nature of its development and the current broken state do taint what is otherwise a fascinating experience of prisoners versus guards.
As such, there are many other games in Roblox that you should better spend your time with. This even includes other similar titles that are based around breaking out of jail or action-based games. For instance, in terms of action, we highly recommend checking out Project New World, a game in Roblox that has been around for a very long time but remains an iterative and fun time with its cool world, exciting gameplay, and anime-like inspiration.