When comparing Endless Legend vs Prison Architect, the Slant community recommends Prison Architect for most people. In the question“What are the best singleplayer games on Steam?” Prison Architect is ranked 24th while Endless Legend is ranked 44th. The most important reason people chose Prison Architect is:
The game consists of a wide variety of overlapping systems that work together to create excellent depth. You have to figure out the layout of your prison, how to manage the needs of your inmates, how to earn enough money to expand and hire new staff, what to do in the case of a natural disaster, a riot or attempted escape and so on. Every decision you make will impact all other elements of the game. For example, instituting regular shakedowns will help prevent prisoners from carrying banned items like forks taken from cafeterias that can be used to dig tunnels, but will also make the inmates more angry and thus more likely to riot. You can decide to instead use tunnel-sniffing dogs set to patrol around the perimeter, but that will cost more money and if the inmates pick up on the patrolling patterns they will tunnel around them. Or you may decide to check each inmate individually to see who's tired from staying up late to dig while everyone else has been sleeping though that approach may not scale.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Choice of faction meaningfully impacts gameplay
Each faction has strengths and weaknesses, but the best part is swapping out traits before the game starts. You have 80 points to spend, and traits are more or less expensive depending on how powerful they are. Each trait gives you something other factions probably won't have, so spend those points wisely. It might win or lose you the game.
Pro Region-based territory system shakes up the expansion game
The map is divided into pre-generated regions. Settling a region claims all of it (even if it's not explored). That city can't have districts outside its region, and only one city can be settled per region. This curtails city-spamming and aggressive city placement, and creates interesting decisions about resource access.
Pro Beautiful art style
Endless Legend represents a unique art style in the 4x genre, and it stands up graphically even after a few years. The game looks and feels very pretty, and the official art for the game is nothing short of stunning.
Pro Highly customizable
Some specific traits are unique to each faction. Most, however, can be traded for when customizing a faction, with a point-buy limitation to balance it. The world generation options are all knobs to turn one way or another as you like. Very fun option to fiddle with that can make every game a new experience.
Pro Amazing soundtrack
The music for the game is very well composed and is great to listen to. Not to mention, it's also free.
Pro Nearly all of the races are viable
Pro Interesting races, leaders and character design
Pro Excellent depth
If you like exploring a game's mechanics, this one will give you a lot to chew on. The battle mechanics in particular are a serious improvement compared to Civ V's take on war, with units able to stack together into armies instead of spreading out over one tile each.
Pro Engrossing fantasy setting
If you've played Civ V, you know how much history they put into it. With Endless Legend, there's as much fantasy as Civ's history. Faction quest-lines give you a feel for the people you're leading, and the minor factions are all interesting enough to read the flavor text for.
Pro Good diplomacy system
Pro Combat system is more skill based than RNG based
Pro Approachable without sacrificing depth
It's pretty easy to learn and get into as turn based strategy but still complex enough to give those looking for depth their fix.
Pro Feeling of power
When you arrive in the late-game, you, along with other empires have become very powerful and will be able to amass many resources in a much shorter amount of time. Although this doesn't give you an advantage over anyone else, it is still pleasurable to have a feeling of such power.
Pro Everything is described in the lore
From how Dust (the in-game currency) can buyout construction to the biological functions that provide an advantage (or even disadvantage), the game is careful to fully explain gameplay mechanics with lore aspects, leaving few to no plotholes.
Pro Autosaves every turn
Although the game is prone to errors, some that crash the game albeit rarely, the game autosaves at the beginning of every turn, so that should the game crash, a recent instance of the game may be loaded and strategies replicated, or entirely new strategies to be used if one wishes.
Pro DLC is great and isn't a ripoff
Unlike other games that have pieces of the game completely removed to be used as a bargaining chip for DLC, the game feels complete without DLC. Although the offered DLC is fun and adds many more aspects to the game, such as espionage and control of the seasons. You don't feel like you're missing out by not buying the DLC, however, it is recommended if you want to grasp the true experience.
Pro Art is masterful
Pro Amazing depth
The game consists of a wide variety of overlapping systems that work together to create excellent depth. You have to figure out the layout of your prison, how to manage the needs of your inmates, how to earn enough money to expand and hire new staff, what to do in the case of a natural disaster, a riot or attempted escape and so on.
Every decision you make will impact all other elements of the game. For example, instituting regular shakedowns will help prevent prisoners from carrying banned items like forks taken from cafeterias that can be used to dig tunnels, but will also make the inmates more angry and thus more likely to riot. You can decide to instead use tunnel-sniffing dogs set to patrol around the perimeter, but that will cost more money and if the inmates pick up on the patrolling patterns they will tunnel around them. Or you may decide to check each inmate individually to see who's tired from staying up late to dig while everyone else has been sleeping though that approach may not scale.
Pro Works great for both long and short play sessions
The gameplay lends itself well to both doing a couple of things around the prison every once in a while or setting up elaborate systems that can take hours upon hours of time. The game can be saved at any time so you don't have to make commitments in one way or another.
Pro Great freedom of playstyle
You can run the prison in the way that you see fit. You can put the wellbeing of prisoners at the top of the priority list by making sure their living spaces are comfortable, that they're well-fed, have the opportunity to educate themselves and often get to go outside in the yard to socialize and exercise or you can run the prison with an iron fist by instituting regular shakedowns, putting CCTVs, metal detectors, K-9 units and armed guards in every corner. Whichever play-style you choose, the game will offer challenges that will keep the game interesting.
Pro Developers are releasing free updates and additions to the game
Developers have been updating the game almost every month with new content, improvements and tweaks to the game.
Pro Relaxing to play
Building your prison is almost zen like. There are periods of stress when there are riots or things going wrong, but you can always pause to take your time and figure out a good solution.
Pro Lots of mods available
A wide variety of user-created modifications to the game are available including mods that change the theme of the game, look of the game, add new objects, grants, programs, scenarios and new mechanics. They're listed in the game's wiki, here.
Con Steep learning curve
Even for a 4X game, Endless Legend consists of lots and lots of deep systems that can make approaching it difficult. Though it's worth noting that there are mods that remove or tone down the complexity of the game making it more accessible.
Con Confusing tutorial
This is a game that takes experience to learn rather than reading or learning in a similar fashion. Although the tutorial has you doing things, it does not explain the various ways you can do things, nor ensure you actually understand what it is you're actually doing. It is better to have someone you know explain the game to you.
Con Weak technology interaction
When researching a powerful technology, the game does not give any feedback to your growth in power other than statistics. For example, Dust Alchemy is a very good mid-game tech that drastically increases your currency gained per turn, but all you get from it is a higher number on your screen. The same can be said for virtually all technologies. The tech tree is simply very bland to progress through.
Con Multiplayer is glitchy and sometimes unplayable
Playing with friends can be difficult. Desyncing means you have to reload the game (it autosaves every turn so that's good). For a time it would desync after ever turn, so you had to play the game 1 turn at a time.
Con Very few multiplayer games
The most games you'll play of Endless Legend will be by yourself or with friends; it's highly unlikely you'll find an open lobby at all times. The overall online life of the game is low. When and If you find rooms, they are mostly private games and no one can join without an invite. Overall the community as a whole is small.
Con Gameplay is poorly explained
The game does a poor job of explaining all the mechanics to the player when they begin the main game which leaves the player guessing as to what they need to do in order to be successful.