1849 is a city management game set during the California Gold Rush. Your task is to build towns, populate them with workers, and make sure that they are housed, fed, and entertained. You’ll have to manage and coordinate extensive production and trade networks to make sure your towns thrive.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (140 reviews)
Release Date: May 8, 2014

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Buy 1849

Buy 1849: Gold Edition (Contains 1849 + Nevada Silver DLC)

Downloadable Content For This Game


Recommended By Curators

"1849 feels and looks like a tablet game. It is and it is an awesome in that. There aren't many as good managemnet games for tablets. Good on PC too!"
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Recent updates View all (9)

July 24

Free bonus content added!

To celebrate 1849's Gold Edition, we've just released an "Epilogue". If you've already purchased the game, the free update is ready and waiting for you to download!

The Epilogue presents two final scenarios, taking place in the period after the gold rush, as the people of California attempted to forge a new identity in a state that went through an irreversible transformation.


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July 2

1849 po polsku - 1849 in Polish

We've just released a Polish translation of 1849 and 1849: Nevada Silver. Click on "Settings" in the main menu to change languages.

1849 oraz Nevada Silver są już dostępne po polsku. Wybierz "Settings" z menu głównego żeby zmienić język interfejsu.

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About This Game

The year is 1849, and gold has just been discovered in California. You decide to head out west, to seek fame and wealth in the approaching Gold Rush.

Will you strike gold and become an overnight mining magnate? Or will you build your fortune bit by bit by supplying 49ers with pickaxes and blue jeans?


1849 is a city management game set during the California Gold Rush. Your task is to build towns, populate them with workers, and make sure that they are housed, fed, and entertained. You’ll have to manage and coordinate extensive production and trade networks to make sure your towns thrive.

Key Features Of 1849

  • A campaign mode that traces the development of the Gold Rush from mining camps to bustling cities. Each city scenario presents players with unique starting conditions, victory goals, and obstacle events.

  • Sandbox mode with a procedurally-generated map for your location, based on geography (from the Pacific coast to the Sierra Nevada mountains), precipitation, resource availability, and starting lot size.

  • Vivid old west towns with buildings lining the streets directly inspired by California’s Gold Country.

  • Over 50 resources that players can dig up, farm, refine or manufacture as they build complex towns and cities.

  • Developed by SomaSim, a new studio dedicated to producing deep simulation games for today’s players

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista
    • Processor: Pentium 4 or better
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB available space
    • OS: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later
    • Processor: Intel only
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
28 of 34 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
This game was reviewed using a code sent by the developer.

1849 is city builder set in 1849 during the California Gold rush. I haven't played many city builders in the past apart from SimCiity2000, so my experience is very limited so far.

The graphics on show here are pleasant, there is nothing special, it almost looks like the same style in Theme Hospital, sort of plump looking characters, and some nicely textured buildings. Each mission in the story modes offer roughly three objectives, these can be as simple as trading a certain amount of a resource with a neighbouring city, or to reach a specific level of social hierarchy in your city. The missions can last anywhere between 15 minutes, up to an hour.

The audio is done very well too, a classic cowboy tune plays in the background as you have your bustling city sound effects playing too. I really liked the music, I found myself dancing in my seat at times without realizing it.

From the tutorial, right until the later missions, you are walked through every new aspect of the game. I found the tutorial here to be very well designed and prepared you greatly for the missions ahead. There is definitely a high difficulty curve in 1849 too, once you get past level five, there is a sudden change in difficulty, and the missions become more and more in depth and you have to really focus on managing all of your resources and trades as efficiently as possible. This isn't a bad thing, it's nice to see games offering the challenging content.

I am about three quarters of my way through I think, and I am up to almost five hours of game play, there is also a sandbox mode included too, which will end up probably having around twenty plus hours in total from 1849, which is a lot considering it is only a £10,99 game.

I didn't find myself encountering any technical issues, runs very well although it's to be expected as it could probably run on a potato.

Would I recommend 1849? Sure, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but coming from someone who hasn't really played city building games, this is probably one of the better ones to start out playing.

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up. You can also find more reviews over at http://www.completingthebackloggroup.com/
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
I'm not in the mood to attack other civilizations after building my own city from scratch and I like a little more of a "story" when I build up my things, so I thought 1849 was going to be a nice panacea to my City Builder Sim illness.

Not the cowbell I needed.

1849 is very slow and frankly easy to win each level. However, it is time consuming. The majority of the time you've built the required number of buildings and you're waiting for them to accumulate the needed number of supplies to move onto the next section of California to colonize. The plot of land you're given is relatively tiny, given how much you can really move around.

Each game I was given an "edge" from completing a previous round. There was no right or wrong answer to what helps you, just whatever helps you in how you finish the objectives in the time alotted. This, I found helpful. It benefitted my playing style which is very kind because I have a certain way I like to set up my time management games. It also allowed me to experiment each level.

What drove me relatively bonkers was that nothing really changed from level to level. Usually there's something new introduced that makes a very significant impact, but this never happened in my course of playing. I had to use multiple important buildings because the reach was impossibly short and your town/settlement will go to hell in a moment's notice and you will not salvage it unless you can accomplish a few key things in the first few moments of establishing your settlement.

But once you figure out your pattern of play, you generally just sit there, wait for your settlers to upgrade their houses, and just keep refueling things.

It's perhaps the worst city building sim I've played and I was highly disappointed. Wasn't worth the price I paid. I've honestly just sat still most of the time and done absolutely nothing. It's also a bit dated-looking as well so there are prettier games out there for your money.

Maybe this could be a game to teach small children about areas of California during the Gold Rush, but I don't believe this could keep their attention too long. This likely plays better on a tablet or a phone, as well. Personally, I'm not a fan and even after forcing myself to give it a good go, it wasn't meant to be.

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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
I spent a snowy weekend playing this game and I doubt I'll play it much more (if ever again.) In general, I am a huge fan of city builders and after reading the mostly positve reviews I was psyched to give this a try. It is probably one of the most limited and frustrating games I've ever played.

The type of resources you can create/gather/mine/farm are pre-selected from the beginning and sometimes make no sense. I hda one game where I needed to export stone bricks, but couldn't build a stone quarry. so I would have to buy stones, then turn them into stone bricks, then export them for less than the cost of the original stone.

Also, you can't tell the quanities of anything (this is a pet peeve of mine in city builders.) How many vinyards do I need to make how much wine, how much wheat makes how much bread (and how much bread is needed per citizen?)
You can't unlock new trade routes. You can't unlock new buildings. Sometimes getting off the ground is incredibly difficult, other times, building a massive city, that can quickly become unweildy because for instance, the lumber cycle, lumber -> boards -> furniture, is extremely slow, so you may for instance, run out of room to put lumber yards.

Anyway, overall, disappointed. Graphics were cute but you can't do anything more than zoom. You can't rotate the view or objects. If you're looking for an afternoon time waster, maybe try this. Otherwise, go check out Tropico 4.

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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Pretty and simple city builder, maybe better suited for playing on tablet than on desktop computer. But it still offers about 10-15 hours of gameplay in campaign mode. Sadly there's no replay value whatsoever, there is a sandbox mode but maintaining a large population is a bit tedious and definitely not fun.
Major drawback is the game's price, 15 euros is a bit steep. If you spot it on some big discount or in some bundle be sure to grab it.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
1849 is basically a miniture city-building game where each game is 10-25 minutes, perfect when you have a short time to burn. The mechanics are not very deep but it works and you usually get to make meaningful choices during each game when you are given optional objectives which could be difficult but rewarding.
Again if you are bored and want a city game, this 1849 is quick and stress-free but still provides decent challenge.
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