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:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (177 reviews) - 72% of the 177 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 8, 2014

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Downloadable Content For This Game

 

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?

Gameplay

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

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista
    • Processor: Pentium 4 or better
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 75 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later
    • Processor: Intel only
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 75 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
Experience the California Gold Rush firsthand in this exciting management game! Strike out into the Californian wilderness with just the tools and supplies in hand and become a bustling city where thousands come and live and prosper! Farm, manufacture and mine for ages in your hometown!

Now for me, when I first found this game I thought it was overpriced. My philosophy with games that have replayability is every hour of gameplay = $1 when you buy it. Now $15 isn't a lot but I thought there wasn't too much to this game. However, it impressed me how long it can actually take to complete levels. The first couple took 5 minutes each and then some started taking upwards of an hour, and there's quite a few levels to play. The sandbox mode for this game is what keeps the replayability for it, however replaying the story is worth it as well.

This game for good for both kids and adults, however it is not an easy game to play. At the start of each level in story mode, they give you options how you want to start off. None of which are a ton easier than the others but knowing the strategy to each decision is crucial in completing the level in an orderly manner. Not to persuade younger gamers away from this, but this isn't a cake walk.


Topic: Western Strategy Management

ReplayabilityOk
Price TagGood
With friends?Not recommended
Age groupEveryone
DevsUnsure/Quiet

Singleplayer9
Story6
Characters4
Gameplay8
Controls8
Graphics8
Sound7
Western9
Strategy8
Management10


Score: 77/100

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368 of 403 people (91%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 10, 2014
As city-builders run short these days, i decided to have a go at this game. When i first started it i had in mind all the older city building game i already played such as SimCity, Cities XL, the Anno series and Sierra games (Pharaon, Zeus, the Caesar series...), the last which apparently served as the main inspiration for this game.

Thus, i was not surprised of the game mechanics which mainly consists of starting from scratch with three objectives that need to be filled. You then start to build some houses and production buildings, and the way to proceed is as i said above based on Sierra's mechanics: citizens need a certain resource/building in order to upgrade their houses, and therefore increase the rent income. Run short of any resource and the houses will shortly degrade to the highest level it can attain with the remaining ones.

Production on it's side consists of running a production chain which may consist of one up to three buildings in order to well... produce resources. These resources can be either used to satisfy citizen's needs, be sold at trading routes or given to the few events (up to three per mission from my experience). Some other elements have been included such as crime or fire, with respectively the sheriff and fire brigade in order to fight against them.

At this stage of the review you are probably thinking "Well that doesn't look so bad, does it?". And unfortunately it does. Let me explain you why, in the same way as i described the game above:

You start each game with three objectives: there is absolutely no time-limit or constraint of any kind. There is no other way to lose the game then through bad management, which is nearly impossible after a playing for a few hours. You can start from three "difficulty" options at the start of each mission, but it does only impact the first few minutes of play.

The resource management of this game is very simplistic: The raw resources are produced at a steady rate, never influenced by seasons (grapes, grain and cotton all the year! ) nor resource availability (hunters producing without animals, lumber mills without forests...). Stock management has been dealt with by giving your warehouse an unlimited storage capacity. You cannot predict as well the resource supply and demand of your city easily, as no production and consumption summary is given, which means that you will have to over-produce all goods required to avoid stock shortage.

Trade is the simplest form that could be included. You pay a "fee" to open the trade route with a city, and then after you can import or export goods from there. Goods are imported/exported at a fixed price, with unlimited quantity. This means that you can sell the town next door 100k logs of lumber at the same price, and import 100k crates of beer, without any impact on future trade or product price. Production capacity and demand are simply not taken into account in this game. This lead to a "give me money" button that can be pressed once in a while, without thinking any further.

Wages and rents are also fixed, population satisfaction is simply not taken into account, and unemployment's only impact is the color of the total population indicator. Hazards like crime and fire are solved by having the relevant building, effectively leading the risk to 0%. Other natural hazards likely never happen, or even if they do their impact is so minor that you do not even need to take them into account.

One back side of this game simplicity is that a resource shortage (non-anticipable as said before) can lead to total mayhem. A house degrading can mean worker shortage (which has no proper indicator), and this shortage can escalate to a complete desertion: some buildings required by citizens are shut down, leading to further house degrading, leading to further work shortage... A simple feature to give work priorities could eliminate this issue but it has not been implemented.

To sum up, this game is simplistic, terribly easy, and becomes quickly repetitive. I can say without any risk that after playing this game for 2 hours like i did you will have gotten all that this game has to offer. The only difficulties that can arise are not part of the intended gameplay but are the result of a lack of management tools and features that are included in most other city-builders.

Despite having the full california on the main menu and a large map when starting a game, you are confined in a tiny square without any opportunity to expand. That shocked me first but after playing for a while you understand that this space is all you need to have a working untouchable, steady producing money-farm.

To finish this review i wanted to say that i understand that this a new indie development studio, but i just took a look of the game description of this store page. "complex cities" and "deep simulation games" are not the words i would use to describe this game. On this opposite i would use the words "simplistic" and "casual". This is typically a game you could run on social networks or mobile phones, but in no way a city-builder simulation or resource management game.

Recommendation:
- For new players discovering the genre: This game could be an interesting first city-builder to play, but you will soon outgrow this game and regret buying it in the first place. If you want to start with a city-building game you should look for classics such as the ones i listed in the first pagagraph.
- For experimented city-building games players: Do not buy this game as you will feel robbed after playing for a few hours. Used to more complex management games it will feel like riding a car on a carousel after being used to drive a real one.

Sorry for the long review, but i didn't want to freely throw a bunch of critics without explaining why i came to these conclusions.
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49 of 56 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 3, 2015
It's old-school city building game on Wild West. Definitely smaller and easier to start than for example Anno games. But on the other hand, every mission in the campaign has different set of prices and available resources, so you have to build the city in a different way. Also every mission takes usually less than hour, so you can play even if you don't have a lot of time.
Is it good game? Yes, 1849 is good game.
Can it be better? Also yes. Interface may be definitely easier to use and there are still some minor bugs.

VERDICT:
If you are in mood to play city builder but you don't have time or just not in the mood to play something big as Anno, give 1849 a chance, it may be good choice.
If you're modern player, and graphics and sound is very important for you, check the screenshots and keep looking.

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27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2015
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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45 of 63 people (71%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 30, 2015
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.

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