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: Mixed (74 reviews)
Release Date: May 8, 2014
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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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November 18

1849 available in German - 1849 ist jetzt auf Deutsch spielbar.

We've just added a full verision of 1849 in German. Access it under "settings".

1849 ist jetzt auf Deutsch spielbar. Ändere die Spielsprache im Hauptmenü unter “Settings”.

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September 16

New DLC - 1849: Nevada Silver

We just released the first DLC for the game - 1849: Nevada Silver. It's available now.

Some of the new features:

  • Builds on 1849's simulation gameplay with added difficulty
  • Six new Nevada city scenarios, from frontier outposts to bustling boom towns, plus sandbox mode
  • Train-based trading system adds a new strategic dimension
  • New buildings, mines, and resources based on the industry and technology of the era

Link to the DLC: http://store.steampowered.com/app/320900/


3 comments Read more

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
0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
I liked first few missions but after a while they got repetetive but still limited.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Interesting for half an hour inbetween.
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7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Best Game ever!!!
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
1849 is a game where you need to manage one city, leading it to prosperity in a very unique setting! As the name suggests, it's set in 1849, during the California Gold Rush. Your main focus, as you can guess, it mining for gold, as well as other minerals, and building full cities out of it (seldom self sustained; lots of trading with other cities is involved).

I'll make it clear right away that I have never played a city management game before, so my standards may be different from yours, as I have nothing to compare it to.
But I've found the setting to be interesting, and the game's aesthetic seemed to add to it well enough, so I bought it, and finish it. Here are my thoughts.

As you can see from the screenshots, this is no Tropico or SimCity with full 3D graphics, weather, and the sort. Not at all. As this is from a small team, they've opted for a more old school graphic style, with prerendered backgrounds and sprites. It may make the game seem very static, but each building has a sprite associated with a work-phase, and the townsfolk are also animated and walk around the city, delivering materials, going to the saloon, etc.
I think it looks really cool, and certainly not something you see a lot of. Everything seems to fit the setting (although I'm nowhere near an expert), and gives the game an unique vibe that works very well with its limitations. One problem is how blurry the sprites look when you zoom in a bit too close... Then, it looks a bit too rough. But you never need to zoom in as much, and it ends up looking great, for the most part! Well done here.

The music was good, but at the same time, a bit too repetitive. I like the western country it gives, adding to the atmosphere, but it's the same few tracks over and over again... Yeah, it ended up feeling too monotonous for me. What I ended up doing, was googling some other western country music (similar to what I heard in the game), and I stick to that instead. Unfortunately, I didn't find a lot from that time, which is a shame. It would be great if the developers could give the player some directions regarding finding other music, improving the overall experience for sure!

The sound effects were good for the atmosphere, but always ended up going overboard, leading to a cacophony of work noises or general gibberish. It can be annoying. I believe that each building played a sound, which lead to lots of different sounds being played at once, in busy moments... Since it felt like the same clip over and over, it wasn't very pleasant for me... But it's not too bad, you can turn it off easily.

Just another issue here, is the fact that there are no audio sliders of any sort. It's just SFX and Music On/Off (separately).
The game was clearly designed for an iPad, and the interface shows that a lot, creating problems that should not exist in a PC game...

Now, about the game's structure. You have a campaign with 20 different missions, each consisting of a city. In these missions, you have a checklist of 3 different objectives needed to succeed. As you play, there will also be 2 "surprise" comissions from the Mayor. These are optional, but generally provide you with a small benefit, in the form of upgraded buildings for free (although only in that particular level). There should be achievements for these, but the only ones who work are in the last level. All the others don't register, so there's that...
At the start of each city, you'll also have 3 starting options, depending on your playstyle. Some give you more money, some open more trading routes, more food, mines, etc. etc. All things considered, they only seemed to affect the very beginning of each mission. Once you're set, they all play very similarly.

Different cities will have different trading routes, and different types of buildings you can build. This could have been great for variety, and increasing strategy, but it's flawed. First off, you have no infomation about it when you choose your starting conditions. This is BAD. Very bad. So many developers give the player uninformed decisions to make...!
Then, there are the comissions. There's also no information about these beforehand, which means that you'll be caught by surprise, usually with very little money, and having to change your whole approach if you want to meet those requirement. Why? Because the comissions usually ask for materials you have no use for! Half of the time you can't sell them, so you just build structures to get them in time, and then it's just wasted space. All for a few building upgrades... In hindsight, I probably would have been better off not doing them! Oh well...
The limitations imposed to you regarding the farms you can use also seems very arbitrary. There weren't any radical terrain changes to justify these, which means that it just felt a way of forcing you into different directions. The same with trading routes, I have no idea why I can't create more flexible paths to make perfect use of my resources... Maybe it makes sense from an historical standpoint, but that's never explained. barely anything regarding the Gold Rush is explained actually, which is disappointing!

Then, you have the Sandbox Mode. This sounds fun, right? Just building you city, endlessly expanding! ... Well, not quite. You see, you'll be able to choose different areas on the map, some larger, with more coastal area, more minerals, etc. But they're all pretty limited levels. And there's no objective at all. I understand what Sandbox means, but even some comissions would have been very welcome! There are not even random events that can happen to throw you off guard (at least none that I've seen)... So, it ends up being very laborious. You simply repeat what you've done during the campaign, but this time, with no goal. Just mindlessly clicking things, reaching for infinity... I really do think this was a missed chance. Comissions would have helped with variety, perhaps some bandits would increase robberies, earthquakes, I don't know... there are lots of possibilities, but I've seen none of them, so yeah.
I'd stick with the campaign, and no more.

Aside from all of this, the game just lacks challenge, as well as options. First, there's no automated trading. Which means that you'll have to buy everything manually (and selling), making it hard to keep a constant economic balance. Then, even if you want to check your stock, you'll have to open another menu to see that, with more tabs and clicks than it needs (because I'm playing this on a mobile device... Oh, wait.)...
Each road must be built one by one as well, as well as every building. I think it would have benefited a lot from a selection method to construct more than one at once. Or even giving shortcuts to the different buildings. I have lots of buttons on my keyboard, and none of them seemed to do a damned thing! There's a lot of clicking through menus here, unnecessarily so.

The lack of challenge comes mostly from the lack of good objectives, and monotonous progress. There are no events to make your life harder, you just keep building until you're infinitely rich! The only difficulty was in the comissions (mostly due to omission), and maintaining a large mansions at the end. That's because each requires a plethora of different resources that you'll have to constatly keep trading for. Without automation, it's very easy to let things slip while you're doing something else, and then everything downgrades because they're lacking shoes... Or newspapers... Because that's what defines a mansion.

Sorry if I couldn't explain the mechanics all that well, but I've tried to focus on the negative points that I've found. I did not enjoy the game very much due to this lack of input from the player. It's just managing time and money, with no risk or reward. It's not awful, but not a great game!
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
This is a nice casual city building game.
I would describe it as a western World of Zellians with a bit more complexity.

There are 20 scenarios to play, each with different goals aimed at growing your town.
You start off simple and add houses, industries and other infrastructure, trading with other towns to meet the scenario goals.
There is a sandbox mode if you just want to build for the sake of it.

It is not a difficult game although you have to keep your eye on things at all times.

I bought it cheaply in a bundle but i think the full price is justified based of the length of gaming there.

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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
Good: Well, it's easy to beat and get achievements
Bad: Not alot here, no challenge really
Basically an expensive Facebook game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
A nice casual city builder game where you have to manage resources to increase your population and in turn grow your city. Nothing overly complicated and simple to pick up. I enjoyed being able to play for an hour or so and finish a map and come back the next day to play the next.

If you are looking for a complex game, this is not for you. But, if you are looking for something to quickly pickup and provide a couple dozen hours of casual gameplay then this might be your ticket. Oh and I love the soundtrack.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
I originally bought this game before it was on steam so ignore the hours I've played. I've put I'd say around another 10 hours in the game outside of steam. I'm currently playing through the campaign again and I think this is a fun little city builder. There are some different goals in each scenario and different ways to start each town depending on your playstyle.

It can get a bit repetitive after a while but I think the same can be said for most city builders. I enjoy it personally and would recommend it on sale. I don't know that I would pay 14.99 for it, but on sale definitely.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Awesome game. I bought it on sale, but only 40% off and is worth every penny. Easy to understand with simple game play idea but is still very fun. It gets more complicated each level and mixes it up by each level being a different city with different buildings to use. My major fault in it is that the buildings do not rotate therefore your city may look kinda funny but is totally functional. I would recomend to anyone who like fun city building games that actually have a campaign, not just free play. Great game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
I had a lot of fun with this game! It felt challenging enough without being frustrating. Some of the gameplay mechanics were a bit off-putting at first since I have played a lot of games of this type, but once I figured out the gist of it I had a good time playing right through all 20 missions.

The length of each mission felt just right for a good play session. It could use a few UI enhancements (namely automated buy/sell orders) but too much of this would trivialize the game. I can say there were several times I was glad the AI did not autobuy/sell as the further you get into a mission, the money you have on hand can fluctuate quite a bit!

I have to add that while there are not many tracks, the music is top-notch. I caught myself humming it outside the game on more than one occasion.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Fun game and worth the price if you get it on sale, but even the largest maps in sandbox are still quite small and prevent you from getting a real sense of building a big city.

Resources are for the most part all managed by building the right building type, so there is not much micromanagement as far as assigning resources goes.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Reminiscent of the old Sierra city builders, 1849 is really enjoyable. $19.99 is a little steep in my opinion however, you're best waiting for a sale.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
this reminds me of the old Oregon Trail style of games of which there has been many, It could easily be repetitive and mind numbing but each city's variation still leaves the game engaging and the fast forward button helps move things along. Overall a solid B game enjoyable for 20+ hours of gameplay at a very afordable cost. I just finished California (missing 1 achievement so have to go back and get the 8 mines which only 1 town lets you do it) I immediatly puchased the Nevada expansion still getting used to the changes but thinking I like the new train station aspect.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Loved playing this game. Too few levels to justify the price.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Nice strategy game, easy to play and quite original. Could use a bit more number crunching.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
5.1 hours was stretching the friendship
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
A very enjoyable city builder; it runs very smoothly. It is not very tough (so far at least) and very nice to play. I absolutely recommend it if you re looking for short quick fun missions in a far west context with a cartoon look.
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0 of 10 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Throw back... Its 1849 and California is apart of a major gold rush! Your not really a mayor seeing as you govern most of the Cali cities but its okay.

Basically its a tycoon game where you build towns to help a thriving gold rush age...

OKAY HOLD IT! Real talk: Back in the gold rush people killed each other for gold, there where a lot of go-go girls, gambling, gangs, and shotouts. Thats not what I want in the game thats a history lesson from me to you. You just read a reveiw that educated you, thats a first.

Moving on, if you like cute little kid tycoon fake disrespectful history games then this is for you... But if you do then there certianly ain't enough room in this town for the two of us.

Lastly this game has possibly been dropped. It hasn't been updated in awhile so you'll be getting the game as it is.
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3.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 6
Pretty fun game for a few hours. A bit easy for the experienced player but you still might need to stop and think on some of the maps.
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29.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
This game is a hidden gem, no other way to put it.

At first I was having trouble playing, I was failing a lot. I kept at it and figured out the game's unique design. Once you learn how to use rent and import/exports to your advantage, while planning ahead - the only thing in your way of completing it is time.

I found this game a nice one to unwind with. If there is ever an expansion or sequel, I'm not hesitating to pick it up. I played this game non-stop for a week until I had 100% perfect scores on everything. If that's not enough for you, there is an endless mode - if that's your thing.
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