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 (109 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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February 17

1849 available in French - 1849 est actuellement disponible en français

We've just added a full version in French. Click on "settings" to change language.

Une traduction française vient d’être intégrée. Cliquez sur "settings" pour changer de langue.

0 comments Read more

December 29, 2014

Trading Cards

Trading cards for 1849 are now available! Collect them to get badges and emoticons from the California and Nevada rushes.

1 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
27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
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.

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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46 of 70 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
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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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
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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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Do you like casual games..... Do you like city building..... Do you like watching illicit movies at night to the soft sounds of Kenny G.... wait a minute! You'll find the first two in this game. 1849 is a very simplistic game about balance. you need to find the right balance between workers, supplies and cash. That doesn't sound too difficult at all, now does it?

As a casual game it does just that, very pick up and play, you can waste a few hours messing around in the various scenarios. Feeling a bit flustered pick up right where you left off, or start that scenario over. Word of advice be ready to turn the volume on your speakers down as the game is choke full of the same looped audio you hear in the trailer... As you can imagine after 5 hours of hearing that same tune.... Temper raising, need to kill raising, haring same loop over and over again makes Orge a not so nice man.

If you're into hardcore city building... this game won't satisfy your itch, if you enjoy minor dabbling into city building, finance simulators, and dressing up like a cowboy and pretending your dog is a horse, than this will be for you. So I suggest you buy the game, buy the DLC and by all means enjoy yourself a nice relaxing casual game of 1849. Come on, you know you want too!
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
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 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
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
63.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Cool game. It's like the original Sim City and Caesar II, but pioneer style with no natural disasters and no electricity.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.2 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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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
Nice strategy game, easy to play and quite original. Could use a bit more number crunching.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
34.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2014
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 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
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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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
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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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
64.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
Nice game, once you figure out how to keep from overbuilding it goes rather fast. Some of the controls could be better, it needs a delete choice for instance, and the road building is clunky, but if you're careful you won't make too many mistakes.
I played all 20 towns with high scores on each but will go back and see if I can avoid some mistakes and do better.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
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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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
38.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
simple but fun city builder
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
Cool Game, I like game with a Western Theme , very very addictive , very complex , and you can run it on Low PC , Bad Grapich , But Cool , Lets buy it ! , This game have a Sandbox mode , make your small town to a Big Town , Hahaha, you know , my mom angry after i play this game from 7 AM untill 7 PM , lol ,
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
Simple city builder that can provide nice bursts of 15-20 minute distractions.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
AN interesting take into the city management genre. Worth the money and time.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
I love this game. It adds challenge and is very simple and easy on the eyes. I really enjoyed playing it.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
31.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Love this game... I could play it over and over!
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