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 (83 reviews)
Release Date: May 8, 2014
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"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/

Enjoy!

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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?

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
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • 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
23 of 29 people (79%) 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.


Presentation
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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9 of 9 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 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.3 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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3 of 3 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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2 of 2 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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
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 2 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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
Interesting challenges, its not a particularly hard game. However its not a straightforward "do xyz and win". It gives you goals and lets you figure out how you want to achieve them. That said its fairly linear and ends quickly. Good quick fun.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 12
Simple city builder that can provide nice bursts of 15-20 minute distractions.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
34.5 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 2 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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2 of 2 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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3 of 4 people (75%) 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
simple but fun city builder
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275 of 306 people (90%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
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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69 of 105 people (66%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Full Video Review - http://youtu.be/b5ZhIx5KLqc

Hello I'm Cosmic and welcome to indie city management game 1849 developed by SomaSim. The premise of the game is well, obviously its 1849, and gold has just been discovered in California. New towns are popping up left right and centre from mining towns to farming communities. Now I'm English so I'm not much of an old timey prospector type but dang nabbit we'll give it a jolly good go.

1849 is all about city building and management, straight off the bat those who played games like Pharaoh and the Caesar series will be instantly hit with a sense of nostalgia. I played the Caesar games extensively and huge comparisons can be drawn to it, its clear that 1849 was heavily inspired by those games. The game has both story mode and a sandbox mode. Story mode sees you progress through a variety of towns with different objectives as the Californian gold rush takes hold. You'll build mining towns, farming towns and towns for educated families to live in.

One you start, you start with a storage depot where all your resources will be gathered. You'll have to build homes for people to live in and start some agriculture as people need to eat. Building cost money, and you only have a finite amount. Housing is a source of income from their rent but production building cost money as you have to pay wages. As your town increases in standards and resources housing will upgrade to offer more people per house and more rent. However production buildings will far outweigh the amount of housing required which is where one of the more interesting game mechanics come into play.

Similar to the real world, no town is completely self sufficient. This means while you may have a town with an abundance of iron ore your town may have no access to the production of fabrics. Trading is a massive component of the game, each town you play has access to several trade routes with other towns, these require money to open and you can then import the materials you need and export the materials you don't. Money management is a big factor, making sure you don't go bust is crucial which means making sure you have the best housing for rent and are regularly exporting your overstocks for cold hard cash.

On top of your standard objectives you'll also come across optional telegram missions where by you'll be rewarding for attaining certain objectives. Usually this comes in the form of exporting X amount of materials to town Y or making sure you have excess materials in your depot. The rewards of this missions usually help you out greatly and if you can achieve them, they often are well worth doing.

City building is very similar to the Caesar games, things like roads and and housing don't cost anything to place. Production buildings will cost varying amounts of money and you'll have to make sure you have enough funds to not only build the building but make sure you don't go bankrupt when the next round of wages come in. Speaking of production you have to follow the process the whole way through. Simply building a wheat farm will not feed anyone, you'll also have to build a bakery. Even further down the line as you unlock more complex industries, things like mines will require more than just money to upkeep but also equipment too, like pickaxes.

I really enjoyed the city building in the game, it is not as micro as some similar games but it captures the fun of the genre and makes the process simple and easy to use. Returning to the management side of things, you'll have to do more than just watch your wallet. As your town grows you'll have to deal with disasters such as fire in which a fire department will be needed if you don't want fires to wipe out half your town. You'll also encounter a human element, as more people influx into your prospering town you'll encounter unemployment and if you don't provide local amenities such as a saloon, people will become unhappy. Crime is also a big factor, 1849 was a tough time for folks and the lure of a prospering town full of gold is too much temptation for some. You will have to build a sheriff to enforce some law in your town, if you don't production buildings will start to get robbed which halts production and steals precious resources.

Overall 1849 is a solid indie city building sim that captures the fun of previous games in the genre. It's well designed and thought out and its progression is well paced but also adds a good challenge to each new town. While not a micro management sim and it doesn't have the depth of a bigger city game, its a well put together title that has plenty of value for money. If you enjoy games like Pharaoh , 1849 may be right up your alley but if your looking for a more in depth realistic city sim you may wish to look else where.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 21
1849 is a nice SimCity-like casual western citybuilder that isn't as deep but still fun to play, and every member of the family can play it because it's so easy to pick up.

I think everyone has heard of or played SimCity before so I'll spare you the details. You just place buildings and hope to attract as many residents as possible, which results in you earning money to build even more buildings.

The graphics are okay, but if you zoom in you'll definitely notice the blurry sprites. So... don't do that too much. The music has a certain western vibe which is good, and the sounds are pretty basic but okay too, I guess.

1849 wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to citybuilders, but if you have a younger family member, or an older one, start with this one. It's so much easier to understand and play for them, I think.

[Rating: 70/100]
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22 of 32 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
I may not have many hours of play on Steam just yet, but I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say I have already clocked at least 100 hours on this game ever since I got it on IndieGameStand, so I thought this game deserved a nice little review for all potential fellow players out there.

The premise of 1849 is a classic one, and the game may not have loads of different buildings to build or hundreds of different resources to collect, but rest assured that it has more than enough to keep you busy for a long time. The casual-looking interface hides a challenging city management simulation and everything in the game works together just perfectly. There are no electricity grids or traffic jams, but the simple yet challenging resource management and production chain systems are crafted wonderfully and the game stays engaging, inciting you to expand and to find the perfect balance between farms, factories, saloons and houses. Make no mistake, 1849 is casual and I love its refined simplicity because it makes the game so easy to pick up, but at the same time it plays like a true management game and it can get quite hard, and I love it equally - if not more - for that.

And as if the game mechanics weren't enough, the game is also set in a period of time that easily speaks to the imagination and that has been crafted beautifully in the visuals of each little part of the game. In every building, every tree and every person walking through the streets you can feel the atmosphere of the bustling town you're shaping where only moments ago was nothing but forests and meadows. Combine that with the challenges from the management mechanics, and it's easy to see why this game gives you such a rewarding sense of accomplishment but at the same time gives you the need to keep going and keep making your town better.

I got this game in the daily deal on IGS for only a few bucks, but knowing how much I've already enjoyed playing this game I would happily pay full price for this game that is quickly becoming one of my favourites.
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36 of 58 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Overall, “1849″ has a lot to offer but does so in such a way to where you won’t need a lifetime supply of Excedrin Migraine to keep up. It’s a somewhat casual experience but still can challenge even the most hardcore city-builder fans. I suspect that part of the game’s design has something to do with the fact that it’s also available on mobile devices, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Don’t let the cartoony graphics deter you, however…there’s plenty of content here to justify its fifteen dollar price tag. It would also serve as a great primer for tougher resource management games like those found in the “Caesar” series, I feel. The campaign can be a little limiting at times with regard to the buildable structures available on any given map, but the sandbox mode helps to alleviate this problem. All in all, a cute (but tough) “little” game.

Full Review:

http://www.dadsgamingaddiction.com/1849-final/

Alpha Gameplay Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I8Pv4GtBkvU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW18PLIBkhQ&feature=player_embedded

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Ev7M9EwLc&feature=player_embedded
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