1849 is a city management game set during the Californian Gold Rush. It’s a game where you build towns up from scratch, populate them and setup trade routes to buy and sell various commodities. The game contains 20 campaign scenarios, from mining camps in the High Sierra to the bustling city of San Francisco. It has been developed and released by a new developer called SomaSim. They only founded in April 2013, and this is their first game release. You will find this game available on many platforms as it is available for pretty much all platforms, which include IOS and the Android Play store. For this review I will be reviewing the PC version available through Steam.
The very first thing I noticed as I installed this game was it takes up a whopping 92 megabytes on my hard drive. I immediately knew this would be a simple port of the tablet version. I have to admit my immediate reaction was to think this will be a short and bad port for the PC being so small. Well I am happy to say it is not all bad and that reaction was soon put to rest. There are hardly any options in this game. There are only two game types available, Campaign mode and Sandbox mode; Pretty self-explanatory. The whole campaign mode is basically a mode where you have a load of different towns with goals to unlock and complete. You must complete each city and its goals to unlock the next one. As you progress each town and its goals become progressively harder. You do have the option to replay any town if you like. This is pretty handy if you maybe want to do the tutorial again. Although the game mechanics are pretty simple and I can’t really see the need for this.
So let’s see what the actual game is like shall we? As you start the game and jump into your first city you are faced with a pretty decent tutorial. It is simple and guides you around all the various buttons and options that you have available. Your guide is the City Advisor. He will pop up at various points during the game and give you advice and tell you news. As you play through the first few towns he is around quite a lot and you will get pop up buttons on the right hand side of the screen saying he has something to say. This is good as they don’t just pop up in your face, that can be quite annoying in a city simulation game.
The game mechanics are pretty simple as in most city simulators you must setup trade routes and start producing and trading various commodities. You also need to build various buildings and farms to start attracting citizens to your town and make money. I did find that it is very limited in what you can actually do to make money. Normally in a game like this you get to adjust the rent for your housing and even the cost of your commodities. However in 1849 it is very basic and you don’t get to do much at all with the prices. You can start to upgrade some buildings. like buying a better oven for your bakery that means you can make more loaves of bread.
This means that you have more to trade with and keep your citizens happy, but this is as technical as it gets I am afraid. This means that 1849 is not really a game for those die hard city simulator fans, but one for someone that just likes not to have too much to think about and have an easy game. This did affect my enjoyment of the game as I like to be able to adjust things like rent paid etc., in a game like this. However maybe you are the kind of person that likes that and if you are you will have great fun here.
So to round things off, 1849 is a pretty fun and enjoyable game. I would say it’s aimed at the casual gamer though. This version on the PC is fun and a good inexpensive game to play. Don’t let it discourage you, being an obvious port of a mobile game. I really started to get into 1849 and found the time started to fly by while playing it. It only loses some points as it’s not very advanced and won’t be attractive to a serious city simulator gamer; as I have already mentioned.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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