Date Published: May 8, 2014
SomaSim Games’ recently released city management simulator may resemble other games you’ve played. Adam Smith considers whether you should (gold) rush out and buy 1849.
“Bart: That ain’t been popular since aught-six, dagnabbit.
Homer: Bart, what did I tell you?
Bart: No talking like a grizzled 1890′s prospector, consarn it.”
1849 is the Zoo Tycoon of 19th century America. Instead of giraffes, you’ve got gold mines. Instead of rhinos, you’ve got cobblers. And instead of a mediocre game, you’ve got…one that is slightly less mediocre.
You play as the invisible hand of the market, choosing which (deep breath) houses, fire brigades, jails, saloons, churches, schools, bakeries, docks, lumber-mills, hunting camps, farms, winemakers, breweries, mines, smelters, carpenters and even newspaper offices to build. There are few that could say 1849 is not expansive, for the indie game that it is.