I miss Railroad Tycoon; the game epitomized resource management more than any other game I have played since then, and there haven’t been many games that have even bothered to explore such mechanics. Thankfully, 1849 intends to somewhat take on that mantle with a charming Western vibe, except without the trains.Â You join America just as gold has been discovered in California and you will take on various missions around Western America and at each location will be given objectives to meet. To do so, you’ll generally need to build up your allotted establishment from basically nothing to a mostly thriving town. First comes the people who can become works, then a lumber mill, a trading post, and so on and so forth. Soon, you’ll need to trade with nearby towns to help reach your resource targets. There are 20 cities in Campaign mode which will have you start from humble beginnings to try and make them into bustling towns.
1849 eases you into the game fairly easily, though the menu can still be a bit daunting to navigate due to the slightly arbitrary nature of the button appearances; that’s nothing you can’t get used to though. The gameplay itself is very easy to pick up with half the game being placing buildings and the other half waiting; the placing of buildings is made significantly easier thanks to touch optimized controls.
As you progress, the towns to get a little bigger, however they seem to plateau at some point with very similar objectives in each level. If there’s only one complaint about 1849, it is that it is more of a town-building, rather than a city-building game. While some of the towns can get pretty big, it never quite captures the scale of Railroad Tycoon or SimCity. One other thing that is striking in a comparison to these older games is the relatively simple objectives that are needed to be completed; it seems a little forgiving to end a level after completing just a few objectives rather than trying to see how long you can keep a town profitable, as many management games are known to do.
Despite this, I find 1849 absolutely charming; I’m a big fan of their chosen art design and I think it really adds to the whole theme of the game. The people and buildings look fantastic and well appropriated for such a compact game, and I think it makes good use of the screen space for menus (when you can interpret them).
Overall, 1849 is a solid game; it has a good few hours of fun for management game fans and it looks fantastic. Unfortunately, it is a little simplistic, which may turn off veterans and purists of the genre. And then comes the price. At $4.99 USD, 1849 is not a cheap game for something that lasts a few hours and has a visible endgame. For that kind of money, I would have also expected better support for the game with multiple complaints on the Play Store about Google+ logins still not addressed for over 3 weeks; that however, may be a bit of a petulant observation. Having said all that though, if you are hankering for some management-style games, 1849 is definitely one to take a look at, as it gets the job done and looks great.
If you want to take a look at 1849, you can visit itsÂ Play Store page from the link below.