1849: a bustling city management game set in the Gold Rush era

Something about 1849 really appeals to me as a non citybuilding fan. Is it the California Gold Rush setting, which reminds me of the brilliant sweary-murdery TV show Deadwood? Is it the music in the latest trailer, which makes me nostalgic for a bygone (and almost certainly horrible) world I never knew? Or is it the adorable pixel art characters, who hustle and bustle around pre-rendered buildings, like NPCs in some late '90s Square RPG? It's probably all three, and if your proclivities broadly match up with mine, you're going to want to join me after the break.

As devs SomaSim state on their IndieGameStand Early Access page , your goal in 1849 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". The latest update went live a few days ago , and added a sandbox mode and additional city scenarios, plus, er, more trees and rocks.

If you've held out this long though, you may be better off waiting for the finished version of the game, which will go panning for gold on May 8th. This trailer shows a few of the things you can expect:

Thanks, Joystiq .

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.