Gold Rush-era empire builder 1849 strikes paydirt on May 8

While normally you'd need a mule and scraggly beard to properly reenact the California Gold Rush, developer SomaSim's upcoming 1849 will allow players to build a mining empire from the comforts of their own home.

Slated to debut on PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets on May 8, the simulation drops players into one of 20 virtual cities, each based on a real Gold Rush-era boomtown. SomaSim cites SimCity as a direct influence on 1849 and claims that players will need to build mines, attract workers, find ways to keep said workers fed and entertained, and establish trade networks to ship ore out of the wilderness. SomaSim promises a campaign consisting of 20 distinct scenarios designed to test different aspects of a player's mining talents, alongside an endless sandbox mode.

If you'd rather not wait until May 8 to kick off your mining career, 1849 is currently available in Early Access form from Indie Game Stand and the Mac Game Store. The former offers both PC and Mac versions of 1849, while the latter strictly features OS X software. Both sites are offering 1849 for $10, and each will be updated with new content as the game nears its official launch.
[Image: SomaSim]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.