Other Games with Victorian Settings

19th century history is my field, and I’m mad for games with such a setting, but there seem to be remarkably few! Strategy and management games seem to end at the Renaissance and not pick up again until WWII. Action titles occasionally adopt a steampunk aesthetic, but usually in an entirely fictional world. Indeed, the only genres with any significant representation are adventures - typically involving Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, or Sherlock Holmes AND Jack the Ripper - or Westerns, set in Brown Dirt Land With Trains.

I’ve been going through my collection, trying to identify Victorian games I’ve played, and others I’ve only heard of - please, enlighten me if you know of more!

Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun: Economic, military and political simulation, as deep and dry as a desert.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs: Supernatural industrial-horror from creators of personal favourite Dear Esther. Not as solid story-wise as Esther, or gameplay-wise as the original Amnesia, but I’m still a fan.

Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age: This one’s still upcoming, and I know nothing about it and have no reason to expect it’ll even be any good, but the &quotLeft 4 Dead in the Weird West&quot concept is still alluring to me.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective: A completely goofy FMV game which enjoyed a sort of revival as a DVD-based party game, and which I only mention because it was bundled with the first CD-drive-equipped PC my family ever owned. Alongside Monkey Island and LOOM - exalted company!

1849: Another I haven’t played; a town-building simulator set in the Californian Gold Rush, which I mention because I’d love to see more town-builders set in this era. It’s been noted before that the building sim genre is biased toward colonial practices - the creation of new settlements in nominally unclaimed land - but I daresay it can work on a smaller scale without these connotations. Take, for instance, flawed classic Constructor, which simulates the building of an English municipal property development.

Those look interesting. Are any that you would say could be described as globally aware?
A variety of denizens, reference to colonial struggles, etc.

The Victoria series has colonial practices as a central game mechanic… but, that said, its political and economic models are heavily Europe-centric, and I don’t know whether it’s possible to play as any of the nations which suffered most from colonialism - only American and Australian colonial populations are playable, for instance, unless I’m missing something. Otherwise… well, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is set entirely within one large building; it’s a small-scale story, mostly concerning its protagonist’s failing grip on reality. I’m trying to think of Westerns (few of which I’ve played) that grapple with the subject - I doubt any do so well, and the Call of Juarez series and its creators, in particular, are notorious for their offensive misrepresentations of reality…

[quote=Golden Caramel Freedom Fries]Those look interesting. Are any that you would say could be described as globally aware?
A variety of denizens, reference to colonial struggles, etc.[/quote]
As mentioned, a lot of games are going to take a very European centric view of the world. That said, check out Empire: Total War and Napoleon: Total War, which both deal with the military aspect of the 19th century. I have yet to actually play the Europa Universalis series, but I believe those begin around the 1500s and end around the late 19th century or early 20th, don’t quote me on that though. Your best bet for anything 19th century is going to be strategy games though, for sure.
edited by BelleauWoodsman on 7/23/2014