It is still one of the hottest selling board games nowadays and it’s been played during family get-togethers and Silicon Valley networking events. Of course, I am talking about ‘The settlers of Catan’ or since it’s been rebranded: Catan.
Almost everyone knows the board game ‘Catan’. Since its first release in 1995 by a German company it only has gained popularity amongst both heavy board game lovers and light board game players. But there are many factors to consider while playing this game, as it is both a game depending on luck and a game of strategy.
In ‘Catan’ the players are seen as settlers who want to establish their colonies on the island of Catan. The Island shows on the hexagonal formed gaming board, consisting of many more hexagonal tiles like pieces laid out randomly in each game and representing different resources (ore, grain, lumber, brick, and wool) including a desert. In addition, players also have to layout numbers on top of each hexagonal module and a robber figure. Each number would represent a number on the dice, that has to be thrown throughout the game and the robber can be individually placed on a tile by the player who would get the number seven.
In between the tile-constellations, players then build settlements, cities, and roads which serve as a connecting tool. The aim of this board game is to collect victory points throughout the gameplay in order to reach a maximum total of 10 victory points by building roads and colonies and by achieving certain goals.
First of all, I spent so many Sundays playing this board game with my friend and family and everyone seemed to like and enjoy this game. Even though you have to actually play ‘Catan’ for some time before you really start to understand everything, this game guarantees fun and excitement. Also, in my opinion the modular board of ‘Catan’ is providing amazing replay value, due to its random set out for each play-round. Furthermore, there is a huge variety regarding different ‘Catan’ games out there, including a ‘Catan’ Nintendo DS game, PC games, ‘Catan’ gaming apps, a ‘Catan’ board game for younger children, ‘Catan’ board games which are Star Trek themed, and a few expansion options for the basic board game. I mean, there are even cupcake versions of ‘Catan’ all over the internet, made by some die-hard fans.
The only negative thing I can say about this game is that it sometimes seems to rely pretty much on luck since you have to throw a dice here and there. And I am not a lucky person I must say.
But to sum up, I’d say that you still get really good value out of this game because of all the different expansion options and scenarios you get to choose at the beginning of the gameplay. The combinations of strategy, luck, prior knowledge, and its trading aspects it has much to offer for a relaxed but fun Sunday afternoon with friends and family.
I would say, it’s not without reason that this classic board game is still so popular amongst older and younger generations. I would recommend this board game to everyone who wants to play board games with their family and friends, but from my experience, almost everyone seems to like ‘Catan’ after a few rounds.
All pictures used in this article are from the pixabay.com website: https://pixabay.com/de/images/search/catan/
Designer: Klaus Teuber
Publisher: Kosmos (Germany), Catan Studio (English-language), Filosofia (France), 999 Games (Benelux), GP, Inc. (Japan), Smart (Russia), Κάισσα (Greece), Devir (Brazil), HaKubia (Israel), Galakta (Poland), Albi (Czech Republic and Slovakia), BrainGames (Latvia)
Release date: 1995
Number of Players: 3 to 4 (standard), 2 or 5 or 6 (with expansions), 5–12 (movie edition)
Playing time: 1-2 hours (player dependent)