The Settlers of Catan Board Game Review
After a few years of playing, with family and friends, I feel like I can give an honest The Settlers of Catan Bard Game review from the perspective of a mom and a gamer.
Originally known as Settlers of Catan, Catan is the perfect next-step for anyone who has been playing games like Ticket to Ride, but wants to start going up to the next level of gaming difficulty. This is not your standard roll the dice, move your mice, type of game… it’s a strategize-and-build game. But don’t be intimidated…at our house all ages play… from 10 up.
How do you play Settlers of Catan?
The Catan “board” is actually made of an array of board hexagonal tile pieces, placed according to instructions. Each piece is coded by the resource it provides. Players begin by placing settlement pieces at the intersection of the pieces.
By rolling dice, you collect resources, like wood, wool, sheep and ore, and begin to build up your settlements. You can trade resources with fellow players to get the wheat, stone or sheep that you might need. Development cards that give extra bonuses like soldiers or roads.
You want to make sure to position yourself well, and do some careful trading, in order to build up your settlement before the other guy blocks you.
The Goal of Settlers of Catan
To win Settlers, you collect 10 points. Points are generated by building settlements and roads.
Sounds simple enough, right?
So, why is Catan so addicting? What makes everyone want to play?
Settlers of Catan is engaging and interesting. Because the board can change, the game changes…it’s always new. I’ve played a number of times, and keep trying new strategies hoping to find the “best one”. Still, the game also comes down to the roll of the dice and the draw of the cards. You can even add expansion packs to add another layer of interest! Or even play Settlers in Space, Seafaring Settlers and even Star Trek Settlers. The game is the same, but different every time.
In 1995 the game won the coveted Spiel des Jahres prize in Germany… after that, the game went global. It’s been translated into 30 languages, and has sold close to 20 million copies! Board Games from Europe, like Settlers, are taking the US by storm…as seen in the documentary, Going Cardboard, so it’s no wonder that this game is so widely loved. Recently, it’s gained a boost in popularity when it was discovered that the Green Bay Packers play Settlers.
Who Can Play Settlers of Catan?
My daughter has been playing (rather well actually) since she was 10. Now at 12, she’s even been known to win. I consider it to be a thinking family’s board game. (You can play it co-operatively with tweens).
But it’s more than a family game. I was picking up Japanese Take-away the other night, and I noticed a couple of twenty-something guys in the corner playing Settlers of Catan. They had a small Portable Catan travel set (which I now NEED to own). And I read a great article about how the Green Bay Packers (yes, the big bad guys who play FOOTBALL) are addicted to Catan!
If you haven’t started playing it yet, now is the time to pick up Settlers of Catan… and take your gaming to a fun new level.
Basic Catan… and the Expansion that allows for a 5th and 6th player
Once you’ve played the basic game… it’s time to bring on the expansions!!