Game Review - Catan

"Negotiate a settlement."

Information updated as of 3/11/22


SUMMARY:


Avg. Retail Price - $49.99

Brand/Publisher - Catan Studio

Genre/Game Type – Strategy, Negotiation

Number of Players – 2-4 players, 5-6 with “extension”

Co/Op - Yes (partly)

Expansion(s) - Catan: Seafarers, Catan: Cities & Knights, Catan: Traders & Barbarians, Catan: Explorers & Pirates, Catan: Oil Springs, Catan: Frenemies of Catan


WHAT WE LIKED BEST:


I have certainly played more complex games that are similar in mindset to Catan, but what I have enjoyed about this board game is that it is very simple to teach and even easier to play. Great for bringing your friends and family into the wider world that has become board gaming in the last decade or so. This game is a good “stepping stone” into other strategy games and genres that require some level of “co-op” in order to reach your goal.


Simple rules, simple to teach, simple to play and enjoyable if you need something quick to pick up for a game with friends at a table.


HOW TO PLAY:


The GOAL is very simple. Be the first to get to a pre-determined number of “victory points”, typically 10 in the base game.


The game setup is straightforward, you can either use the recommended starter build in the manual for your first time playing or you can randomly place out the tiles blindly before flipping them. The resources on the tiles are also accompanied by a number that will come in handy for when each player rolls the die on their turn.


At the beginning of the game, you go around the table and choose where you will place your starting settlements in the game. A player will want to decide for themselves which resources they wish to have access to early in the game. This will be important because you can use these resources later to trade with other players to acquire the resources that you might require.


You will use resources to build roads and more settlements that will impact the number of “victory points” you will wish to acquire through the game. Sometimes working with other players can be to your advantage, but you should take care not to give too much away. Needless to say, if you have a surplus of resources that others do not have then you are in a good bargaining position to get what you want.


The action cards are fairly self-explanatory as you can use them to score some quick “victory points” along the way or at the end of the game, depending on what routes you choose to attain your victory. The base game is very straightforward and gives you just a few options to choose from. If you want to add more complexity to your choices then it is encouraged to consider other expansions to the game.


Lastly, there is a thief piece in the game should your dice roll in such a way that you can use him to steal resources from other players. What a laugh.

EXPANSION SUMMARY:


Each expansion offers more options for resources or different actions that you can put at your disposal to stack the odds of winning in your favor. I personally enjoyed the Seafarers expansion that gave me more way to accrue resources.

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