Game: Catan (1995)
Publisher: Mayfair Games
Designer: Klaus Teuber
Board Game Type: Area Control Game
Duration: 60-90 minutes
Time to Learn: 10-20 minutes
Catan Board Game Review
Everyone has that “first game” that gets them excited about board gaming. For myself, that game was Pandemic, which my brother brought to a family reunion. It was the first board game I played that wasn’t published by Parker Brothers or Hasbro and wasn’t created before 1950. For a lot of gamers, that first game is Catan. The game was created by well-known game designer Klaus Teuber, who was working full-time as a dental technician when he designed the game. As of 2015, 22 million copies of the game have been sold in 30 different languages. As of the time of this writing, Catan occupies the #1 best-seller spot on the Amazon.com board game section.
As the longer original title, The Settlers of Catan explains… you are all settlers, settling on the mysterious island of Catan. You will collect resources (wool, ore, grain and lumber) which you can then use to build roads, new settlements, or even cities. The game promotes trading resources and bargaining, which is one of my personal favorite aspects of the game.
As you build settlements and cities, you earn victory points. Additional victory points are earned by having the largest army, the longest road, or just from random development cards. The first to 10 victory points is declared the winner.
Originally what caught my attention was the way the board is made from hexagon shaped pieces. This means that no gaming session is exactly alike, and helps to improve the replay value of this game.
I definitely am not the first to say it, but Catan is a great game. It is easy to learn, and keeps all players involved throughout the game making it one of the ideal Gateway Games. It was one of the first games our gaming group played together, and while it does not make it off the shelf as much as it used to, I consider it one of the staples of any board game addict's collection.
Gateway Game Score (What's This?) 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
- Easy to Learn
- Board design allows for a great replay value
- Trading and bargaining keep all players active and involved
- It’s always fun to ask other players if they have wood
- Planning ahead can be difficult for younger players
- If your friends are into board games, they have probably already played this game fairly often and could be tired of it
Catan is a modern classic, and if you have not had the opportunity to play it, I highly recommend it.
-Board Game Review by Milhouse. Milhouse likes beer with his board games.
What game do you think most deserves the title of Modern Classic? Comment below.