The Settlers of Catan Review
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Players: 3-4 (ages 12+)
Playing Time: 60 minutes

The Settlers of Catan is an innovative board game that propels players into a world of development and exploration. Catan is a great game for friends and family, from ages 12 and up. In an hour of game time, players lean on their strategizing skills and cross their fingers for a little luck as they work to conquer Klaus Teuber’s world of Catan.

The entire game board is composed of hexagonal pieces, from which players construct an island of terrain surrounded by a sea and ports. Each terrain piece pictures a different type of resource. Players accumulate resources to build roads, settlements, or cities to expand their control. They gain victory points through the development of a colony; the first person to reach 10 victory points wins. However, there is a wonderful little crimp in game play that adds a lot of excitement and drama—the “robber” game piece. The robber sneaks into play whenever a 7 is rolled on the dice. He can be moved to any spot on the board, stopping the production of all resources on the piece he touches until moved by the roll of another 7.

One distinct element of The Settlers of Catan is the game board. Because the terrain is randomly arranged, Catan is a new game every time it’s played. This forces players to strategize differently for each game with the lay of the land and resources. Another ingenious feature to this game is the players’ ability to trade resources with one another. Not only are they actively involved in the game even when it’s not their turn, but it’s also a great way to encourage players to focus on finding creative ways to build, rather than destroy. Through trade, players find a way to work together, taking advantage of available resources while still playing to their own advantage. Then, there’s the robber. With a single roll of the dice, he can inject the power to destroy alliances or create new bonds between players.

The Settlers of Catan is a great game for either the avid board game enthusiast or the casual player looking to try something new. With multiple rounds of game play possible, players will find themselves returning to it again and again for hours of entertainment. Play is limited to a maximum of four players, but The Settlers of Catan 5-6 player Expansion Pack is a great way to increase the group’s fun. While relatively new to the U.S. game market, The Settlers of Catan is finally being noticed for its unique and fun game play. For interactive tutorials as well as a preview of game play, check out

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