★★★½☆ Catan; you may have wads of wheat, but you can’t build a road unless you trade for stone.

Check out this game if: you are looking for a high strategy game with lots of replayability -and you’re prepared to study some rules.

This game stands out because it promotes interaction. It’s almost impossible to progress in the game without trading, and making fair trades is the only way to insure continued trading. The luck aspect of the game is often in the heads of the players (the dice don’t have an agenda to see any one player lose).

I would give this game a better rating if it weren’t for the somewhat complex rules. I would give this ★★★★½ if your family has some experience with playing European games.

Positive:
1. Very interactive because every turn can affect every player.
2. Trading gives every player an opportunity to interact with each other.
3. Multiple paths to victory allows for multiple strategies.
4. No players are eliminated.
5. A little luck can help level the playing field -however a little experience will
6. give players a real advantage.
7. A modular board and random dice rolls gives this game great replay-ability.
8. This game feels very rewarding -even if you don’t win.

Negative:
1. A little too complex for young kids.
2. Can be competitive.
3. Certain moves/strategies can be aggressive.
4. 5-6 players extends the time to play way too long.

Very Brief Overview:
The way to win the game is very abstract (get 10 points), but the way you get these points feels rewarding. You get points for building settlements, cities, having the biggest army, or longest road. All these goals are build with resource cards. You get resource cards by having a settlement or city next to the appropriate resource tile.

Number of Players 2-4
Age 8+
Time 75 mins
Friendly ★★★☆☆
Teachable ★★★☆☆
Replayability ★★★★★
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★★☆
Interaction ★★★★★

Version:
There are many versions of this game (the dice game, card game, family, junior, gallery…). The standard Catan (or Settlers of Catan if you find an older version) is great with hours and hours of replay-ability.

Teaching Advice:
Let each player choose their color. Explain the way to win and how to get points (and how much each feature is worth). Then explain the resources -how to get them, how to trade them, and what to do with them. I like explaining this game in this order because it makes more sense for most people to start with simpler concepts (points) and move to more complex concepts (investing in potential points).

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Catan on Amazon.

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