Product: Settlers of Catan
Cost: $30 - 40
My brother got this board game last summer. My husband loved it so much that he ran out and bought it the very next day. People who like strategy games like Civilization, Risk or Age Of Empires would enjoy this. It is rated for ages 10+ and is for 3-4 players, although there are expansion packs that allow you to play up to 6 players and other modifications to the original game.
The game play is relatively simple. It is a hexagonal game board, with different tiles showing 5 different resources: ore, wood, grain, brick and sheep. As you play, you collect the resources in the form of cards and trade them in to build roads, settlements and cities. These are denoted by little wood blocks in simple shapes, somewhat similar to Monopoly's houses and hotels. There are also "Development Cards" that you can choose to purchase instead. These are usually helpful, allowing you to steal cards from another player, build more roads, etc.
One of the nicest things about this game are the irresistible wooden pieces. They want to be stacked and played with. Nearly every person I have played with uses the time between turns to build patterns or structures out of the little blocks. Sometimes you have to get their attention for the "real" game.
The winner is declared when one player earns 10 victory points, denoted by how many settlements, cities or special cards they have gathered in the course of the game. This usually takes about an hour.
One issue with the board is that it is difficult to get the cardboard region tiles to stay within the hexagonal frame during game play. It is important to play on a flat surface, like a table and place your pieces with care. We use a lazy susan for our game boards and that helps the board stay in once place. It also allows us to turn the board making game play easier.
This game is not really suitable for younger children. My boys are 7 and 9 and it is a little over their head at times, but they still love to play. Using the suggested starting places can help make it easier as people are learning or if playing with younger folk. My boys like it so much that we got Kids of Catan for Christmas, an easier version. Unfortunately, it it a little too easy and even my 7 year old was bored after a few games.
My husband and I have played it as a two person game, adding in some extra turns when setting up. It is really better with a group, but we have managed to have fun anyway.
This game is easily accessible online and at smaller game/card shops or toy stores. The big box retailers don't usually carry it, although I did see it at JoAnn's one time. There are also online versions, if you want to see how the game plays before you buy it.
Source: My brother, Fletcher
By Jess from Hillsboro, OR
What a great review. My daughter played this game a lot with her friends when she lived in Colorado, they used the extended version because so many people got into it. I also love the idea of putting the game on a lazy Susan, brilliant!
Thank you! Mary Lou
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!