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The Best Board Game in the World - Settlers of Catan

By Edited Mar 28, 2014 10 19

A strategy board game that will leave you wanting to play again and again

First conceived by German citizen Klaus Teuber, Settlers of Catan has grown into one of the most popular games in the world.  From an outsider’s perspective, “Settlers,” as it is commonly known, looks like a game for nerds and outsiders, but once you are immersed into the game, you will quickly understand its appeal.  Hours later, after your first game is completed, you will almost certainly feel a compulsion to play again, and play again you will.

Best Board Game in the World - Settlers of Catan

Settlers Game Play in Brief

It takes about 10 minutes to set up the Settlers of Catan game board, which consists of hexagons with different pictures, circles with numbers, and a “sea” border.  The object of the game is to win ten victory points by strategically placing settlements, cities, and roads on the game board adjacent to hexagons that will help you earn resources.  Part chance and part strategy, you want to place settlements next to hexagons with resources and numbers (dictated by the circles) that have a high probability to be rolled.  The more resources you get, the more cities and settlements you will build, and thus the more points you will score.  You can even trade resources with other players in the game if you are severely lacking in a certain category. 


The initial game can be played with three to four people, although an expansion pack can be purchased to up to six people can play.  Settlers is recommended for ages ten and up. 

What’s the Big Deal?

As already mentioned, Settlers initially comes across as a game for people who do not like to get outside.  While you might spend hours playing this game, that does not make you a nerd, dork, or outsider.  Rather, being able to play Settlers will make you seem cool and smart.  So don’t be shy to pick up this great strategy game. 

One of the biggest reasons Settlers is so great is because no two games are the same.  Unless you are a beginner, the hexagonal game pieces are placed randomly on the board each and every game.  This means that pieces are never in the same place from one game to the next.  This means that you must constantly be looking for the most advantageous spaces on the board to place your cities and towns. 

As mentioned above, you can trade resource cards in Settlers, adding an extra element of complexity and fun to the game.  Throughout the entire game you can trade and deny trades to other players, either out of strategy or just because you have made enemies during the game. 

Who can play?

The game suggests that people ages ten and up can play this game, which is a generally good guideline.  Keep in mind if you are playing Settlers for the first time, you should probably play with one of your less competitive friends since seasoned Settlers players could make a novice’s initial game not very much fun. 

Why is Settlers of Catan Different?

Part Risk, part Monopoly, part something completely different, Settlers of Catan is a game full of luck that is dictated by a strong strategy.  Never have I played a game that sucks in players young and old in the way this game does.  Never have I played a game that keeps people constantly wanting to come back for more.  There’s always another game to play; another time to refine your strategy. 

So if you want something just a little different, if you want something that will challenge you, go to the nearest store and pick up this game.  You will not be disappointed.  

People Playing Settlers of Catan



Jan 14, 2012 6:31pm
I had heard a little bit about this game and that it was fun to play. I am hoping to join a game night with friends or go to one in town. It sounds like fun. I will eventually have to purchase this board game and add it to my collection.
Jan 16, 2012 2:03pm
If you like strategy games, this is definitely a good one for you. I hope you enjoy it!
Feb 8, 2012 3:29am
I have never heard of this game, but since it apparently does not seem to carry the dweeb factorof D&D I'd give it a shot -- looks kind of fun (sort of like SimCity or Sid Meier's Civiliziiton games without the PC!) Good article, a thumb's up for telling me something new.
Feb 9, 2012 12:09am
SimCity is definitely a great comparison, but you just have the benefit of playing face to face with your friends. It's a great game!
Feb 8, 2012 6:29am
I love this game. Very balanced and great to play with your kids.
Feb 9, 2012 12:10am
Agreed. The game can be complicated to explain, but I've found that children pick up game play rather quickly.
Feb 8, 2012 6:46am
I've often wanted to try this game. I love strategy games, Risk & Monopoly are right up there too. May have to give it a try, the kids are getting old enough to play it.
Feb 9, 2012 12:11am
Definitely worth the shot. I believe the makers of the game recommend ages 10+, but I think kids slightly younger might be able to catch on.
Feb 8, 2012 3:12pm
Settlers of Catan sounds like a fun game. Family games are played often at our house, and I will definitely be checking this one out. Thanks for the idea!
Feb 9, 2012 12:12am
I'm glad I could be of help. It's a great game for family and friends for sure!
Feb 8, 2012 6:55pm
I can't wait to try it! We are always looking for something new and cool to do with friends and family. Thanks for the info!
Feb 9, 2012 12:12am
This is the perfect game for you then!
Feb 9, 2012 3:59pm
This is the first I've ever heard of the game, but it sounds fascinating. Congratulations again!
Feb 11, 2012 1:27pm
Thanks again! It's a great game. As you can see, I highly recommend it!
Feb 10, 2012 1:45am
I tried Settlers but found it slow and hard. I'm a hardcore board game player though. Love Monopoly, Risk, and am getting into Ticket to Ride.
Feb 11, 2012 1:29pm
I love Monopoly and Risk as well. I find Monopoly can get a little monotonous unlike Settlers, and I actually find Settlers to be quite similar to Risk (albeit perhaps a bit slower in gameplay). I haven't heard of Ticket to Ride. I'll have to look it up. My wife and I love our board games!
Dec 11, 2012 12:28pm
I love this game! My friends and I played once and went out and started buying the expansions and trying to convince everyone we know to play with us! So much fun.
Dec 13, 2012 4:39am
Wow all these different games that are coming out of the woodwork are real interesting. And they would get us off the computers and glued to the computer screen. But not earning any dosh. eh
Jan 10, 2014 9:35am
I like many other games better than Settlers, like Puerto Rico or Power Grid, but great article about the game!
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