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Simply Catan

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Simply Catan

Simply Catan

Photo courtesy of SimplyFun

The Bottom Line

Simply Catan is a streamlined version of The Settlers of Catan, one of the best board games ever published. If you like strategy board games, playing Settlers of Catan is a must -- and Simply Catan is the best way to get introduced to the game.

Players compete to earn victory points by building roads, settlements and cities. To build, you must first produce or trade for resources like wheat, wood and brick. Players can also collect resource cards and use harbors to help themselves.

Simply Catan is full of interesting and important choices, making it a great game for players and families who enjoy strategy games.


  • Based on the best-selling designer/German game of all time.
  • A great introduction to the Catan universe of games.
  • A near-flawless mix of strategy and luck.
  • High-quality components.


  • Full-size cards would have been nice.
  • Can only be purchased through a SimplyFun consultant or SimplyFun's web site.


  • For 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up.
  • About 30 minutes for the basic game; 60 to 90 minutes for the advanced game.
  • Simply Catan was designed by Klaus Teuber, and published by SimplyFun in 2006.
  • Comes with game board, 5 double-sided hexagon strips, 122 cards, 18 number chips, two dice, rules, FunMemories booklet.
  • Also includes four sets of plastic roads, towns and cities (one set for each player) and a plastic robber figure.

Guide Review - Simply Catan

When Settlers of Catan won the Spiel des Jahres (Germany's Family Game of the Year) award in 1995, few Americans knew how much fun was in store for them. The game continues to be wildly popular, having sold millions of copies worldwide.

Simply Catan makes a great game even more accessible to new players.

The first step is to create the island of Catan by placing the five double-sided hexagon strips (with a total of 19 land areas) into the game board. Each side of the hex strips is different, so the game board can be set up in a variety of ways.

Number chips are placed on each land area; these numbers correspond to the possible rolls of two six-sided dice. Before each player's turn, the dice are rolled and resources are produced by every land area with that number on it. (A roll of 7 activates the robber, which sets in motion a number of bad things.)

The players now see an empty island waiting to be settled. Each places two roads and two settlements on the board to start. The basic goal is to earn victory points, which you do by expanding your presence on the island -- building more roads and settlements, and turning settlements into cities. You need to gather resources (by producing them yourself, by trading with your opponents, or by using harbors) in order to expand.

Each settlement is worth 1 victory point; each city is worth 2. The player with the longest road earns 2 victory points. In the basic game, the first player to reach 7 points is the winner. The advanced game requires 10 victory points, and it introduces development cards (which feature knights, progress cards and victory point cards) and the largest army card (worth 2 points).

For many players, Settlers of Catan is the ultimate strategy board game. If you've never played, Simply Catan is the best way to introduce yourself to a new world of fantastic gaming.

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