Catan (formerly known as Settlers of Catan) is the most popular and well known of the new generation of board games. It came out in 1995 and has sold millions of copies across the world.
The aim of the game is to build villages, roads and cities across the almost uninhabited island of Catan – the only inhabitant is a pesky little character called the Robber. Building things scores you points and the first to 10 points is the winner. But building things costs resources, and players will not be able to gather all the resources they need without trading with other players.
This game has been successful because of it’s combination of familiar and new ideas. Trading and building are well known from Monopoly, but unlike Monopoly, no one is eliminated before the end of the game, so there’s always something to play for. The board is made up of hexagonal tiles, which can be put out at random so that each game is different.
Depending on how willing players are to trade with each other, a game of Catan can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.