Posts Tagged ‘catan’


yo kids, boardgames are cool again

Here’s the splendid boardgame Settlers of Catan running on Microsoft’s potentially splendid Surface tech. Surface is touchscreen-mega-PC theoretical fun, but more likely to be built into tables in public spaces than to be something you hook up to your own device. Here’s how it could work for social videogaming (in the traditional sense of social, not the FarmVille sense). I’m fighting my overwhelming urge to grumble “but why don’t they just play the boardgame? It must be far cheaper” – because I suspect that’s very much missing the point.
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Settling For Less

Ask me what my favourite games are, and once you’ve snoozed through me banging on about X-COM, Dungeon Keeper and Planescape: Torment yet again, you might catch me trying to sneak The Settlers of Catan into my list. While the PC’s cutsey-management Settlers series is loosely based on it, they’re two very distinct entities.

Catan is a boardgame, as you probably know – a German boardgame about grain and sheep and tiny wooden roads. One of the things I’ve always liked about it is that, when describing it to anyone, their brows will furrow with the understandable concern of someone who thinks they’re trapped in conversation with a European farming enthusiast. Get them into a game, however, and they’ll slip into its fine blend of socialising and intense competition as if they’ve been playing it their whole lives.
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