the best board game you’ve never heard of…
Looking for something to do with your family during your downtime when you travel? We love to take a board game called Settlers of Catan with us whenever we road trip.
Ok, maybe some of you have heard of this game by now. It has sold over 22 million copies so far, having expanded far beyond its German origins. However, I suspect many of you have never even heard of it, let alone played it.
We tired of Monopoly, Life, and Trivial Pursuit decades ago. On occasion we enjoy Catchphrase, but Catan is by far our favorite, holding our attention for over a year now. We feel most other board games lack strategy, but this one is the perfect combination of strategy and luck. It may seem like a lot of rules upon first reading of the instructions. However, it only takes one 30 minute practice round to learn how to play this game.
There is definitely some luck involved with the roll of the die. We try to tell ourselves that this must be why our twelve year old keeps beating us. She wins time and time again, so she must be VERY lucky… or her strategy and negotiating skills are top notch! Settlers of Catan requires constant strategy and decision making, which is why we haven’t yet bored of this game. We mostly play it when we travel to our off-the-grid house in Baja Mexico. We also have a copy at home, as well because it is a great alternative to watching Netflix.
This board game is so popular amongst our family that when we are in Baja, there is usually a line for the “next game.” We will soon be adding the expansion pack to our collection because of this, as it would be fun if we could all play together. It is fabulous to watch how each person devises their own strategy and plan of attack. This sometimes leads to frustration for a player, and lots of laughs from the rest of us.
For some reason, several of our friends and family have decided that going for the LONGEST ROAD (one of several ways to earn points) is a path to victory. However, even if you get points for building the longest road, you can lose the points if someone builds a longer road afterwards. So the longest road builder will try to discourage others from trying so that he to can focus on scoring new points rather than maintaining the longest road. “Don’t even TRY to build the longest road.” In fact, our daughter executed one of her best “sneaky” strategies recently in a game. She sandbagged us out of nowhere to claim the LONGEST ROAD and win the game. Her father was so surprised and annoyed by his defeat that he threw a bit of a tantrum before realizing that he should be proud of his daughter instead of lamenting his defeat.
Check it out… (We are in no way affiliated to Catan… we just REALLY love it!)
Lol, I have heard of this game once or twice, and those I know who play it love it too!! We like Carcasonne, a similar game, possibly from the same makers? I bet we would love this one, too!
We will have to check that one out! Let us know if you try Settlers of Catan! We’d love to hear what you think of it!
We have been playing Catan Jr and really enjoying it. I’m going to order Catan Histories: Settlers of America Trails to Rails because we’re studying US History in our homeschool this year.
The Catan games are very big in the homeschool community. Another one that I’d recommend with a little bit older kids is Ticket to Ride. Mine aren’t quite ready for that but I’ve heard great things.
Oh, let me know how the Trails to Rails one is… We have been looking at many of the different ones! I’ll def check out Ticket to Ride, I’ve not heard of that before! LOVE that you are able to integrate Catan into your homeschooling! Awesome!
This game is great! It’s fun to play with all ages. I played with my cousins kids and brothers, plus we use the app and play online too!
App? Online? Guess what I am going to check out RIGHT NOW?! Thanks for sharing!
SO glad to hear someone else loves this game!
I have not heard of this game before, but it sounds like fun! What age kids is it geared toward?
Our version here doesn’t have ages. I want to say our one in Baja says “9-99”. lol. Our daughter learned at age 10 and got it quickly. It’s great for negotiating and strategy skills. I think younger kids could learn and will improve over time!
Most welcome. Please share if you decide to get it!! ??
I’ve never heard of Catan, but it sounds like a blast! We’ll definitely be adding it to our stash of games.
Awesome!! Please let us know if you get it and how you like it. What’s your favorite in your stash?
My husband and I love Risk, but we can never convince anyone to actually play that with us(what, you don’t want to give up the next 3 hours of your life?? Ha.) So I’d have to say Qwirkle since we get much more use out of it.
We don’t have Qwirkle. I’ll check it out. — we def love this one because about an hour is the max we can commit to. ?
I’ve never heard of this. We are trying to get back into family game night. Will have to look this up.
Oh yay!! Definitely let us know if you do!!
We haven’t heard about it before, seriously…. But we like it! It seems so cool and funny. We’ll try it 😉
Awesome!!! Def come back and let us know what you think!!
We don’t play a lot of games, but this game sounds really interesting! I’ll have to check it out!
I’m normally not a huge board game fan either. But this one is great. Let us know if you check it out.
We don’t play a lot of board games, but this one sounds really interesting. Will definitely check it out!
Omg! This sounds like fun! I definitely have to look into this!!! Thanks!!!!
? Let me know if you get it and how you like it!!
I have never even heard of this game, but it does look like so much fun!
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It definitely is!!
I’ve never heard of it but definitely going to have a look. We’re also a little “board” with Monopoly and Pictionary and my son loves strategy games. Hopefully I can get him away from his laptop games long enough to get hooked, lol!!
Oh. Yes. This should be great for your son. Let us know!!!
My daughter’s 6, and just getting out of the Candy Land phase. She discovered Monopoly in May, and while she doesn’t have the patience to play long, she gets the strategy. I’m hoping to add some more strategic games like Catan and Carcassonne to the mix over the next couple of years.
That’s awesome. And congrats on escaping the candy land phase. ?
Just in time to save me from all these boring board games we ALWAYS play! Can’t wait to try this one. Great post, thanks for sharing!
Yay!!! Hope you love it as much as we do! Please let us know!!!
Oh man! You may have just started something here! Gunnar check this out 100% all in. Thanks Jill!
Haha. Welcome!! Please Lmk how you like it!!! ❤️
Never heard of this game, but it sounds fun and my kids are getting to be just the perfect ages to enjoy it!
Yay! Please share if you try it!!
Catan is one of our family game night favorites! That and King of Tokyo. Great games…
Ooooooh! I need to check that out! I’ve never hear of it!!
Me and my family love Settlers! We do enjoy board games with as little luck as possible (no dice) but this is a super simple game for visitors looking to pick up a strategy game fast. Fun to see others enjoying it!
Oh, what are some of your favorite games?
It seems 999 games is not so popular yet in the US? Here in Europe I don’t know that many people who never heard of Catan yet.
If you love it, check out other 999 games. Carcasonne is great to. Especially the version with the forests and the rivers. And they have other good games.
But Catan is absolutely their top game. Have fun!
Wow. Thanks for the suggestions. I just learned about Carcasonne after posting this. Will definitely check out others.
My husband and I are always on the hunt for new board games. Thanks for the inspiration!
?? Enjoy! It’s a blast.
One of my favorite games and my husband and I own several expansion packs! Sadly, we have no one to play with since all our friends now have kids!
Oh no. You need a game night. Which expansion pack is your fave?
Nice! That looks like a lot of fun
It totally is!
So awesome! 🙂
This does sound like a good family game to play together. We like board games that challenge us to think. Thank you for telling us about it.
You will definitely enjoy Settlers of Catan then! What other games do you like?
We have literally played this game 6 out of 7 nights every week for the past 3 months! Don’t judge us. hahahahah
That’s awesome!!! We play 2-3x a day when we are at our house in Baja!!! ?
Never heard of this game but we LOVE board games so we must give this a try! 😉
It is wonderful!! Definitely check it out! And let us know if you do!