Thanks to the alerting of another blog (jt), it seems that one of the best board games of all time, Settlers of Catan, has gone mainstream in the U.S. Not only has a blog with thousands of followers featured it, but it has a pretty lengthy writeup in Wired magazine: “Monopoly Killer: Perfect Board Game Redefines Genre.” Pretty impressive for a German board game involving bartering, building, a robber, and natural resources. We’ve been playing since college, and have even acquired some of the hardcore expansions: Cities & Knights and Seafarers. What a game. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Since its introduction, The Settlers of Catan has become a worldwide phenomenon. It has been translated into 30 languages and sold a staggering 15 million copies (even the megahit videogame Halo 3 has sold only a little more than half that). It has spawned an empire of sequels, expansion packs, scenario books, card games, computer games, miniatures, and even a novel—all must-haves for legions of fans. And it has made its 56-year-old inventor a household name in every household that’s crazy about board games, and a lot that aren’t…
Settlers is now poised to become the biggest hit in the US since Risk. Along the way, it’s teaching Americans that board games don’t have to be either predictable fluff aimed at kids or competitive, hyperintellectual pastimes for eggheads. Through the complex, artful dance of algorithms and probabilities lurking at its core, Settlers manages to be effortlessly fun, intuitively enjoyable, and still intellectually rewarding, a potent combination that’s changing the American idea of what a board game can be.
Settlers is a big part of our social lives, as we play with many friends and family. To prove it, here are some pictures from the last couple years of us playing Settlers (I didn’t realize there were this many!).