Review: The Struggle for Catan, the Card Game

Geek Culture

A final guest post from my 18-year-old son John before he heads off to college!

The Struggle for Catan is a new card game from Mayfair Games, based on the popular board game The Settlers of Catan. It’s a simplified version of the board game that is easier to get into and good for a quick play at parties or road trips. Having never played the original game, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing. I found it to be a fun self-contained game that even regular Catan players enjoyed.

The game has a simple setup, with not much preparation needed to start and the game itself only taking twenty to thirty minutes. Like the board game, The Struggle for Catan is about building your village by getting resources to build and expand your settlement. You can build knights and roads to help get more resources per turn and cities to get bonuses. A competitive factor is introduced when you are able to steal knights and roads after the draw pile is depleted.

Playing Catan Card GamePlaying Catan Card Game

Trying out The Struggle for Catan with some Settlers pros. Image: Kathy Ceceri

I liked the game a lot, mostly for the balance of setup time and complexity. It doesn’t take long for new players to figure out how the game works, and it doesn’t feel like a dumbed-down version of Settlers. The only issue I had was with having to set aside certain cards for 3- or 4-player games. Although it does make the game a little more fun, the amount of time spent looking through the deck to take out cards with the little 3- or 4-person symbol isn’t really worth it. In fact, just leaving all the cards in seems to work fine. The couple games I played that way weren’t affected.

All in all, The Struggle for Catan is a fun game that kids of all ages will enjoy. It’s good as a road trip game, and seems to be similar enough to the original game that fans of Settlers will have just as much fun.

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