029050Following Kolonists' apparent removal from the App Store, Catan [App Store] fans were left without an outlet for their need to build roads and settlements along with gathering various resources on the go-- That is, until USM and Exozet Games' recently released official Catan hit the App Store.

Catan for the iPhone is a faithful reproduction of the board game, which was first published in Germany in 1995 and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide since. The game is played with up to four players (or more with expansions not present in the iPhone game) on a board game with 19 hex tiles that randomly go together to create a different layout for each game played.

Players then build settlements, cities, and roads as they gather resources and settle the island. To win the game, you need to have a certain number of victory points on your turn which are earned by meeting various goals within the game. In the iPhone version, victory points are configurable from 8 to 12 along with a few other options to customize gameplay to both make it harder for veteran players and easier for new players.

029050_5 029050_2

If this is the first you've heard of Catan, you will be happy to find out that the game has a remarkably full featured tutorial included that covers nearly every aspect of the game. Catan, like most strategic board games can be somewhat intimidating to new players, but the tutorial does an excellent job of starting with the basics and teaching you everything you need to know to be a proficient settler of Catan.

The thread on our forums about the game is filled with great feedback and reviews. INCyr, a fan of the board game, posted a review and thinks its a great game with a few issues keeping it from being perfect. Forum member Farnsworthiness had never played Catan before posted his thoughts and agrees with me on the strengths of the game's tutorials but mentions that the game is a bit of a battery hog.

I've been having a great time with Catan, although I was disappointed with the lack of anything other than hot seat multiplayer. Having spent so much time playing Words With Friends [$2.99 / Free] lately, I really wish more turn-based games adopted a similar push-alert powered asynchronous multiplayer mode.

App Store Link: Catan, $4.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Shumby

    ah Catan...

    nothing like settling on 5,6,8,9 and rolling only 3,4,10,11 all day. damned karma.

    I'm low on funds right now but may get this for a long flight I'll be on soon. For now I'll just play my box set at home.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Haha definitely. I heard about this game randomly and got hooked when my friend brought the board over.

      The hot seat only multiplayer is kind of disappointing, not sure if I will get the app version.

  • Shumby

    ah Catan...

    nothing like settling on 5,6,8,9 and rolling only 3,4,10,11 all day. damned karma.

    I'm low on funds right now but may get this for a long flight I'll be on soon. For now I'll just play my box set at home.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Haha definitely. I heard about this game randomly and got hooked when my friend brought the board over.

      The hot seat only multiplayer is kind of disappointing, not sure if I will get the app version.

  • Spellcheck

    In the AppStore not "on"

    it's not like it's on channel 7

    it's within the store, not sitting on top of it.

    • Andrew

      Well, seeing as the App Store has no physical manifestation, it might be hard to put something in it, whereas it *is* on my screen...

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      It's a play on words.
      Settlements go ON a Catan playing board.
      The game goes ON the AppStore.
      Just sayin'

  • Spellcheck

    In the AppStore not "on"

    it's not like it's on channel 7

    it's within the store, not sitting on top of it.

    • Andrew

      Well, seeing as the App Store has no physical manifestation, it might be hard to put something in it, whereas it *is* on my screen...

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      It's a play on words.
      Settlements go ON a Catan playing board.
      The game goes ON the AppStore.
      Just sayin'

  • Andrew

    I think it would be hard to implement asynchronous trades...

    • Spellcheck

      Yes but a folder on my mac has no physical manifestation, howeve files are in the folders right?

      Where as the folders are on my Mac

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        See above, it's a play on words. :) (Also, this is the wrong thread)

      • Spellcheck

        It would be a play on words except for the fact that Eli does this with every review, so I guess every review title is a play on words?

        & this is the right thread because I'm discussing the title of the review of this review.

        What thread should it go in?

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      Asynchronous trades would be cumbersome for sure. Totally online or local multiplayer could work. I don't have any real networking experience, so this is one of the issues that has me putting my board game style ideas on the back burner. Not that I have time for more than one (or two) games at once.

  • Andrew

    I think it would be hard to implement asynchronous trades...

    • Spellcheck

      Yes but a folder on my mac has no physical manifestation, howeve files are in the folders right?

      Where as the folders are on my Mac

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        See above, it's a play on words. :) (Also, this is the wrong thread)

      • Spellcheck

        It would be a play on words except for the fact that Eli does this with every review, so I guess every review title is a play on words?

        & this is the right thread because I'm discussing the title of the review of this review.

        What thread should it go in?

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      Asynchronous trades would be cumbersome for sure. Totally online or local multiplayer could work. I don't have any real networking experience, so this is one of the issues that has me putting my board game style ideas on the back burner. Not that I have time for more than one (or two) games at once.

  • mrbass

    quote
    I really wish more turn-based games adopted a similar push-alert powered asynchronous multiplayer mode.
    end quote

    I agree and would love to see more using push notification for turned based games. However, having playing Catan about 200 or 300 times online all games are about 10 to 15 mins it's not a turn based game but rather a realtime affair.

    But your right it's missing for $5 multiplayer realtime and also expansions (not asking for Cities and Knights) just for basic expansions like Catan mobile phone version and Settlers DS versions have.

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      The Settlers and Settlers of Catan are two different games entirely.

      THAT SAID - I'd much rather prefer a port of The Settlers. Ubisoft really screwed the pooch with the DS version, they owe it to Settlers fans :(

  • mrbass

    quote
    I really wish more turn-based games adopted a similar push-alert powered asynchronous multiplayer mode.
    end quote

    I agree and would love to see more using push notification for turned based games. However, having playing Catan about 200 or 300 times online all games are about 10 to 15 mins it's not a turn based game but rather a realtime affair.

    But your right it's missing for $5 multiplayer realtime and also expansions (not asking for Cities and Knights) just for basic expansions like Catan mobile phone version and Settlers DS versions have.

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      The Settlers and Settlers of Catan are two different games entirely.

      THAT SAID - I'd much rather prefer a port of The Settlers. Ubisoft really screwed the pooch with the DS version, they owe it to Settlers fans :(

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    I like Catan, but I'd much rather have Carcassone. :)

    I'm a little surprised about Konquerers. I didn't think it was carbon copy enough. I guess the premise was too close when coupled with the board layout. Fair enough.

    • Dark NRG

      You mean Kolonist, right? I'm so glad I got it. And now that Hive is out (which I still like Hanto better, bc it's cleaner and nicer graphics) its nice that the small market of designer games are coming onto the iphone! There is a space clone of Carcassone you know on the app the app store. Sorry, "in" the app store ;p

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    I like Catan, but I'd much rather have Carcassone. :)

    I'm a little surprised about Konquerers. I didn't think it was carbon copy enough. I guess the premise was too close when coupled with the board layout. Fair enough.

    • Dark NRG

      You mean Kolonist, right? I'm so glad I got it. And now that Hive is out (which I still like Hanto better, bc it's cleaner and nicer graphics) its nice that the small market of designer games are coming onto the iphone! There is a space clone of Carcassone you know on the app the app store. Sorry, "in" the app store ;p

  • JinglesO'Flaherty

    Swings and roundabouts, though - Words With Friends is totally worthless for hot seat multiplayer, and I'm a lot more likely to play with people in the same room than strangers on the other side of the world.

  • JinglesO'Flaherty

    Swings and roundabouts, though - Words With Friends is totally worthless for hot seat multiplayer, and I'm a lot more likely to play with people in the same room than strangers on the other side of the world.

  • Dark NRG

    You know they could get customers that are new to the game a taste of it the easy way with making a "Catan Dice" game. It's easy enuf for my gf, and I think using the Poker Dice system would be an easy 99cent sale! Those whole did it and want more depth could get this version later.

  • Dark NRG

    You know they could get customers that are new to the game a taste of it the easy way with making a "Catan Dice" game. It's easy enuf for my gf, and I think using the Poker Dice system would be an easy 99cent sale! Those whole did it and want more depth could get this version later.

  • jon

    is regular catan not easy enough for your girlfriend?

  • jon

    is regular catan not easy enough for your girlfriend?

  • Alf

    I miss Kolonists (I deleted it to re-install, and then found I couldn't because it had been pulled). It was fundamentally different from Catan in that you place flags instead of shaking the dice, could 'bribe' other workers and also there was no intra-player trading. It made a neat little strategy game that was more fun than one-player Catan. Boo to Catan for making them take it down.

  • Alf

    I miss Kolonists (I deleted it to re-install, and then found I couldn't because it had been pulled). It was fundamentally different from Catan in that you place flags instead of shaking the dice, could 'bribe' other workers and also there was no intra-player trading. It made a neat little strategy game that was more fun than one-player Catan. Boo to Catan for making them take it down.

  • mrjigawatts

    Wired magazine called the board game version of Catan the "Mona Lisa of board games", but I found the iPhone implementation to be clunky, a bit obtuse and totally imperfect.

    The game is there. Once you get going (and especially if you already know the rules of the game), it's faithful to the board game. Although the trading interface oddly baffling.

    But one of the things that video games can do so well, is help the player learn the game while playing. I think they really failed at this. The mechanics of the real life board game are not simple or intuitive and unfortunately, this aspect of the Catan iPhone game is captured flawlessly. I didn't try the tutorial, cause I already know how to play the game, but I'm pretty good with computers, and I found the controls difficult, and if I'd never played the board game, I would have quit and erased it. It's making me work too hard.

    Plus, you have to memorize the costs of each upgrade! There's no way I found to call up this cheat sheet (in the board game, every player is given one of these on a card) while in the trading interface, or any way to bring it up at all except for when it's your turn. Just makes the game a bit frustrating.

    Of course, multiplayer features would be a great addition, but if this game has any chance of taking off it's going to have to be easier to play!

  • mrjigawatts

    Wired magazine called the board game version of Catan the "Mona Lisa of board games", but I found the iPhone implementation to be clunky, a bit obtuse and totally imperfect.

    The game is there. Once you get going (and especially if you already know the rules of the game), it's faithful to the board game. Although the trading interface oddly baffling.

    But one of the things that video games can do so well, is help the player learn the game while playing. I think they really failed at this. The mechanics of the real life board game are not simple or intuitive and unfortunately, this aspect of the Catan iPhone game is captured flawlessly. I didn't try the tutorial, cause I already know how to play the game, but I'm pretty good with computers, and I found the controls difficult, and if I'd never played the board game, I would have quit and erased it. It's making me work too hard.

    Plus, you have to memorize the costs of each upgrade! There's no way I found to call up this cheat sheet (in the board game, every player is given one of these on a card) while in the trading interface, or any way to bring it up at all except for when it's your turn. Just makes the game a bit frustrating.

    Of course, multiplayer features would be a great addition, but if this game has any chance of taking off it's going to have to be easier to play!

  • marc

    It's far too easy - the computer people do stupid moves and choose stupid places and have stupid strategies. This could be fixed with upgrades but they should really take a look at the Java script version of the Solitaire Settlers game.
    in this game you should win 1/4 of the time roughly but on the iphone you win 99%.

  • marc

    It's far too easy - the computer people do stupid moves and choose stupid places and have stupid strategies. This could be fixed with upgrades but they should really take a look at the Java script version of the Solitaire Settlers game.
    in this game you should win 1/4 of the time roughly but on the iphone you win 99%.

  • http://www.3deified.net Senior Coconut

    the implementation here is a huge let down. hopefully they'll keep building on the 1.0 release and overhaul a lot of the onerous mechanics.

  • http://www.3deified.net Senior Coconut

    the implementation here is a huge let down. hopefully they'll keep building on the 1.0 release and overhaul a lot of the onerous mechanics.

  • Bubba

    Eli is obviously from New York. A game is "in" the App Store, not "on" it. The App Store contains a collection of applications, therefore the game is IN the App Store.

    And by the way, a person stands IN a line, not ON a line. To be standing ON a line infers the concept that there is a marking denoting a physical line on the ground, when there is not (normally). To be standing IN a line infers that there is merely a collection of people organized in an intrinsic numerical order... whi...ch is a primary definition of "line" in this context.

    If there is no intrinsic numerical order, a person is standing IN a group, not ON a group.

  • Bubba

    Eli is obviously from New York. A game is "in" the App Store, not "on" it. The App Store contains a collection of applications, therefore the game is IN the App Store.

    And by the way, a person stands IN a line, not ON a line. To be standing ON a line infers the concept that there is a marking denoting a physical line on the ground, when there is not (normally). To be standing IN a line infers that there is merely a collection of people organized in an intrinsic numerical order... whi...ch is a primary definition of "line" in this context.

    If there is no intrinsic numerical order, a person is standing IN a group, not ON a group.