“The Settlers of Catan” – now just “Catan” - burst on the scene almost 30 years ago and changed family game night forever. With its simple game design and iconic little wooden houses & roads, not to mention all the funny memes about wood and sheep, Catan began a renaissance in modern tabletop gaming. Many of the games we play today still draw on the same basic elements introduced by games like Catan – strategic resource management, dynamic game boards, and of course Meeple! If you’re new to gaming, Catan is an excellent entry-level option. For experienced gamers, it’s an entertaining replay even after all these years.

The game play of Catan is simple and easy to learn. It is a group game for 3-4 players (5-6 if you purchase an expansion) and a game will usually last an hour or two. Players compete to build the largest settlement on an island that is represented by a board of hexagonal (6-sided) tiles that changes every game. Each tile produces resources based on their land type and a random dice roll. Players collect, trade, (and steal!) these resources to build new settlements, expand their roads, or upgrade settlements to cities. Special development cards also allow the players to hire soldiers to raid other player's stores and keep bandits away. In the end, you score points based on how much you built and the player with the most wins the game!

Catan has a lot of great features that have made it a must-have for any family game shelf for years. It is challenging for experienced gamers but still engaging for non-gamers and suitable for mixed groups, ages 10 and up – there’s even a Junior version for the little ones! Catan also has many expansions that add new features to the game. If you enjoy the base game, we recommend the Seafarers expansion (more land and boats!) and the Cities & Knights expansions as well worth a try. To learn more about Catan, check out the reviews at or stop by your local game store - Jake's Cards and Games in Downtown Bellefonte - for a demo!

"The Games We Play" is brought to you by the folks at Jake's Cards and Games, where we've been serving the Bellefonte gaming community since 2011. We're proud to partner with Bellefonte Zine to share our love of games of all types. Each month we'll highlight a different game in various genres - board games, card games, traditional games, role-playing games and more! Whether you're a devoted gamer or just interested to know more about what people are into these days, we hope that these reviews will be informative and perhaps inspire you to try something new. If you are interested in writing a review about one of YOUR favorite games please let us know, we're happy to share the spotlight! And of course, if you're looking for a new addition to your game shelf or seeking to connect with others who share your interests, pay Jake's a visit at 131 W. High Street (next to the YMCA), open 6 days a week. For more information please visit our Facebook page: