Board games have been around for over 5000 years. The oldest board game we know is called Senet, and it was invented around 3100 BC played in Egypt. I have never played this game before, but I have played many other games like Sorry, Monopoly, Ticket to Ride, and the theme of our magazine : The settlers of Katana. I’ve never been a big fan of board games because there’s a common problem: Few or none of them are single. That’s why I prefer to play my games on video.
Of all the board games I’ve played over the years, Settlers of Catan is probably my favorite. This is a relatively recent addition to the grand plan of business published in 1995 and created by the German Klaus Teiber. The Switch version of Catan is played as a board game, except that you can play against the computer if you want to play alone. The board consists of many interlocking hexagons, and the main goal is placed in each available corner, which is possible in an attempt to score 10 victory points. I think Wikipedia explains the general principle better:
Players build by spending the raw materials (stones, wood, wool, grain and ore) represented by the resource cards; each type of country, with the exception of the unproductive desert, produces a specific raw material. In each player’s turn two hexagonal dice are rolled to determine which hexagons produce resources. Players with a colony next to a field with a newly thrown number get one card of the corresponding resource; cities yield two cards of the corresponding resource. For example, if a player has a city and two colonies next to a grain field, he takes four grain cards when the correct number has been obtained.
There’s more, but we’re not going to go into detail. The multiplayer aspect is perhaps the biggest problem you face when you enter the game world. How’d they do in the field? You have resource cards that must be kept secret and safe. The answer is that they do NOT have local multiplayer. But when you’re done with your friends, why don’t you start a board game? At first I was a bit disappointed, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t a feature film.
The single player is what is expected of an AI in a board game. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes stupid, but challenging enough to help you think about your investment strategy, when buying cards, whether the longest path will help you or not. It’s still a nice solo and a good waste of time.
The only real complaint about Katan is the trading system with IA’s opponents. I would orchestrate any possible agreement and any agreement would be rejected. In the next round I received a commercial offer from one of my opponents that was exactly what I had proposed. It didn’t look like it would ever work when I threw it. I’m sure there’s an algorithm that determines whether AI opponents accept the trade, but it never worked well for me. Eventually I started playing when it made sense, but I stopped provoking mine.
The strength of Katana for the Switch is the portability of the system and the ability to play others online, but not locally. It has to be done with an online service, and I’m fine with that. I love this game because it allows me to strategize when I want to, not just when friends come by for a game night.
- Graphs – 7/10
- Sound – 6/10
- Gameplay – 6/10
- Late call – 7/10
Final thoughts: WARNINGS
Catan, that’s what you expect when you transfer a board game to a video game console. It’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s really great for formulating a strategy for different situations. It was fun for me to test my theories on how the count would be made and whether a certain tactic I had devised would actually lead to victory. If you’re a Katana fan, I think you’ll be very happy with this title.
Jay’s been an avid gamer since the days of intelligence. His hobbies include building personal computers, 3D modeling and printing, and spending time with his children and dog.
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