By August 17, 2006

Settlers of Catan Travel Edition Review

Settlers of Catan is one of my favorite games. I play it online almost every day and I play the tabletop version with friends whenever I can. One of the problems with the game is that it doesn’t travel very well. There are lots of pieces and Settlers requires a large playing surface. I purchased the travel edition before my last trip out to California on business.

When is a travel game not a travel game? When the playing surface is a square, single block of plastic. While the board is much smaller than the surface area necessary for the original game, it isn’t easy to pack. When taken out of its normal cardboard box and put into freezer bags, the original game packs almost as lightly as the travel version. The board should have folded in half, with the playing pieces hiding inside. It’s such a standard setup for travel games I was shocked by Settler’s solid board design. I wound up taking the original game with me to California and left the travel edition at home.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/251-2/IMG_3309.JPGOne of the biggest differences between the travel edition and other versions is that the hex numbers are fixed. The desert is always in the middle of the board. There are too many holes in the board, which allows tired/new players to put settlements and cities in illegal positions. As you can tell by the photo, the board allows players to illegally place settlements on the straight sides of each hex, instead of at the legal corners of each hex.

The Settlers of Catan travel edition is good for playing on uneven surfaces, or where space is at an absolute premium. A camping trip is a good example. The cards and pieces are very small, and in most cases you are better off shoving the original in freezer bags and playing with the full-sized set.

The travel edition can be purchased for $19.99 + shipping from the fine folks at FunAgain Games or local game stores.

Short story: too many design flaws to make this a worthwhile purchase.

Two and a half out of five STFU mugs
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2 Comments on "Settlers of Catan Travel Edition Review"

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  1. Yeah, I find the illegal-placements-allowed the worst “feature” of my travel set.

  2. Charly says:

    It’s a pity that it has so many design flaws in its travel edition. I like playing Settlers of Catan with my friends. Has any of you tried the online version or know if there’s any good one available?