Catan: Milk Chocolate Edition designed by Klaus Teuber and published by gamesformotion
Catan (formerly known as Settlers of Catan) is a classic hobby board game that has seen many expansions, editions, and reimaginings. This latest iteration is designed for the Christmas/Valentine's Day market. I bought it for my wife as a Valentine gift and we played it with the older kids since it plays two to four.
|Cover for the latest edition of Catan|
The game comes with all the components needed, including thirty-two Belgian chocolates (at eight pieces per serving, it's perfect for four players). The game also comes with resources cards, a spinner, and instructions.
|Components in the box|
After separating the resource cards, we sorted the chocolates. They were little squares with wrappers identifying what components they were. The settlements had their upgrade to a city on the back, so upgrading is a quick flip-over. Settlements come in various colors and players can have only one of each color in their individual area.
|Back and front of the wrapper|
The other chocolate resources were the roads (which need to be built between settlements, but only one road in this game (unlike standard Catan's requirement for two roads)) and the knights, who were worth half a victory point and let the purchasing player take one random resource from each of his neighboring players.
|Roads and knights|
The randomizer of this game is a spinner. The spinner has sections for each resource with the three colors that produce that resource (as in regular Catan, a settlement generates one resource and a city two resources). The question mark lets each player take one resource of their choice. The robber forces anyone with more than seven resource cards to discard half of those cards, rounded down.
Players start with two settlements and a road in between. They also have three resource cards. Each player's turn follows three steps. First, the active player spins the wheel and resources are collected by all players. Second, the active player may trade resource cards with other players. Third, the active player may build as many chocolates as possible with current resources.
Play ends when a player reaches five victory points, which isn't too hard since the initial two settlements put each player at two points to begin with. Upgrading to cities gains a victory point; adding settlements (which requires a road as well) gains a victory point; buying a knight gains half a victory point.
The game was a quick and light version of Catan. It's a perfect introduction to the mechanics of the game (my children have never played the original game but caught on very quickly). The spinner is just as good a randomizer as dice in my opinion. The game is intended as a one-time play but we've saved the wrappers and may attach them to cardboard squares so the kids can play it some more.
Recommended, even outside of a holiday season. Just realize it is very light and very quick (and the chocolate was mediocre, more for the novelty factor than for refined tastes).