10 New Games for People Who Love Settlers of Catan: The Ultimate Guide for BoardGameGeeks
With the release of Settlers of Catan, the current board game renaissance started. That was back in 1995. Since then, millions of Catan games have been sold and even more people have enjoyed that iconic game with their families and friends.
But have you ever wondered: what's next?
What other great games are out there for you to play?
Read on to learn about 10 board and card games published in the past 20 years that are as much fun as Catan!
The Four Pillars of Modern Boardgaming
Catan may be the best known modern board game but it is not the only one that sold millions of copies. The other three Pillars are: Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, and Pandemic.
Carcassonne is a city in southern France as well as one of the best tile-laying games ever. You can play it highly competitively (there are even Carcassonne world cups) as well as in a pretty relaxed manner with your 6-year old and your great-grandmother. A perfect little game of tile puzzling.
2. Ticket to Ride
Who doesn't love trains? Check out this post's header and you'll see that we certainly like them. In Ticket to Ride you build up your rail network all over the U.S. or Europe and try to amass more points than everyone else. Taught in five minutes, this is another classic for the whole family.
Pandemic may be the mother of all co-operative games. This means all players must work together to defeat a common threat. In this case, horrible diseases are spreading all around the globe and we must contain them. Lots of fun and perfect for less competitive players.
The Best Card Games for You, Your Family and Friends
Not every great game must come in a big box. Indeed, some of the best games are little card games. Which also means that you can get hours of gaming from a relatively cheap investment.
4. 6 Nimmt
6 Nimmt is German and translates to "6 Takes" as in "the sixth has to take it" - an awkward sentence, but it describes this game nicely. Players do nothing but simultaneously putting down numbered cards. Those however will have to be sorted in a grid following specific rules. Whoever places a sixth card in any row will have to pick up all of those cards for minus points. Very easy, lots of fun!
5. No Thanks
A game where you are constantly offered free cards. Nice, right? Of course, it is not. Each card gives you minus points and you can pay coins to not have to pick up. However, you only have so many coins and will make a few tricky calls: picking up and saving your money, or spending it all to avoid minus points.
L.A.M.A. is the newest of the 10 games on this list of alternatives for Catan.
A recent (2019) card game by the great designer Dr. Reiner Knizia. Another game that can be taught in less than two minutes and provides hours of entertainment. Get rid of your cards first and win, or fail miserably and lose badly.
7. 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is a card game, albeit one that comes in a big box. You are trying to evolve your city by drafting cards that are being passed around the table from player to player. It's one of the few games that work well in huge groups as you have "mini games" going on between you and your direct neighbours. 7 Wonders' gameplay was super new when it came out!
I guess I have to mention Dominion here, a card drafting and hand management game that everyone seems to love - except for me. There are a ton of game expansions out already and it has, arguably, started its own genre: card drafting games. I just don't enjoy it that much.
Dice Games That Are Easy to Learn and a Lot of Fun
Most people think of rolling dice when we talk about boardgames. Dice are just the best randomizers, and if you play Catan a lot you certainly have a love and hate relationship with dice as well. However, there are other great games that use dice.
Looks like a mess, but is sooo much fun, particularly with little kids: Impact.
What's so great about a game that literally has only one rule: throw as many dice as you want and keep all matching symbols? Well, for one, you can play it with very small kids. Plus, it's a ton of fun to just be tossing dice like a madman and see what happens. Not the most strategic game, but always a good laugh.
10. Las Vegas
Last but not least, Las Vegas, one of my favourite games of all times. This game emulates the feeling you would otherwise only have on The Strip, with very few and basic rules. Roll your dice, go betting in the casinos, hit it big! Or go bust. One of the all time greats!
There you have it. These are 10 great games you should check out if you enjoy playing Catan. And check out my little store where I sell used games from my collection for very cheap. Thanks for reading!