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on September 14, 2012
I imagine my 5-star review will just be a drop in the bucket here, but we love this game so much I still feel compelled to share.

We were introduced to this game about 2 years ago and have owned our own set for nearly the same amount of time. I can only reference our experience, so here are a few things that might help put my review in context: we are in our late 20s; our idea of a fun evening involves friends, food, and a good board game or movie; we often spend the evening playing a board game without company over.

The first night we played this game with our friends we ended up talking them into playing 3 rounds, it was very fun and immediately had us hooked. The game is straight forward with just enough complexity to keep things interesting. Set up takes about 5-10 minutes and gets easier once you're familiar with the rules, etc. Playing a full game (with 4 players) takes around 45 minutes to an hour. We all have a tendency to haggle for a while at the end of turns, so you might get through games more quickly.

All of the components of the game are durable, but we're careful with things and your mileage may vary. Our board fits together flat, but our friends own a board that ends up not being able to lock together perfectly. It doesn't interfere with playing the game, but I think it's worth noting that the fit of the board varies from box to box. Wood pieces are a pleasant surprise given the shift to plastic in our other childhood favorites.

We've played with the 5-6 player expansion on two occasions (both times with 6 players). This makes the game a bit longer and requires some revision to normal strategy. We enjoyed playing with 6 just as much as we enjoy playing with 4. The big difference is playing with 2 rather than 4. We tend to get kind of isolationist when it's just the two of us and that can make the game a little slower and less cordial, but we still play quite frequently (so it isn't that bad!).
4 may be the optimal number. But if you have good conversation and snacks, playing with 6 seems like a great option to have. At the time that we purchased it the combo pack was nearly the same price as the base game, so it was kind of an easy decision for us. If we hadn't purchased them together, I think we would have eventually purchased the expansion (even at full retail).

We've been playing this game pretty often for almost two years and the shine hasn't worn off. We always talk about inventing house rules or using some of the blank (replacement) pieces to spice the game up, but we just end up playing the game according to the standard set up and rules. It's a great time every time.

We plan to introduce our children to the game once we have some, but since we don't presently I cannot comment on the game in that regard. We did introduce the game to friends who aren't big board gamers with great results. After playing Settlers for one evening at our place they went out and bought their own (mentioned above). That isn't to say that everyone will love Settlers or that there is anything wrong with not liking it, but in our circle of friends it's 5-stars all around.
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on January 9, 2007
My husband heard about Settlers on the Internet, but neither of us had played it until I bought it for him for Christmas. The first night we played, we had 4 people playing. None of us had ever played before. Even so, the game was easy to learn and fun to play from the very beginning. We've played it almost a dozen already and we've had it less than a month. I highly recommend this game for everyone! It's fun because no one feels like a loser in this game--the playing itself is enjoyable for everyone.
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on May 28, 2007
I've been playing this game with friends about 6 years now, and we love it. You definitely want the expansion set so you can play with more than 4. And don't let your kids have all the fun. I'm single, and my friends and I love playing Catan on a rainy day or cold night. If you like Risk, you'll enjoy Catan. If you don't like Risk, you'll enjoy Catan. Just play it!
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on December 13, 2007
My family, with children aged 8-13, really like this game. It's one of those all too uncommon games that our entire family can not only enjoy, but everyone can be competitive.

Positives
The game is different every time! I love this aspect. The game board is never the same twice.
You have to think, but not so much so to prevent 7 or 8 year olds from being competitive.
The play can move fairly quickly, even if the overall game does not.
It teaches thinking skills. You have to plan out your strategy.
It teaches some basic economics. You must have goods to build your developments and cities.
It teaches bargaining. There is trading of goods between players, and this can be a lot of fun!

Negatives
Depending upon the players and layout, the game can take over 2 hours.
The game uses dice. I hate dice... Dice introduce luck and chance. This doesn't bother a lot of people. It bothers me. But with this game, it doesn't bother me enough to keep me from playing it, primarily because it's a great game for the whole family.
Lots of pieces. Don't lose any!
Don't shake the table. The game board is made up of lots of tiles, and I mentioned all of the pieces. One person hitting the table can really mess things up!

Recommendations
Get the expansion pack. The starter game is for 3-4 players. We almost always have more. The expansion pack lets you play with 5-6.
Get the plastic "game holders." I don't know what these are called, but they are plastic, connecting pieces that go around the outside edge of the game tiles and prevent the tiles from going flying when someone bumps the table. Easily the best investment we've made for this game!
Get something to put all of the pieces in. We use small baggies. Friends of ours bought small plastic boxes, like ones you would store fishing tackle or shop supplies in.

I would give this game 5-stars if it wasn't for the dice. Strongly recommended!!
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on January 10, 2014
We got this as a gift. The original game is very fun for a party of four. The tile game is similar in concept to Carcassonne. However, this map is smaller and requires a different territory control strategy.

The board pieces are this cardboard. Here's where the bundle has a problem. The cuts of the bundle set are not precisely matched to the original game. So the joints are tight and subject to slippage. If you can put up with that, then on to the next discrepancy. The expansion pieces are not made of the same material. Instead of 1/8" cardboard they're a mm thick pressed paper. This does help you sort the expansion pieces from the original for set up. However, the fitment comes back into play when putting them together with the original pieces.

Bottom line. Buy the original game for sure. If you insist on playing with more than 4 people get this bundle. I think you'll be pleased with the ability to add more people and play on a bigger board. I just wish the manufacturers had taken more care to make the pieces match as perfectly as possible.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 1, 2014
Great family game! We love to play this.
I was only recently introduced to this game and I was seriously missing out on something fun. We had some friends over to play games and they brought Settlers of Catan and taught us how to play. We have since bought our own version of this game. It was pricey but worth it.
My youngest is 8 and she is just barely old enough to play this with us. It is better suited to my tweens and teens (and of course adults too). Often on Sunday afternoon I will wander downstairs and find my kids playing this game. So nice to have them interacting on something non-electronic.
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on November 28, 2013
This game is fun. It has a bit of a learning curve but once you know how to play it, it's a really great family game.

However, the actual set-up and craftsmanship of the game are just okay. The hexagonal board pieces do not have equal sides, which means you have to do some turning and moving around to figure out a way to make them all fit together. It's really frustrating. The wooden playing pieces are small and easy to lose track of. There's nothing to keep the cards in when you play, so you have to set them out and they're not easily kept straight/together.

I played the German version of this game originally, which is why I bought the English version for my family because I thought they would enjoy it. That's why I'm a little disappointed. The pieces in the German version fit together perfectly every time without the hassle of trying to MAKE them fit. The road, cities, and settlements are plastic but they're more aesthetically pleasing than the wooden ones in the American version. They're also bigger so it's easier to keep track of them. There's an actual plastic "bank" (card tray) for the resource cards to go into. There's a plastic holder with separate wells for each building color so you don't have to keep up with the plastic bags that come with the American one.

The game is still a lot of fun but after playing the original German version, the actual game board, the game pieces, and the holders for everything all leave something to be desired.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon May 21, 2014
THE SETTLERS OF CATAN

I recently read an article in the New York Times about how technology has helped in the resurgence of table top gaming. 3-D printers help create prototype game pieces, crowdfunding (i.e., Kickstarter) helps fund and gauge early demand for new games, and Amazon can handle distribution. And, there is no doubt that tons of great new games have come out since the mid-1990s. But, what I found most interesting is that the NYT article traced this "renaissance of board game design" to the Settlers of Catan. And, there is good reason for this.

Settlers of Catan...

(1) Is a very fun game
(2) Has high quality components
(3) Is easy to learn -- so even "reluctant gamers" are willing to give it a try
(4) Has enough depth and strategy to keep game enthusiasts interested
(5) Can be played in a single session -- usually 1-1.5 hours, maybe more depending on how much you talk during the game
(6) Has several ways for players to interact -- including cooperative (i.e., trading resources) and competitive (taking resources, blocking routes, etc).
(7) Involves a little but not too much luck -- and this luck component can be reduced at least a little by good strategy

For all of these reasons it is often referred to as a gateway game, or one designed to move players from simpler more traditional games like Monopoly/Clue/Apples-to-Apples/Cranium, etc. to games with a little -- but not too much -- more depth and strategy.

My fiance and I are a perfect example of the type of people the game is perfect for. She is what some would call a "reluctant gamer" whereas I am an avid gamer, so I have be careful about what games I introduce her to. She prefers games that rely at least a little on luck (i.e., not all strategy) and aren't too complex (i.e., where you can learn/remember the mechanic after a game or two), whereas I love strategy and complexity but don't mind a little luck. We also like games you can finish in a single session (or games you can play multiple times in a single session). Catan proved to be perfect for us for all of the reasons outlined above.

SIDE NOTE: The Catan base game is designed for 3-4 players. But, we actually play it as a two-player game most of the time. If you do a search for "2-player variant world of Catan Wiki," you can find the official two-player rules. They actually work very well.

THE SETTLERS OF CATAN 5 TO 6 PLAYER EXPANSION

There are two key reasons to buy this expansion.

(1) The base game can only be played with a max of four players, and this expansion lets you play with five or six. This expansion makes the island a little bigger (and includes the extra harbor pieces and circular number tokens necessary to accommodate it's larger size). It includes all the road, settlements, and cities for two more players. It also includes 25 additional resource and 9 more development cards to accommodate the extra players.

(2) You like the color green. The base set only includes the colors red, orange, blue, and white. But, my fiance likes to play green. The 5-6 player expansion includes green colored road, settlement, and city tiles so this was a must have for us as I'll do anything to make her happy (so I just went ahead and purchased them together, but we do also sometimes play with 5 players). The other color it includes is brown, so I suppose the same could be said if you like to play brown.
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on December 9, 2013
This game is great. I played it the first time this past summer at a family reunion. It was a lot of fun and easy to learn. My 13 yr. old daughter played the second time with us and fell in love with it as well. I had to buy it. It is worth the price.
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on January 20, 2016
This is a game that me and my friends can play for hours - and we are at the point that we each have a set at each of our homes. If you haven't played the game is a bit like monopoly- but the board shifts overtime to add levels of variety. Made from sturdy cardboard I recommend that you take your time when popping the game board out for assembly- I was over zealous and tore the outer covering. This set comes with an extension pack- my friends and I have all labeled our extension pack pieces to avoid getting them mixed in with the original game. This helps avoid confusion when we aren't playing with more than 4 people.

If you are reading this review you are probably already aware that this is a popular game- now is the time to try it out for yourself!

I am reviewing this product in an effort to help other Amazon customers through relaying my experience with the product and providing any insight I garnered. Had I not liked this product, I would state so here in my review. I would really appreciate that if you found my review helpful, that you would please indicate so below by clicking the YES button below.
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