Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Settlers of Catan - Portable Edition
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on August 16, 2008
I'm a big fan of the Settlers of Catan game and its variations. This review is only about the advantages/disadvantages of the travel version.
The original version of Settlers of Catan is quite bulky for taking on vacations and impossible to play in the car or plane. This version is very compact and well made. I love it. I wish the original version had such a nice tray for all the cards which are constantly being drawn and played. That's not to say the travel version couldn't be better.
Some cushy foam or something to put over the pieces to keep them from getting scattered in the box while jostled in luggage would help. Though while actually being played, everything stays in place very well.
I'd also like some kind of collapsing holder that fits in the tray for the tiny pieces, so you could pull it out of the tray cup and lay it flat so big fingers that won't fit in the cup can pick up the pieces.
I regret that they made the tile point values immobile. Though the actual tiles can be easily moved around and held in place (GREAT DESIGN), I'd still like to also be able to rearrange the values. Of course, not having to decide on value placement does speed up the game.
Should people new to the game start with the travel version or the original? That's a toss up. More people might like to take a chance on trying the traveler version just because it's simpler. Also, when we travel we meet new people who are new to the game and it is good to have a simple (okay, it will never be simple like tic-tac-toe, but at least more simple than the original) game to share, because if you don't have a long time to know and play with the people, you don't want to spend a long time teaching a long game. I think anyone getting into this game, though, would soon be sorry not to have the larger, more complete version and its expansion capabilities. If I could only have one, I would definitely prefer the full size game, but I am so glad to have the travel game, too.
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on July 20, 2010
I love playing Settlers so I was a bit disappointed when I saw that the travel version had some minor differences than the full version. The numbers are set permanently into the board and the desert space is stuck in the middle. Other than that, it's nearly the same game.

Since I'm a purist, I decided to hack the game a bit to provide the full experience. I simply did 2 things :

- Put number labels on the little circles that you punch out of the tiles when you first set it up.
- Drill out a hole in the desert tile to fit the posts.

With this, I now have the full settlers experience in a nice travel edition. I included a ball of Blu-Tack/Sticky Putty to stick the tiles to the posts. The pieces are kind of small, so I also have everything separated by color and type and put into little ziploc bags that I fashioned out of those tiny snack size bags you can find at the supermarket. This is a great version of the game, and with a few minor modifications, I can get the full experience.
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on November 28, 2012
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For the most part, I like the game board that comes with this game: It is faster and easier to set up compared to the full-sized game, and the playing area doesn't get jumbled-up as easily.

However, the designers have gone overboard with shrinking this game: Not only is the board shrunk by about a factor of 3 in every direction, but evertything else has been shrunk too. For example, the playing cards are unnecessarily small -- almost postage-stamp size!

In addition, the 2-for-1-trader pieces are so small (and have such unclear graphics) that (without a magnifying glass and bright light) anybody over the age of 30 will struggle to make sense of which commodity they represent.

If you tried to use this "travel" edition while travelling, you would pretty quickly lose all of these tiny pieces. A better name for this edition would be the "miniature" edition.

A superior travel edition would use this board -- but have full-size cards, full-size game pieces, and clearer/simplified graphics.
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on September 2, 2012
My wife and I love playing Catan and I thought that having a portable version would be great. And for the most part it is. However, this version has a major problem with it: The cards.

Yes, they are very small. I suppose one would expect that with a portable version. But they aren't just small -- they're paper thin. I bent one of them just by trying to gently shuffle them.

A portable version of a game should be a bit MORE durable than the original. Camping trips, hotel rooms, airports... those are places where this game will be used, and I can't imagine the cards holding up for more than a few play-throughs. This is a major disappointment and the reason I gave the game 3 stars overall. It would have been a 5 if the cards had a hope of withstanding more than 5 games worth of use.

The rest of the pieces are durable and pretty well thought out, but they skimped on the cards and it shows big time.
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on May 16, 2008
Unlike another reviewer, I don't expect the "travel" version of the game to be identical to the regular game. That being said, 99% of the game *is* the same. But it's easier to transport, easier to setup and less likely to be scattered (when the table gets bumped) than the regular version. That's why I got it!

Honestly, I've played this version at home instead of the tabletop version several times because it was simpler to set up...
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on December 30, 2010
Because there's no photo on Amazon showing the game board relative to a person, I had no idea just exactly how small all the pieces would be (though you can do an online search to find a picture), and like many other reviewers mention, everything is VERY miniscule. But of course, you have to remember that this IS a portable edition, and although I didn't exactly purchase this for portability, the miniature design and the plastic pieces with peg-like inserts make it great for that. Unlike the original game in which game board pieces constantly move around during game play, this portable edition keeps things intact and even includes dividers in the box for each resource card.

Purist fans of the original game may not be so fond of some slight changes, however. First off, the board is designed to keep the desert tile in the center ALWAYS. Secondly, the numbers for resource tiles are stuck permanently in place. This is the sort of thing that could make or break the deal for potential buyers.

Personally, I am very pleased with my purchase. I think miniatures are adorable, and this portable edition is tiny and cute! Regarding the alterations from the original game, I used the extra cardboard circles punched out from the resource tiles as number pieces so that those can be randomized as well. Also, even though the desert tile wasn't made to fit on any other space but the center, you can always drill a hole in the middle of the tile, as one reviewer suggested, or you can even just place it on top of another space. It won't *fit* perfectly, but it's not a big deal for me. My only gripe is that for only $10 more, I could've bought the original version, and I feel as though I should have just gone the extra mile and gotten that one instead.
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on July 28, 2011
I love Catan so I thought this would be good to play while camping and in places that it's hard to set up the board. The main problem is that the desert is always in the middle which is always the worst placement for the desert as opposed to a variable desert. They made the desert in the middle so that they could make it so the numbers never varied, but they could have easily gotten around this. I was so upset about it that I cut out the numbers with a knife and converted the game into the standard game so you can put the desert anywhere and put the numbers anywhere.
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on July 24, 2011
The board is not fully-randomizable (desert is in the middle, numbers are glued on). That lowers the replay-value substantially. Just get the real edition; it's only $10 more The Settlers of Catan.
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on February 6, 2014
After spending countless hours playing Catan with friends, I bought the portable edition of the game to take camping and on other travels. I'm excited to be able to take it with me. I also bought a replacement deck of cards to go with the portable version, since the portable version's cards are tiny (quite appropriately) but on some occasions I would prefer to go with full-size cards. The only downside to the portable edition (which is not *that* big of a deal) is that the hexes are fixed, which means you can't come up with crazy designs to see how they will affect game play. That's a small sacrifice to make, though, given the size and portability of this edition.
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on April 6, 2008
My college chums and I play about 2 to 3 games of Settlers a day. We play one on one, we play with the six player expansion, we play instead of going to class. So naturally when we spent two weeks in china we had to find some way to bring settlers with us. Here's the problem with this travel version: it changes the game. Whoever made this edition obviously was not a settlers player himself. The desert is pderminantly fixed in the middle? Perminant? The middle? Thats right, sports fans, every game must be played on a donout version of Catan. I modified my set with a sharpie and some cardboard, but be warned that if you want to play real settlers you will need to do this two. Travel editions shouldnt simplify the game.
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