A few years ago Wired had an interesting article about a new board game called the Settlers of Catan. I bought the game and really enjoyed playing it. The Washington Post has just written about the game as well calling it the Monopoly of our generation. Settlers of Catan is engineered to take an hour to 90 minutes to complete and there are multiple way to win. The board consists of 19 hexagons so each time you assemble them it creates a new landscape to play on. One of my favorite aspect of the game is that each hexagon provides different resources which are required to perform certain actions. If you don’t have enough resources you are forced to trade with the other players which means that even if you are not winning or currently rolling the dice you can still actively be involved in the game.
As the Washington Post says, this christmas instead of buying monopoly as a present maybe consider something different:
Try Settlers of Catan instead. It’s more fulfilling and more fun. There should be more to life than rolling the dice and going in circles. Settlers teaches new ways of thinking and presents a different notion of winning: by a nose instead of by a mile. The game is won by earning 10 victory points, but points are earned by a combination of building settlements and cities, having the longest road or the largest army, or drawing cards. A Settlers win doubles as a lesson in a world where resources are finite and unevenly distributed. It’s a game for a moment when no one – even Americans, happily playing board games – should expect a perpetual monopoly on power.