July 26, 2010

Catan Histories: Settlers of America

Ah finally. The next game installment of the Catan Histories line of games is shipping from stores right now. Catan Histories: Settlers of America [Amazon, Funagain] has been dubbed the Catan Train Game, a mocking and dismissive moniker at first glance but damn enticing one once the idea stinks in fully.

We've liked the previous Catan Histories games, particularly Struggle for Rome. They tend to keep the resource gathering and building mechanics that make The Settlers of Catan so fun an approachable, and add just enough oomph of extra sophistication to make the game really, truly shine.

So now Catan is heading across the Atlantic, with the themed now centered around the delivery of goods from the coast of North America into the budding towns deeper inland. Of course, its up to the players to settle these budding towns. I mean, what would a Catan game be without constructing your own towns and cities.

At first you can push goods west over muddy roads with simple settlers. As play progresses, and players gather resources from their settlements, they will be able to upgrade and link towns with rail systems. These, of course, make the delivery of goods faster and more efficient. The winner is the player who delivers all of his / her resources to settlements out west, be them to their own cities or to their opponents settlements.

The rules of the game (which can be downloaded from the game's official website) also comes with historical details of all of the game's various components and action cards. This makes Catan Histories: Settlers of America Trails to Rais not only a fun, interesting game, but also an educational tool perfect for classrooms, too. Score!

Here are the title's official details.

The 19th Century has arrived and America is heading west. Wagon trains form on the frontier. Settlers seeking fresh lives and opportunities strike out to tame wild lands and build new cities. These new cities rely on young railroads for vital goods. Trails become rails and create great wealth.

While the crowded East still offers options, its resources dwindle. Look west to make your fortune. Smart money seeks rich, unclaimed land and hungry new markets. Finance your settlers as they head west to build capitals of tomorrow. Link these cities with rails of steel. Operate your railroad to supply the townsfolk with goods. Go west. Settle the wide, open land. Claim your destiny!

Settlers of America, Trails to Rails™ utilizes the simple, fun Catan hex-tile grid to map the young United States. Collect and trade resources in order to purchase and move settlers, build cities, lay rails and acquire and move trains. Create rail links to acquire gold, which lets you buy resources and use opponents' rails. Use trains to distribute goods to rival cities. But, as your settlers populate the West, they deplete the resources of the East. Still, your options always abound.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at July 26, 2010 3:15 PM

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