Settlers of Catan (GAME), PC Download. Oberon Media, 2005. $29.99.
Description: This is an online four player game and you need a code to purchase it. Based on the award-winning, super popular Settlers of Catan board game developed by Klaus Teuber, the board version won the Spiel des Jahres, the most coveted game prize in the world. The online video game version allows for multiple players. Game play involves settling an island and spending resources to build up a civilization. The game involves trading for resources that players need in order to build. The goal is to do the most building and developing. In the game, each player has his or her own screen on which players can see recent actions. The “board” is created by hexagonal tiles revealing the terrain of the area in question. The areas determine which resource can be used.
Critical Evaluation: This is a wonderful game that requires strategizing, social interaction, and a bit of luck. The visuals of the PC game are bright and bold and they will catch the eyes of teens looking for saturated colors. The layout of the game is complex and they’ve managed to create a video game with all of the complexity but with a clean, streamlined design. This game is complex enough already; the last thing players need is to have to figure out a complex interface. This would be a wonderful game for a school or library. It requires a great deal of thought but it is also incredibly fun and engagaing.
Reader’s Annotation: You are settling an uninhabited island – can you manage your resources so that you can create more and more settlements?
Author bio: Oberon Media was founded in 2003 and they specialize in social, multi-platform games. The headquarters for the company is in New York.
Klaus Teuber is a respected designer of complex video games. He is the son of a dentist, majored in chemistry, lives in Germany, and he’s won the Spiel des Jahres several times for his complex and engaging game designs.
Genre: Video Game.
Curriculum Ties: History
Booktalking Ideas: Focus on the trading and that it is a strategy game.
Talk about the fact that you are building an island.
Reading Level/Interest Age: 10 and up
Challenge Issues: N/A
Why Included: This is the video game version of one the most intellectually challenging and fun games around. It was recommended by the School Library Journal.