I'm going to be sad when this is no longer a sign of dorkery

It's been almost two decades since it was first released. So why is Settlers of Catan suddenly becoming so popular? (Thanks, Carrie D.!)


  1. So why is Settlers of Catan suddenly becoming so popular?
    I wonder the same thing about iPads, maybe the two are related?

    In the case of Catan the “mainstream” is always a decade or two behind what’s really interesting or cool. Sadly a lot of the niche boardgame crowd has moved on to other things. (Maybe better, who knows)

    Next up: Carcassone hits the mainstream.

    1. In this case they might well be — I don’t have an iPad, but I do have an iPhone, and the Settlers app certainly rekindled my interest in the game after ten years of not playing the physical version. And who knows, maybe Carcassone will *also* become mainstream — there’s an iPhone/iPad version of that too. And Reiner Knizia’s Samurai as well.

  2. Why is it becoming popular? It’s because all the players will inevitably have wood for sheep.

  3. because it’s on sale at Target?
    or maybe Catan has been popular for 20 years but now someone gave a writer at the Atlantic a copy for Christmas?

    1. I saw some guys buying a copy at Target a few days ago (along with Risk and something that looked like a trivia game), so maybe.

  4. I am assuming the obvious “Because it’s awesome,” is the wrong answer otherwise you wouldn’t be asking this question.

    Monty Python is endlessly rediscovered and no one questions it. They just think to themselves “Well, yeah! That’s what I’d do if I had never laughed so hard before, too.”

    1. Dude, you’re one road away from a brick harbor. Besides, can’t you tell In Blue is gunning for my longest road card? Stop giving him brick!

  5. Ahhhh the official site says the app will be ready for Android in June, I can’t freaking wait.

  6. It’s been very popular for awhile, I thought. It is the one game I have been meaning to play for years and just never coughed up the money and nail down some friends to play with.

    1. Oh I love Cattlers of Satan.

      That sounds like the title of a movie starring Rod Rustler and Hugh Mungous.

  7. Ah Settlers of Catan. The gateway drug to the substantially more than a $1000 worth of Euro games (and not-so-Euro games) residing on a very full shelf in my living room.

    *shakes fist* Why must you be so expensive, little wooden pieces?!

  8. Hey, the Atlantic isn’t the only media venue just climbing about the Catan train. Remember Mark Frauenfelder declaring back in March that Settlers was “the only other board game I can stand”?

    So, Is Mark aware yet that there’s a whole world of great German or German-style boardgames out there, or is he still stuck on Carcassonne and Catan as being the only ones he can stand?

  9. Because things don’t suddenly suck just because they age? It fascinates me why people assume new = good and old = bad, when there are endless examples of exactly the opposite.

  10. It’s also because the Baby Boomers’ kids are now out of college and getting married and are starting to cocoon and bring home new/cool family entertainment that their Boomer parents hadn’t heard of before but now are getting into.

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