Under the Radar – Catan (Nintendo Switch)

Stand aside, tabletops. The Nintendo Switch is coming for you!

Tabletop fans rejoice! CATAN released on the Nintendo Switch this week, featuring the full main game and the Seafarer Expansion. Launching at the discount price of $19.99 (less than half of the physical board game RRP), right now is the perfect time to jump into this tabletop classic.

Hardcore CATAN fans who are familiar with CATAN Universe will be pleased to know that the Nintendo Switch version of the game is made by the same developer, Exozet. The two games share a lot of similar assets, though there has been no confirmation thus far to say CATAN is a port of CATAN Universe. If you’ve never heard of CATAN before, the board game (and digital version) is set on an uninhabited island, brimming with natural resources. Multiple settlers must compete to control the land, building settlements and roads while trading resources with others.

Sadly, this version of CATAN does not feature local play, so if you’re hoping to play this with a bunch of friends or family members, you may want to hold off on purchasing this one. To be fair, it would be quite difficult to facilitate this kind of game on the Nintendo Switch as each person has their own cards, which should be kept hidden from other players. That said, you do have the opportunity to play with others who also own a Switch (and the game) in the online multiplayer mode.

If you plan to play on your own, CATAN offers a campaign mode, featuring a variety of scenarios. There are also three levels of difficulty to challenge yourself. Players can also choose from a selection of board pieces, profiles and table designs to suit their taste. Competitive individuals can participate in an online mode that displays world leaderboards, so if you reckon you’re the best CATAN player there ever was, now’s your chance to officially claim that title! Remember that you’ll need to have purchased a Nintendo Switch Online membership beforehand in order to access these online features though.

As we mentioned earlier, the Seafarer Expansion is included with the base game, all bundled together at $19.99. The Cities & Knights Expansion, which is aimed at advanced players, is also now available for purchase separately for $5.99. In this expansion, “the wealth of the region has attracted barbarians, and the knights of CATAN will be needed to repel the invaders. Players must unite and defend the island of CATAN against a common enemy, while simultaneously competing for the control of cities and metropolises..”

For those who enjoy the tabletop board game and other digital versions of CATAN, being able to play this title on the go in handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch, or in docked mode on the sofa is a welcome addition. Reviews should begin appearing within the next few days, but this looks pretty promising so far.

Written for the June 17th issue of DailyBits.