12 Board Games Similar To Catan

Settlers of Catan, or simply Catan, has become synonymous with modern board gaming. Its blend of strategy, resource management, and the ever-crucial negotiations has enthralled players since its release.

But once you’ve explored its hexagonal landscapes, bartered countless sheep, and built roads to every corner, you might find yourself yearning for new worlds to conquer.

For those of you looking to branch out but cherish the core essence of Catan, we’ve handpicked 12 board games similar to Catan for you to try on your next games night.

#1. 7 Wonders

7 Wonders Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-7 (best with 4-7)
  • Typical Game Duration: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Imagine leading one of the seven great cities of the Ancient World, constructing architectural marvels, and harnessing resources to leave an indelible mark in history.

7 Wonders utilises a card-drafting mechanism where players collect resources, construct commercial routes, and build military might. With simultaneous play, everyone is always engaged.

Whilst its resource management evokes memories of Catan, 7 Wonders offers a distinctive journey through the annals of ancient civilizations.

#2. Brass: Birmingham

Brass Birmingham Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-4 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 60-120 minutes
  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Set during the British Industrial Revolution, Brass: Birmingham has players assume the roles of entrepreneurs aiming to establish their industrial might.

The game emphasizes not just on resource management but also on the nuances of supply chain, network building, and market demands.

Players forge intricate networks of canals and railways, produce goods, and manoeuvre to ship them to the right markets. Like Catan, strategic planning and judicious trading are crucial, but Brass: Birmingham adds layers of depth with its multifaceted economic mechanics.

#3. Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars Board Game
  • Number of Players: 1-5 (best with 3-4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 120-180 minutes
  • Difficulty: 3.5 out of 5

Journey to the Red Planet with Terraforming Mars, where players take on the roles of competing corporations aiming to make Mars hospitable for human life.

Every decision you make, from building giant infrastructures to introducing life forms, affects the terraforming process and the game’s outcome.

Players manage their resources, which are crucial for executing projects that can increase their production, help in terraforming, or achieve other strategic goals.

While it expands beyond Catan’s boundaries into futuristic science and strategy, at its heart, it retains that familiar focus on resource acquisition and management.

#4. Imperial Steam

Imperial Steam Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-4 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 90-150 minutes
  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Step into the vibrant era of the Industrial Revolution with Imperial Steam.

Players find themselves engrossed in the complexities of building and optimizing their logistics networks of trains and factories.

Beyond mere resource management, the game delves deep into logistical challenges, requiring strategic planning to ensure efficient production and delivery of goods to cities.

Like the settlements and roads of Catan, here, railways and factories are essential for success. However, it’s the intricate economic strategies and the need for forward-thinking that sets Imperial Steam apart, offering a fulfilling experience to seasoned strategists.

#5. Bohnanza

Bohnanza Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-7 (best with 4-5)
  • Typical Game Duration: 45-60 minutes
  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Trade and negotiation are at the heart of Bohnanza, a game all about planting, harvesting, and most importantly, trading beans. While the theme might sound light-hearted, the strategic depth it offers is significant.

Players must negotiate and trade with one another to collect sets of beans they can plant in their fields.

Much like Catan’s trading mechanic, where players often barter for the resources they need, Bohnanza elevates trading to the central gameplay element. Every trade, every negotiation can pave the path to victory, making it a game where your persuasion skills are just as vital as your strategic planning.

#6. Irish Gauge

Irish Gauge Board Game
  • Number of Players: 3-5 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: 2.5 out of 5

Dive into the world of railways in Ireland with Irish Gauge.

As an investor, your objective is to build the most lucrative train routes across the Emerald Isle. The game is a blend of route building, auction mechanics, and shareholding strategy.

While it lacks the direct resource management of Catan, it offers a unique perspective on investment and growth. Deciding when to auction off a share, when to expand, and when to call for dividends makes for an engaging experience, drawing parallels to Catan’s strategic decisions on when and where to build.

#7. Machi Koro

Machi Koro Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-4 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: 1.5 out of 5

Welcome to the vibrant city of Machi Koro, where players compete to construct the most impressive city by collecting and spending coins.

At its core, it’s a dice-rolling, city-building game, where every roll activates specific buildings in a player’s city or in the entire game, leading to resource (coin) generation.

The resemblance to Catan comes from the dice-driven resource acquisition, but with a more streamlined and faster-paced gameplay.

Machi Koro is an accessible game for newcomers, yet offers enough strategic depth to keep veterans engaged, especially as they weigh each decision to diversify their city’s assets or hone in on specific strategies.

#8. Terra Mystica

Terra Mystica Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-5 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 60-150 minutes
  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Terra Mystica invites players into a world of magic, where 14 different factions vie for dominance on a shared game board.

The game revolves around terraforming the landscape to suit your faction’s habitat, building structures, and enhancing your magical abilities. Resource management is pivotal, with players needing to judiciously use their workers, money, and magic power.

The depth and diversity of strategies, along with variable player powers, set Terra Mystica apart. While it’s more complex than Catan, the essence of territorial control, resource management, and strategic expansion is undeniably present, making it a delightful challenge for avid board gamers.

#9. Stone Age

Stone Age Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-4 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 60-90 minutes
  • Difficulty: 2.5 out of 5

Step back in time to the dawn of civilization with Stone Age.

Players take on the roles of tribe leaders, guiding their people through the challenges and opportunities of prehistoric life.

Utilizing a worker-placement mechanic, players assign their tribe members to various tasks: gathering resources, constructing buildings, or perhaps even expanding their tribe.

Resource management is pivotal as players balance the need for food, tools, and development. The drive to gather wood, stone, brick, and gold can draw memories of Catan’s pursuit of resources. Yet, the unique touch of historic progression and worker placement dynamics offers a fresh and engaging experience.

#10. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-5 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 90-150 minutes
  • Difficulty: 3.5 out of 5

Step into the golden age of the Caribbean with Puerto Rico.

Players are colonial governors on the island of Puerto Rico, aiming to accumulate victory points by shipping goods and constructing buildings.

The game’s role-selection mechanic means that players choose roles (like trader, builder, or settler) which determine the available actions for everyone that round.

Each choice has ripple effects, requiring players to strategize based on their own goals and their opponents’ actions.

Resource management, combined with the intricate role-selection process, offers an experience akin to Catan’s dynamic trade and build strategy, but with an added layer of depth and complexity.

#11. Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium Board Game
  • Number of Players: 3-6 (best with 6)
  • Typical Game Duration: 240-480 minutes (4-8 hours)
  • Difficulty: 5 out of 5

Enter the vastness of the galaxy with Twilight Imperium, an epic game of interstellar conquest, politics, and trade.

In this sprawling game, players lead unique civilizations, each with its own strengths, seeking galactic dominance.

With a mix of diplomacy, warfare, trade, and strategic planning, it’s a test of one’s ability to juggle multiple facets of empire management.

Although Twilight Imperium is much grander in scope and complexity than Catan, at its heart lies the same essence of negotiation and territory control, magnified tenfold amidst the backdrop of space politics and large-scale battles.

#12. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride Board Game
  • Number of Players: 2-5 (best with 4)
  • Typical Game Duration: 60-90 minutes
  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5

All aboard for a journey across continents with Ticket to Ride!

In this game, players collect cards of various train cars and use them to claim railway routes on a map. Each route scores points, with longer routes earning more. The objective is to complete destination tickets that connect distant cities, all while trying to build the longest continuous route.

Its easy-to-understand mechanics combined with strategic depth make it a favourite for both newcomers and seasoned gamers.

While Catan focuses on settlements and resource management, Ticket to Ride’s emphasis on route building and planning offers a different, yet equally engrossing, board game experience.

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