If you love Catan as much as we do you might be wondering when you can introduce your kids to the wonderful world of Catan, or trying to decide about Catan for kids?
The base game of Catan is for three to four players and takes around 60-90 minutes to play (just like Monopoly), time varies depending on the number of players and experience levels
Because of the length of time it takes and the different strategies involved, Catan itself is really only suitable for kids age 10 and above (or really bright younger kids who have the patience to sit and concentrate for over an hour and not cry when you win and won’t trade with them!).
For the above reason, the makers of Catan have created Catan Junior so Catan can be Catan for Kids.
What is Catan Junior?
CATAN®: Junior™ lets younger players experience the world of CATAN® by
introducing a simpler playing style. Designed for 2-4 players as young as 5, it is a
perfect introduction to the CATAN® series of games for kids and families.
CATAN Junior takes families with children ages 6 and up to a place quite different from Catan as we know it. There are no “settlers” around here. Instead, the players slip into the role of pirates who build their hideouts – called pirates’ lairs – all over the islands and set sail to find new places and build more pirates’ lairs there.
CATAN experts will easily recognize that many essential elements of the CATAN base game are included in CATAN Junior, although – in accordance with the theme – they received different names: pirates’ lairs are built adjacent to islands, and if the islands’ numbers are rolled, the players receive resource tiles. The resource tiles depict gold, goats, wood, molasses, and cutlasses.
These tiles are used to build ships and more pirates’ lairs or to buy development cards (here called “Coco tiles”), which are played immediately after their purchase.
To launch a new ship, you need wood and wool from goats. And if you want to build a pirates’ lair, besides wood and wool you also need a cutlass and molasses.
The robber – well-known from the CATAN base game – also exists in CATAN Junior, but here he is a spooky fellow named “Ghost Captain.” The Ghost Captain isn’t as bad a guy as the robber in the CATAN base game. He blocks the resource production of the islands he is placed on, but that’s all – nothing is being stolen.
The die-cut resource tiles included in CATAN Junior are very convenient for children because unlike in the CATAN game for adults, the players don’t have to hold cards in their hands but can place the resource tiles in front of them. CATAN Junior can also be played as a 2-player game.
Although CATAN Junior contains some simplified rules so that 6-year-olds can participate without any difficulty, it is still unmistakably a CATAN game. CATAN Junior is not just a game for kids but a genuine family game, to be enjoyed by adults and young children alike.
Can a 4 year old play Catan Junior?
Catan Junior is designed for players as young as 5 and it is a perfect introduction to the Catan series of games for kids and families. If your children can follow instructions though and are happy to play a game for 30 minutes then I’d definitely try them with Catan Junior at 4.
The die-cut resource tiles included in CATAN Junior are very convenient for children
because unlike in the CATAN game for adults, the players don’t have to hold
cards in their hands but can place the resource tiles in front of them. CATAN
Junior can also be played as a 2-player game, allowing kids to play Catan on their own or with just one parent.
What attention span do kids need for Catan Junior?
Kids need an attention span of at least 30 minutes to play Catan for Kids. The adventure includes Coco the parrot circling above your ships around the islands of Catan. The islands produce resources that make an ideal home for pirates.
Can kids play Catan Junior on their own?
Kids are unlikely to be able to play Catan Junior on their own the first time they play as a parent will probably need to read the rules and explain the game to get started. The rule book is nicely illustrated though and 6 pages long, so the amount of time you will need to begin playing is around 15 minutes.
After the initial play the kids should be able to play Catan for Kids on their own.
Is Catan Junior a good game?
Catan Junior is a great game for kids and their families that takes the core mechanics of The Settlers of Catan — such as resource management and trading — and simplifies them such that youngsters will have an easy time playing it.
How many pieces are in Catan Junior?
Junior Catan contains 106 die cut markers representing resources and specials, 4 player cost boards, 1 two sided game board, 28 Pirate hideouts (7 each of 4 colors), 32 Ships (8 each of 4 colors), 1 pirate ghost, 1 die, 1 tray, 1 box, 1 rule book.
What resources do you start with in Catan Junior?
Catan Junior or Catan for Kids takes place on a ring of islands where 2 to 4 players build hideouts and encounter the mysterious Spooky Island, where the Ghost Captain lives. Each island generates a specific resource: wood, goats, molasses or swords, and players can acquire gold.
Catan Junior Rules
Where can you buy Catan Junior?
You can buy Catan Junior in so many different places, in the UK and the US we have different posts to help you decide.
Where to Buy Catan in the UK
Summary of Catan Junior or Catan for Kids
- No need to be able to read to play Catan for Kids
- Not a lot of waiting in-between turns
- Only 5 resources and 3 sets to collect
- Multiple paths to winning the game
- Great interaction / sharing through trading
- Introduces strategy to kids
- Minimum conflict (unlike Catan itself)– only the Ghost Captain