25 October 2016
Redesigned version of iconic game features laser-cut components and rule changes
It might seem impossible to improve on a classic, but this redesigned version of Catan created by Amy Wang and Fuzzy Wobble might come as close as you can.
Deep Space Settlers doesn’t attempt to simply recreate the resource-collecting title – it transplants the traditional island-based environment to a sci-fi setting, complete with deep space exploration and towering cities of glass created from laser-cut acrylic.
Based on Sea Farers Catan, Deep Space Settlers features reimagined pieces, including smaller hexagonal tiles, hemisphere number tokens, glass blocks for longest road and biggest army, and an imposing robber which entirely covers the selected tile. In addition, city pieces slot into existing settlement bases – rather than needing to be replaced – giving the impression of actually building up your locations. The cards have been printed with textured gloss ink on matte paper, making for a seriously impressive and stylish look.
What is interesting is that the conventional resources – sheep, wood, ore, wheat and brick – remain, although prefaced with the necessary modifier ‘Space’. According to the designers, this was to stop players needing to re-learn the resources.
Beyond looks, some rules have also been tweaked. The team decided to drop the 2 and 12 numbers, with the dice result extremes now offering a wild card choice of resource. Also gone are perimeter roads, resulting in a “more intense” battle for transportation dominance. The pirate from Sea Farers has been removed, and players can actually remove the robber by sacrificing their whole hand of resource cards (four minimum). Plus, the ability to trade and build between turns has been outlawed entirely for all group sizes.
Obviously, being a proof of concept, Deep Space Settlers isn’t available to buy – but we’d certainly be interested in such a smart twist and revamp of the beloved game.