Catan is out now on the Nintendo Switch, but it’s missing the best part of the board game


Settle yourself

A digital Catan app has arrived on the Nintendo Switch, but a key part of the classic board game is missing – the ability to play together with friends in the same room.

The Switch version of Catan is a relatively faithful port of Klaus Teuber’s Spiel des Jahres-winning game of trading and expansion. Players roll dice to collect wood, sheep, bricks and stone before spending their goods to build settlements, roads and cities across the island.

The digital app includes a single-player campaign new to the game, which challenges players with a variety of different starting scenarios across three ramping difficulty levels. You can also customise the look of the game’s board and the virtual table it sits on.

Catan on Switch also comes with the Seafarers expansion included, letting players construct ships and deal with pirates. The advanced Cities and Knights expansion is in the game, but must be purchased separately as DLC.

Sounds pretty great, right? Except that the Switch version of Catan is missing local multiplayer, meaning that you shouldn’t chuck out your box of cardboard just yet. Online four-player multiplayer with leaderboards is included, but you’ll need to sign up to Nintendo’s paid membership service to access it. 

That’s right – you can’t play Catan on Switch with people in the same room, unless they’ve all brought along their own console with the game installed and signed up to play online.

Catan on Switch costs £18 including the Seafarers expansion, and is out now.