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09-29-2010, 02:13 PM

Man, I have to say I am really disappointed with the USM team. Catan is really THE gateway board game for a lot of folks and has pulled a lot of people into the hobby. It really deserves a better implementation.

I own the iPhone game and have been patiently waiting for the iPad version - hoping for some enhancements like online multiplayer. Sadly... after such a long wait this version is just a larger version of the iPhone version.

While I thought Catan for iPhone was "OK" on release many other boardgames have come since and blown USM's implementation out of the water. Games like Small World, Carcassonne and Kingsburg look and feel so much better (and deserve our dollars more than this abomination).

Catan looks like it was designed in 1995 with the jerky animations and bitmap graphics. I love retro bit-art but this games art just comes off as dated and a bit lazy. I even spoke with someone via PM about how distracting the animations of the water can be while playing. To me, at times, it feels like I am playing a game of Catan surrounded by a Moire pattern. The dev responded that "no one had ever complained about them". So… maybe it is just me.

In my opinion, USM needs to go back to the drawing board and redesign the entire she-bang. They are so slow at updating the existing title that I would suggest a Universal binary simply on the fact that if they have two code bases we may never see multi-player, or bug fixes, or the expansions.

Catan needs:

1) Multiplayer
2) Modern Graphics (See the XBLA version)
3) Game Center Support
4) Expansions as IAP.

Board games have become a big deal for casual iOS users, primarily thanks to the iPad, but if Catan wants to be represented and have a chance of raking in the cash they need to try harder. Playing off of the Catan name will only take them so far when people see how bad this game is implemented.

Sorry for the rant
09-29-2010, 04:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: United States of America
Posts: 2,210
I gave it 3 stars in appstore. If your on the fence I suggest wait and just hope for game center implementation. And then if that fails to ever materialize then just go get the real game and play it with your homies.

09-29-2010, 04:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Nightside
Posts: 136
A separate app instead of making the original universal? Bad form indeed...
09-29-2010, 08:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 586
Just to play Devil's advocate for a sec....

I know we're all disappointed that it's "just a port of the iPhone version" with HD graphics, but the iPhone version has over 3,000 reviews in the App Store with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Is this one really that bad?

If someone has neither version, is this still a bad pick-up?

I'm asking as a proud BoardGameGeek member of many years who has never played any version of Catan.

Thanks for any opinions!

XBox Gamertag, GC, OpenFeint, Plus+: tecwrtr
Senior Technical Writer - always happy to write reviews!
09-29-2010, 10:43 PM
i dont give a shit unless there is online play.
10-03-2010, 05:34 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10
In addition to the limited multiplayer, unimproved interface and bad graphics and animations, what is very disappointing is the lack of additional game modes. Catan the Seafarers with the seafarer expansion and some game scenarios was released a long time ago on DS and over a month ago on mobile devices. That the Ipad version doesn't at least include this is an insult. This game was announced a long time ago and I would have expected them to augment and polish it a lot more than they have.
10-06-2010, 05:47 AM
Hi folks,

Just wanted to let you all know that we read all your feedback about Catan HD and Catan for iPhone. The first expansion "The Seafarers" featuring several challenging new scenarios will be out soon and there are more updates planned for the near future. Please stay tuned.

Best regards
10-09-2010, 09:36 PM
awesome. i hope there is online play. surely you understand online play is a must in today's gaming world.
10-09-2010, 09:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,750
Originally Posted by ratsinheat View Post
awesome. i hope there is online play. surely you understand online play is a must in today's gaming world.
I beg to differ. For a large segment of the gaming population online play is a complete non-issue. Some people love it, other's (like me) couldn't care less.

Of the top ten games for the iPhone right now, only one offers online multiplayer.

Of the top ten games for the iPad right now, only one offers a limited form of online multiplayer.

Online multiplayer is most certainly not a "must" in today's gaming world on the iDevices.
10-10-2010, 08:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 26
Considering board games are by definition multiplayer only, as well as the well-documented shortcomings of the AI in Catan, that's a pretty obtuse objection.