Home Rec World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
If you like board games, then one of the best ones out there hands down is Settlers of Catan. This is a game that involves building settlements and cities, creating roads, having large armies, and more. In essence, it’s all about building the biggest and best civilizations, with the winner being the player who accumulates the most so-called victory points at the end of the game.
With that being said, if you have had your fair share of Catan, and would like to try something new, then there are plenty of alternatives out there. Let’s talk about some of the best games out there to play, ones that are similar to Settlers of Catan, yet also bring something new and exciting to the table.
One great alternative to Catan is Mysterium. Now, this game is similar to Catan in the sense that there is a bit of building involved. You must build and then navigate your way through a haunted mansion, and the more of a skilled builder you are, the easier the mansion will be to navigate.
However, there is a bit more to it than that, because players also take on the role of ghosts, psychics, and investigators too. It’s all about solving a spooky and horror-filled mystery.
The main point here is for the psychic to solve the murders of the ghosts that haunt the mansion. It’s a great supernatural-themed game that is ideal for people ages ten and up. It also doesn’t take too long, as your average game usually takes around 45 minutes to complete.
Another great alternative to Settlers of Catan is Carcassonne, a game that is set in the medieval French countryside. Carcassonne is very similar to Catan in the sense that it all revolves around building up cities, complete with various types of buildings, and ensuring that all of your roads and areas are connected, while also trying to stop your opponents from doing the same.
This is a very popular game in Europe but is quickly taking hold in North America as well. This game does not have any cards or dice, just the tiles that you lay down one by one to create your settlements (and little players known as peeps, that you then put on your settlements).
The player with the most built-up settlements and followers or peeps, is the winner of the game. It’s a really good strategy game that is ideal for people ages six and up, and is best played by two to five players.
For a detailed comparison of these two games, check this article.
3. Betrayal at the House on the Hill
If you like tile-laying games that have you building up a certain area, but you would rather focus on something other than creating cities and managing resources, then Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a great alternative to consider. Now, this game does involve using various tiles to build a horror mansion as you work your way through, but rather than focusing on building a settlement or managing resources, the main point is actually to solve a murder mystery.
What’s cool about this game is that the tiles can be laid down in many ways, and this changes the paths that players take through the game, thus bringing something new to the table with each game. Players are either heroes or a traitor, and the objective is to complete all of your objectives as a hero, and if your heroes all die, you lose. As a traitor, the aim is to complete your objectives or to automatically win the game when all of the heroes die.
Keep in mind that this game is designed for at least three players, can be played by as many as six people, and is ideal for players ages 12 and up. It is actually a fairly difficult game, so it’s not really ideal for children.
4. Sorcerer City
If you like Catan for its building, and you also like role-playing with a twist, then Sorcerer City is a great game to check out. Here, players each take two-minute turns to build their magical city in a tile-by-tile manner. The point is to build the city in an optimal way which will then provide players with a variety of rewards, resources, and victory points.
At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points is declared the winner. It is also a cool game to play because there is always something different going on, as Sorcerer City is full of cool magical monsters, a variety of adventures, and many different scenarios too.
Keep in mind that each player only gets five of those two-minute turns, so it’s actually a pretty fast-moving game that should not take too long to complete. What’s really cool as well is that this game can be played by anywhere from one to six players, and is rated ages 14 and up.
As you can tell by the age rating, this is a fairly difficult game that requires a good deal of strategic thinking and a solid logical thought process. It’s not a child-friendly game but does make for a good choice for a challenging board game night with friends and family.
5. Ticket to Ride
Yet another great alternative to Settlers of Catan is Ticket to Ride. Now, this is a much easier game than many of the others we have covered so far, as it is rated for ages eight and up. This game is designed for between two and five players and usually takes about 45 minutes to finish a single game.
Ticket to Ride is a simple game, but also very fun, as it is all about building the best possible train routes across North America. Players are assigned special destination cities that they must connect via train tracks.
All you have to do is to collect cards, build your train routes, and connect cities on the map. Players are awarded points for connecting their destination cities, having the single longest unbroken train route, and more. What becomes tricky is making sure that you can build your tracks while also preventing the others players from doing so, as you can even steal trains from your opponents.
Before buying this game make sure to also read my detailed comparison of Catan and Ticket to Ride.
6. Shadows Over Camelot
If you like Settlers of Catan for the city planning and building element of it, but would rather play something set in medieval times, then Shadows Over Camelot is a great choice to keep in mind.
Sure, this game involves a good deal of building, but there are also some role-playing elements as well, with players taking on specific roles of various medieval knights and each of them having a series of quests that they have to complete. What’s cool here is that this game can go in many different directions depending on how those quests go.
If you like games that involve building, role-playing, strategy, and social deduction, then Shadows Over Camelot definitely makes for a good game. What’s also neat is that there is a certain amount of cooperation required between players, but you must also be able to bluff and lie your way to victory. This game is rated for ages ten and up, and generally takes between 60 and 90 minutes to play.
7. Small World
Small World is a game that is all about controlling the various territories on the board. In the grand scheme of things, while this game is somewhat similar to Settler of Catan because you have to build up armies, it is also a lot like the game of Risk, as controlling territory is the name of the game.
Here, you can choose from a variety of unique races, each with its own special abilities. You have to use these special abilities in strategic ways to gain and maintain control of territory. The winner of the game is the last person standing, the person to control all territory.
As the name of the game implies, the world is too small for everyone, just large enough for one. Small World is designed for between two and five players or up to six players with an expansion. It is rated ages eight and up, and takes anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes to complete a single game.
8. 7 Wonders
If you like cooperative games that involve a lot of building elements, then 7 Wonders is definitely a good one to consider. This game sees each player receive seven cards at the beginning of the game. You must choose one card and then pass the rest on to your neighbors.
This game is about building a city, but more than that, it’s about managing to complete the construction of one of the seven wonders, such as the great pyramids for example. It’s a good strategy game because not only do you have to focus on completing your own wonder, but you also have to pay attention to what the other players are doing.
You also need to make sure that you don’t end up passing cards to your opponents that will help them win. This game sees players getting 18 turns to complete all stages of their wonders, and generally takes about 30 minutes to play. 7 Wonders is designed for anywhere from two to seven players and is rated for ages ten and up.
If you like Settlers of Catan for the city building element of it, then Suburbia is another fantastic game to consider. Suburbia is all about building the biggest and best city that attracts the highest number of people. The aim of the game is to be the player that has the highest city population at the end of it all.
It all starts with building a small and self-sufficient village and then growing your economy by attracting more people. The more people you attract, the more money you can make, and the more you can build. You can build things like high-rise apartments, airports, and much more, all things that make your city a desirable place to live.
Your city is based on the cards that you draw, so there is always something new, as exactly how your city looks and how it develops depends on the cards you get. As such, this game does also have a certain element of luck involved. The game of Suburbia should take around 90 minutes to play, so it’s not a short game by any means, and it is rated for ages eight and up, for up to four players.
If you are looking for a very strategy-heavy game that involves a whole lot of negotiating and backstabbing with the other players, then Archipelago is a great game to consider. Archipelago is all about the European powers controlling the board.
In other words, each player takes on the role of a major European power, and the aim of the game is to establish territory, as well as to establish both domestic and overseas markets for trade. There is more to it than that because each player is also provided with a secret objective at the beginning of the game. One of the main features of this game is that it is super interactive between the players.
This game is about building, creating an economy, working with your opponents, and ultimately betraying them. This is a rather difficult game that is rated ages 14 and up, so it’s not ideal for kids at all, and moreover, it can take up to 240 minutes to complete a single game.
As you can see, there are of course many awesome board games that are similar to Catan.
Whether you want something that is super similar or a bit newer and more exciting, there are plenty of options to choose from. Between the board games we covered here, and so many more, you should be easily able to find something suitable for you, your friends, and the whole family too.