We love to see when game developers continuously update and improve their applications. A good case in point would be our pals over at USM—Catan has been updated multiple times, but the question remains: can we really benefit from any of these changes?
Find out in our review below.
Features & Use
You may have read Yan’s review of the game which we published a year and a half ago. He was fairly gaga over this game, praising it for its excellent adaption for Android. 18 months later, the developers have updated the game a few times and we felt it was time to revisit it to see what was new.
To quote Yan’s conclusion:
Catan definitely deserves a four star rating when considering both the pros and cons of the game.
For those of you that play Catan exclusively in multiplayer among your friends, the game is a total blast without any downsides.
Upon first installing Catan you will be asked to install the additional 20 MB file. I don’t quite get why these 20 MB weren’t integrated into the original APK, but oh well.
To get back to what I was wondering about in the introduction: how has Catan been improved?
My first impression: there’s much more content. Along with the Seafarers expansion there is now also the Cities and Knights expansion to try out; this new adition is also only available via in-app purchase (see details in the Price/Performance category). It’s up to every player to decide whether they want to spend the money to play the new expansion—I decided to go for it and can honestly say that I don’t regret my decision. The new expansion guarantees several hours of fun. I conquer with the developers when they claim that Catan 3.0: “Cities and Knights” expansion (IAP) now available, numerous optimizations to base game!“
Catan feels more tailored and complete than the previous version of the game. You can pick which opponents you wish to step up against or else make a random decision. I also noticed that the opponents are much fairer – and don’t form alliances amongst each other – in this new version. If you’ve read Yan’s review you’ll know that this was something he really stressed as his main critique of the game.
Lite versions of the expansion are also available, though these are more overviews of the games than actual playable expansion.
If we felt like nit picking we might comment on the fact that there’s no multiplayer mode, but I’m not even sure a multiplayer mode would make sense for this type of game.
Therefore, the only real critiques would be that there’s still no tablet-optimised version of the game, and that it isn’t possible to export saved scores.
Catan is a well-made game overall, and the type of game that personally will revisit over and over again.
The only real strikes against this top-notch game are the high in-app purchase options.
That said, if you are anything like me and were a big Catan fan as a kid this app is a clear must-have.
Screen & Controls
The Catan controls are much smoother—though to be fair I should point out that this inherent smoothness may also boil down to the actual devices I’ve tested this game on (after all, smartphone technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past year and a half).
I tested the new version on the Nexus 4 and it was easier to navigate and felt smoother overall than the previously tested version on th HTC One X.
The only thing that’s missing is a tablet version of the game. Controls are not as good when playing on a tablet, and the same thing goes fort he otherwise excellent graphics: below par on the tablet. If this weren’t the case we would be awarding the app a full five stars in this category.
Speed & Stability
I tested the latest version of Catan over a period of several days. The app crashed once but aside from that it fared rather well.
Catan is available for €2.99 from the AndroidPIT App Center, and the in-app purchases for additional campaigns also cost €2.99 each.
STOP PRESS: Catan is our app of the week and is available for only €1.49 for one whole week.