This is the Catan vs Monopoly game comparison showdown. There really is no comparison. It is like comparing a good board game and a rock. Catan is about have countless decision options and making the right investment choices with those options. Monopoly is about racing to get a grouping on the game board as possible so you can suck the other players dry of money before they do the same. We hope to put these two up against one another and see what we see. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about the games then check out our Catan vs Monopoly notes and final verdict.
ABOUT THE GAMES
About Settlers of Catan (1995): You need to grow your empire. Each game is completely different because all the resource tiles and numbers on them are changed and randomized each game. These control everything. You need to build settlements and cities to gain resources that are going to let you build even more and ultimately lead to victory points for the win. Every turn starts with the roll of two dice and that number corresponds to one of five resource types on the board. If you have a presence on that tile (or tiles) you get that resource.
About Monopoly (1933): You are a landowner attempting to buy and then develop your land. Being represented by one of the iconic tokens, you roll two dice and move that many spaces forward around the board. Along the way you spend money to pick up property. If you are able to get a set of properties, either by landing on them or trading with a player, you have a monopoly and can build up structures that earn you big bucks and hopefully bankrupt all other players that land there.
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CATAN VS MONOPOLY ANALYSIS
Theme: Monopoly has more things going on that lend themselves as great billboards for theme, but itself doesn’t really have it. This is a good thing, it is how they have been able to make Star Trek Monopoly or Rick and Morty Monopoly. Catan is more unique, being in a medieval setting in a world like ours, but isn’t filled with much in that regard. It is a cool world and there is plenty of shaping to do, but nothing now that is going to give you a rich story driven adventure.
Gameplay: in Catan vs Monopoly, Monopoly is easier than Catan because you are pretty much guided in what you have to do, you roll the dice and deal with where you land. The most foresight you need to have is risking to buy that extra house in the late game or hold on to cash reserves just in case. Catan is the complete opposite, you are broken free of the linear track and have many paths to victory.
Mechanics: Both games rely on the luck of the dice, though Catan gives you the ability to hedge and control that luck a bit because you can pick the mix of numbers you go after. Monopoly forces you along a path with the hopes of luckily landing on a property before others. That is pretty much it. Trading makes this a little more dynamic, but it is hard to make a trade not one sided so they are hard to do. Catan is the complete opposite of all that.
Time Commitment: Monopoly is going to be 3 – 8x times longer than a game of Catan. This is because Catan is first person to a set number of points that is going to happen anyway and Monopoly is about accomplishing a difficult task that can continue to bounce back and forth and go on forever.
Player Count: Monopoly can definitely accommodate more with its 3 – 8 versus the Catan 3 – 4 (5 – 6 with expansion). This is not a good thing though, 3 – 4 is where it is best, which doesn’t hold a candle to Catan, and 5 – 8 is too many, creating big property dilution. In this Catan vs Monopoly, unless you always have 5 or more people, point to Catan.
Cost: One thing that is the exact same in Catan vs Monopoly is the price point. These both have always maxed around $40 with intermittent stops at a cheaper amount.
Verdict For the Shelf: Catan (100% of the time) and Monopoly (0% of the time). There is no question, this is like if you had a race and you put one of the fastest runners in world up against a rock. People really like to hate on Monopoly but we are not going to do that, sure if it came out today it probably would get a C-ish rating and fade into obscurity but it earned some credit. No, this is more about how good Catan is, it is one of the best produced, versatile and beloved board games ever made. Monopoly unfortunately cannot hold a candle. You could say that Monopoly has things that you do not see in many games, which is true, but between Catan’s trading and area control, they have Monopoly covered.
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