The go-to instant messaging and VoIP social platform Discord has recently added a digital online alternative of the critically acclaimed board game CATAN to its list of Activities you can do with your friends while in a group call or streaming. The game is not called “CATAN” per se, but uses the apt name “Colonist.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the service, Discord Activities is a free feature for voice channels that allows members to play games, stream, or watch videos. The section has been made with fun in mind, however, so ranked matches and leaderboards do not exist in Discord Activities.
The company responsible for the digital online alternative is the startup game company Colonist.io, founded by the brother duo of Goktug Yilmaz and Demi Yilmaz. Demi Yilmaz’s official company profile does state he was ranked top 16 in Catan World Champ 2021. Quite the impressive feat.
Exactly How Much “CATAN” Is in Colonist?
Let’s take a closer look at what Colonist actually is. Colonist is, essentially, a toned-down version of CATAN. The rules and scoring system will be very familiar to you, but the overall experience is a lot to be desired. Graphically, it’s a brightly colored, crude 2D board that has a lot of room for improvement, although you can only expect so much from a free product.
On a positive note, the game does support 15 unique maps, each complete with its own setup and lists of challenges. This means you will not be easily bored by the game, allowing for multiple playthroughs. The game also runs very smoothly and without issue, allowing for fast problem-free sessions.
The interface is relatively easy to use and navigate through, making resource management easy. You can even see building costs with ease by navigating your cursor over any village (or should I say settlement) you own. If you happen to forget the rules – they’re just a click away, for your convenience.
Overall, Colonist feels more like a passion project than a fully fleshed-out game, but it’s nice that we now have a Discord version of CATAN we can all enjoy, for absolutely free. Colonist’s website does state they are committed to improving the UX of the game, and encourage fans to make suggestions. They have further announced they are working on a mobile version.
In the meantime, if you can’t be bothered with Discord versions of the all-time classic, you can scoop up the real game and a few extra Catan expansions, you can check out our dedicated list.