Have you ever wanted to play a tabletop game and either could not get anyone to play or the choice of the game to play was never agreed on? Tabletop games can bring out the competition in some while bringing the fun for others. Do does Developer Experiment 7 bring the competition and the fun of tabletop games to Virtual Reality? Let’s find out with Catan VR for the PlayStation VR.
I am going to say that I have never played Catan before, not because I didn’t want to, I just didn’t have anyone that wanted to play or could never get a time where everyone wanted to play. So getting the opportunity to play Catan VR was something that before even playing, I knew was going to be interesting. So what is the object of Catan VR and how do you play? First, before you begin, make sure your Move controllers are fully charged and then before jumping in, I would strongly suggest doing the tutorial as it does go over what you need to know in order to play.
So as you can see, there are quite a few rules and if at any time during a game, you can always replay the tutorial without interrupting the game, which is a very nice touch. So the object is to get 10 victory points in order to win the game. When you first start, you will need to place your settlement on the board. You will have two settlements along with two roads to start. This is where you need to be smart and think about where the best spot of the nineteen you think it will be. Do you want more grain, then place your settlement near the field section of the board, do you think you will need more brick, then head for the hills, if you need more lumber, then lean towards the forest, need more spore, the mountains will be your best built, and if you need more wool, then pastures will be the one you want. Now keep in mind you can place your settlement and one road anywhere on the board, but that desert does nothing, so that may not be the best place to settle down.
But don’t let the tutorial overwhelm you, even with the tutorial, there were somethings I was not understanding at first and that is why I went into an AI game which you have a choice to play with 3 or 4 AI players that are represented by portraits, which honestly, does get your feet wet into the world of Catan. But one thing I liked about the game of Catan, is how this is more of helping each other while trying to gain what you can in hopes you score that 10 point victory. But how do you gain these resources? When it’s your turn, you will roll the dice, and based on the number you roll and depending on if where you placed your settlement, you will gain those resources. So on the board, if you have your settlement next to a field marked with a 5 and you roll a 5, you get the grain, but if other people have their settlement near that same section, they too get that resource as well. But be careful if a 7 is rolled as this can cause the robber to be placed which can allow him to steal some resources to give to the player that placed him.
If you have enough resources, you are able to build more roads, settlements, and cities. If you want to build a road, you will need lumber and brick for example, but not sure what you may need, you can always look at the lower right the board and it will show what resources are needed in order to build.
If you may not have enough resources, you can then trade with other players who will either accept your offer or kindly decline it. The same thing with can happen when its the other players turn, they can offer a trade that everyone can agree on or decline, but if more than one person accepts the player’s proposal, than the player’s whose turn it gets to decide who they will accept the offer from. But if you feel like the world is coming down and no one will accept your little offer no matter how might you think it might be, you can always reach out to the bank and depending on what majority of the board you may have will determine if it will be a high stakes 4:1 offer or it could be a 3:1 or even a 2:1 offer.
But I think what really helped me get any questions that I may have had out of the way, was actually playing with other online players. I will admit at the very beginning, I could not find anyone to play, luckily, the game fills in those spots with AI. But once I was able to find an online game, it was all friendly and just having fun and laughter. Before going online, you will want to select your mask. I went with a day of the dead skull, while the other players had one with a fox and the others that has a helmet with horns, but there are others to select from.
I do want to point out that the graphics are very well done here as you can make out the detail on the board. Seeing a bird fly over the island or the tiny sheep move around is a nice touch. I like how when the dice are rolled, it’s not rolled on the board, but above the board which doesn’t have the dice lost within the board. Also, being able to change the view on the fly as well the ability to change the artwork is something you don’t really see, but it’s that small amount of details that make you appreciate what is being presented. The music is very calming and relaxing and is just at enough volume where it doesn’t overshadow when other players are talking. The sounds of the sheep or the roll of the dice did not have to be put in there, but again, those small details really add to the experience.
With single-player AI games and cross-platform online play multiplayer games, Catan VR is a game that is fun, brings friendly competitiveness to Virtual Reality. It’s a game that I didn’t think would keep pulling me back in like it has been doing. It’s one of those games that I even as I was doing this review, I stopped a couple of times so I could play some more. And it doesn’t stop there if you like league play, there is actually a Catan VR league with over 400+ players that could lead to some very interesting and entertaining games.
To learn more about Catan, please visit the site, to learn more about Catan VR, please visit the site, like them on Facebook follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. To learn more about the Catan VR league, visit the site and join the Discord. To learn more about Experiment 7, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have more games to play before I join and try to win the league.