Sheep for wheat, anyone? Internet Explorer releases preview of new social Catan web experience for free play

Today, we’re excited to release the preview of Catan Anytime – the entirely new social version of the beloved board game The Settlers of Catan. Play is completely free and available on any device with a modern browser. We hope Catan fans will appreciate its simplicity – Catan Anytime is fast, fluid and designed for touch making it easy to play the game from mobile to your big screen with IE on XBOX and everything in-between.

Catan Anytime is a partnership with creators of Catan, Mayfair Games and Bontom Games. This preview release features the latest HTML5 web standards and real-time in-game social interaction. As part of the ongoing collaboration, we will be releasing additional Catan features: Development cards, Achievements, and 3:1 trading at GamesCon in August. We hope these features, combined with the unique capabilities of asynchronous gaming and auto trading will attract Catan fans old and new alike! This web experience joins our collection of Rethink experiences such as Assassin’s Creed Pirates and 22Tracks – helping push the limits of what’s possible on the modern, interoperable web.

The Teuber family and Arnd Beenen from the Catan team were wonderful partners and supporters of this project. In Guido Teuber and Benny Teuber’s words, “It’s exciting to reflect on how The Settlers of Catan started as a passion project for our father and we never could have imagined it would grow into the iconic board game that it is today. At the Catan team, we are always looking for new ways to inspire fans and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Internet Explorer to help us bring the next evolution of Catan to life.”

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Wait, what’s Settlers of Catan?

The Settlers of Catan is a board game of barter trading – an instant pop-culture classic found in college dorms and family reunions alike. The original has sold 20 million copies and is now available in over 30 languages. Playing Catan with family and friends is tradition for some and conversations starters for others. No matter the reason, the game evokes laughter, exciting debates and endless dialogs.

Players play the part of settlers who gain resources to build roads and settlements that eventually become cities. Ore, wheat, wood, brick and sheep are your five resources. Players must strategically place their cities and trade their resources to earn the 10 victory points it takes to win. The real fascinating part about the game is that it’s so balanced – there are so many ways to win (or not).

Play Catan Anytime across any device, anywhere

Internet Explorer truly believes in the open and interoperable web, and therefore we focused on delivering a game that simply works on the web without bias of what device, OS or browser players’ choose to use. Together we created a game that is light and renders easily on devices ranging from smartphones to PCs and anything in between.

Catan Anytime is not meant to replace the board game experience.  We wanted to adapt the essence of Catan to the best of today’s mass market game mechanics.  The digital version is meant to plug the game seamlessly into our daily lives and grow the way people can experience it. 

What’s in this preview?

We hope the web version makes Catan even more accessible to all – it’s a great “gateway” game towards its genre. Whether you’re familiar with the game or not, Catan Anytime makes it fun and easy to jump right in:

1. Getting Started: Try a single turn before you register to check out gameplay. Once you are hooked, invite your friends to join the fun via Facebook or email. You just need three players to start playing.

2. Time Savers: Turn-based asynchronous gameplay is a great feature we introduced in this new version of Catan. Auto-trade and auto-roll features also help the players keep the game moving forward.

3. No Dice: We took away the need for dice and instead the player clicks a button to produce resources. The probability that duplicates a dice roll is built into the game!

4. Notifications: Opt in for notifications while you are away from the game. You can choose to stay connected to your game via email so you don’t miss a beat!

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The social Catan: Stay connected with friends, family and fellow fans while you play

With in-built chat and access to Skype and Twitter, our goal is to help keep you connected to other players and the wider online Catan community. Using the in-game chat feature you can send messages, or start a group call on Skype as you play. You can also broadcast your thoughts to Twitter directly from the chat box. Stay connected to engage with other enthusiastic players and listen out for tips and tricks shared on the social sphere.

Now boldly go forth and conquer Catan Anytime anywhere! And stay tuned for more features coming to catananytime.com this August!

Justin Garrett

Group Product Manager, Internet Explorer

Blog posted corrected on 7/29/2014 to reflect Catan Anytime will not include Ports and will therefore be slightly modified from that of The Settlers of Catan board game.