The popularity of themed versions of classic board games is certainly on the rise. In most of the cases (this one included), the variations are improved over the original games, to make things even more entertaining.
September 8, 2012 marked 46 years since the first episode of Star Trek: The Original Series was broadcast. However, I do not really need a special occasion to celebrate the magnitude of this TV series.
Star Trek: Catan should not be seen as a tremendously altered version of Settlers of Catan, but it still is revolutionary. While the original board game tends to be rather boring, the Star Trek theme turns it into a very pleasant experience, not to mention one that actually makes sense. I mean… who wouldn’t change the brick, ore and sheep from Settlers of Catan for Star Trek spaceships and planets? There is no longer a sea surrounding the tiles, as the space took its place. More than that, the tiles are now represented by various other resources that actually pertain to the Star Trek universe. Besides the resources that have been changed, the main goal of the game – colonizing planets – is much more enjoyable than in the original game, where building settlements brought the victory.
The roads have also been changed. Enterprise spaceships that symbolize conquered space routes took their place. The robber from Settlers of Catan is now a Klingon Bird of Prey. Furthermore, wood, wheat and sheep have been replaced with water, oxygen and dilithium. What makes this game really special is its theme, with extremely vivid colors and an undeniable ’60s space atmosphere.
As you can see, Star Trek: Catan features the crew from The Original Series on the support character cards. The crew from The New Generation series would have been as great, but the one from the 2009 reboot would have turned this into a horrific experience. Each of these support character cards can be used only twice by a player. Chekov can move the Klingon Bird of Prey, Uhura forces resource trading with another player and Spock acts as a purveyor of extra resources.
Fortunately, the creators of this game decided to change only the theme, and not the rules. Star Trek: Catan will be available for $94, which is quite a steep price for a board game. However, I am sure that there will be plenty of trekkies that will spend that kind of money to play a better version of Catan.