I tried Settlers of Catan Junior with Johanna yesterday. The game is a simplified version of Catan with an age recommendation of 6+. It has all the basic elements of Catan: production rolls, trading and building. Everything is just simplified. Production rolls are just d6, building rules are easier (players must build villages next to each other with exactly one road between them) and the development cards are easier. To help trading, there’s a marketplace where players can make one 1:1 trade each turn.
It’s simple, probably fun, but obviously offers very little to players over 10 years old. However, this just might be a good way to get the young ones hooked to Catan. We’ll see in, what, three years, when Nooa turns five and I can start pushing these more difficult games.
Johanna won, by the way, but was quite frustrated with the game. The decision-making is mostly obvious, but the game has the ugly side of Catan everywhere: sometimes the bloody die just keeps on rolling stupid numbers… but I suppose that’s something that doesn’t change.