A dutiful clone of mega-popular board game Catan is now available to play for free inside Discord. You and your friends can now trade wool and lumber simply by starting a call - no separate downloads or purchases necessary.
Discord introduced Activities back in 2022, allowing friends to stream videos and music together in a group call, along with playing a few admittedly simple games. The mega-popular VoIP platform gradually expanded the list of available games to about 18 different titles, ranging from easy card games such as Blazing 8s to the massively shared colouring book in Color Together.
Colonist.io is, for all intents and purposes, Catan as you probably know it all the way down to victory point scoring, names for resources and even optional Seafarers and Cities & Knights expansions. The team developing Colonist has simply filed off all of creator Klaus Teuber’s serial numbers and ported the remaining experience online.
If you’ve never played Catan, as it’s known now (publishers Catan Studio and Kosmos dropped the “Settlers of” moniker in 2015) the rules are fairly straightforward: trade resources between players, build settlements and villages, expand roads throughout the hexagonal island and ultimately race to 10 victory points before any of your competitors. Funnily enough, Discord’s version trucks the uncomfortable settle-colonial themes back into the name, somewhat spoiling Catan Studio’s PR makeover.
Colonist.io includes more than 15 different maps and board setups, each of which offer unique challenges or different scenarios that will keep gameplay fresh across multiple playthroughs. The Discord activities version won’t support ranked matches or leaderboards, nor can you access an existing profile or game history from Colonist.io’s extant website (though that information will be saved to your profile, regardless).
Playing Catan digitally through Discord’s Activities does offer quite a few advantages. You can mouse over villages and settlements to see building costs at a glance, the rulebook is always a click away from the top corner of the user interface, and - perhaps best of all - you can stream some Catan-esque tunes in the background while you steal all of your friend’s clay right out from under their nose.
Teuber passed away earlier this year at the age of 70, leaving behind an unfinished novelisation of his globally renowned board game but also a legacy that continues to inspire new tabletop players, world champions and more than a few opinions amongst the Dicebreaker team.
For help on accessing Discord Activities and Colonist.io, find more information on Discord’s support page.