‘Catan: New Energies’ Remakes Classic With Environmental Issues Like Clean Energy, Climate Change & Overpopulation

Settlers of Catan, or Catan, as it is more affectionately known is the cornerstone of any board game journey. Anyone entering or in the hobby has at least played it once in their lifetime. While many might be familiar with the island and the many variants (there’s even one in space!), the time is nigh for gamers to tackle the issues our planet is facing.

Catan: New Energies

The upcoming Catan: New Energies board game is an entirely new take on the classic and is designed by the father and son duo, Klaus and Benjamin Teuber and focuses on issues in the 21st century.

The premise of the game seems straightforward. Gamers will face a choice: rapidly construct inexpensive fossil fuel-based power plants, leading to increased pollution levels, or opt for a slower but more sustainable approach by investing in renewable energy sources. The most environmentally conscious player may not always emerge triumphant. However, if pollution exceeds a critical threshold, a catastrophic event will occur, abruptly ending the game for all players. In such a scenario, the player who prioritized sustainability will be declared the victor.

Anyone who has played Civilization video games knows that once global warming triggers in-game its affects are impactful and affects all players in game. Based on what we’re seeing it looks like Catan: New Energies might be going for the same vibe. It’s quite telling that while one might aim to be the most sustainable, their path to victory will not be easy or cheap. As Catan players love to hoard their resources for the right opportune moment to cash out, excessive pollution in-game constrains the production of resources on the island, hindering further development and expansion.

Catan: New Energies

While the game could lead to very grim outcomes, the intent for it is to be hopeful. Let’s hope that the gameplay, mechanics, and messages stick right to the end. With each player getting their own playerboard,

Catan: New Energies is printed and assembled in the US, contains no plastic, and uses sustainably sourced wood and paper materials to match its environment-friendly stance. It’s available now for preorder at US$70 and due in the spring of 2024.