Number 44 on Mark’s top 100 games list is Rival’s for Catan. A game I haven’t played. But I have played its predecessor, Catan Card Game. Before I say what I’m going to say below, I should say that in Mark’s article he stresses that the improvements made to this game in it’s most recent incarnation make it a *much* better game. So that’s not really the game I’m talking about here.
This is one that I’ve had for a while, the original English version and some expansions. My daughter and I are the only ones who have played it, and there for a while we played it quite a bit. We mostly played without the expansions, and there are some expansions that we have never used. But it’s been a while since it’s seen the light of day. I think this may be because it’s been replaced by Summoner Wars.
I know they’re not the same. Catan Card Game is about building a little community, one of my favorite themes. This dates back to Private Property I think, one of my favorite games as a kid. Some decisions to be made, granted, not a lot, but some. And it’s a game with great pieces. And you get to turn an old dump into a high-class tourist wonderland. Develop, develop, develop!
And Summoner Wars is a war, a magical skirmish. And it’s a great game. (I don’t want to say too much about it as I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t show up later on Mark’s list.) So thematically the games are different. But when my daughter and I want a medium weight card game, Summoner Wars gives us the same fun in half the time, with a lot more player interaction. Heck, Prize Property probably offers more player interaction. Catan Card Game just seems a bit long and repetitive for what it is.