Finally, after all these years, I have finally played a Catan board game.
Although the cardboard box was far too big for the game, I could appreciate that it was meant to be thrown away. Indeed, all the game components hold within another box inside that one, this brownish hex-shaped little plastic casket.
Inside, you find plenty of little plastic bits. The toy factor is sure there.
The game is played through 40 puzzles or missions. The mission specifies you which pieces to set-up (towns, colonies, and thieves), and which road parts to use. The goal is to connect all towns and colonies with roads, so that symbols are matching everywhere. Thieves must be avoided, but knights (if you have some) must be sent to deal with the thieves.
Setting up the game is a bit annoying as you must retrieve each correct piece. They could (should!) have been numbered, as this would have helped tremendously. Once you get them, placing them on the hex board is, however, pretty easy, thanks to some parts being marked with a slight round (as you can see on the picture). A simple yet clever solution.
So far I have had fun with it, but the first missions are, obviously, really easy. I like that it's travel-sized, but I wish the casket could close more reliably (I picture too easily the pieces being spread on a bag). Finally, the plastic bits are a pleasure to handle. It reminds me of my numerous hours spent on Rush Hour when I was a child.
All in all I'm happy and I recommend it for children who are into that sort of stuff.