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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 January 2011
Good stuff.

This is basically a 2-player solitaire card game, but with the addition of dice and some board game elements that make it quite compelling.

You lay the cards spatially in front of you to form an empire with roads, villages, cities and associated buildings and heroes. Although you mostly focus on your own empire, there are a few attacking cards that mean you have to keep an eye on what your opponent is doing, and defend or compete as appropriate.

It's more complicated and fiddly than the basic Settlers of Catan board game--it has more rules and doesn't feel quite so elegant. But it does use many of the same mechanics and ideas as a starting point. I wouldn't strongly recommend playing this if you haven't experienced that game first.

It's also far more complex than the Catan Dice Game, another spinoff. It's good for travelling, given that it's just a deck of (small) cards and some dice and counters. But the way the cards spread out means it's not ideal for playing in airports etc.

Rivals of Catan is nicely balanced, with lots of ways to score points. Longevity comes from three different variants (ie decks of cards) which keep things interesting over multiple plays.

It's apparently very similar to the Catan Card Game it replaces, although I've never played that one. Components are nicely done, with wooden pieces and attractive (although slightly flimsy) cards.

A solid four-star game and well worth the £15 asking price.
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on 8 February 2014
Bought this as we love playing catan but it just doesn't work for 2 players. The first intro game is a little boring after a while so we quickly moved onto the first extension. As i've won 5 straight games in a row I love it.... husband not so keen but it's a great catan fix until we meet with friends to play the 'real' thing.
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on 28 December 2014
Following on from Settlers of Catan, possibly one of the most significant board games since monoply, this version finally allows you to experience the joy of Catan in a two player version. As a huge fan of the original I bought this as a present for my two nephews, aged 11 and 13. Acutely aware that their parents do not always have time to play with them the 2 player aspect was crucial.
While at its heart this is still Settlers it brings in some fantastic new elements of strategy and new characters that make this card building game an awful lot of fun and incrediably addictive. It is possible to employ a range of strategies in order to win, and even with the same two players repeatedly playing there is still scope for many different winning tactics.
Another wonderful addition to the Catan series that, like the other games, is elegantly simple to play, but devilishly taxing to truly master. It also has a wonderful skill to luck ratio that means anyone can still win and enjoy the game.
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on 21 August 2011
I have never played the original board game but came across the German version (which came in up to six expansion packs in the early 2000s) and enjoyed the game greatly. With my English friends, translating the German cards became quite cumbersome so I was quite happy to find the Mayfair version.

This version includes all the previous versions from the German original except the Dragon and Wizard deck. The 140 cards of this version fit (once freed from its original box) conveniently in a small container (when traveling). The dices and two markers also fit and are solid wood.

Probably one of the best card strategy games. Easy to explain and play with two people (according to Mayfair games there is a first expansion pack coming that will also allow for up to four people - end 2011).
Very nice for long winter nights with various levels of strategies need to win the game. Does not get boring!

The cards are quite sturdy and when not bent or otherwise damaged will stay in a very good condition. The motives on the cards are extremely nice (viking theme).

The rule book is handy and can be read within 5-10 minutes. The basic deck is very easy to get used to and later the more advanced cards will be added. This ensures that if you introduce the game to a new person he or she is not thrown in at the deep end. Adding all cards at the advanced stage once you have played it a couple of times will ensure that the game remains a challenge to strategists.

In addition to what has been said before, the easy access and rules allow for a quick game using various strategies. Each "turn" is resolved quickly and the game feels very fast and not cumbersome.

Small drawbacks:
- this is not a card game for a small table, you need a medium size surface space
- no expansion packs (yet)
- addictive :-)

As said in the beginning, a very good game for a very good price (for the fun you will have from it).

I have also played the more advanced "living card" strategy games by Fantasy Flight like The Game of Thrones. These are of course more advanced and have more additions - however, for the casual gamer the Rivals of Catan game can become extremely addictive and the rules make it very easy to understand.
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on 26 March 2015
Bought this because I was looking for a good two player game that I could take on holiday. This surpassed my expectations and we often played two or three games a night over drinks. It needs a fair amount of table space for such a compact seeming game but it's a great game and I'd recommend.
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on 23 March 2011
Rivals for Catan is pretty much an upgraded version of the Settlers of Catan Card Game. The cards and rules are pretty much the same, but the improvement now is that you can play the game in different versions - basic, one of the more complicated ones, or an all encompassing battle including all cards and rules. The brilliance of it is that when you don't have too much time to commit to a full game you can play the basic game in around an hours time, while you still have the possibility to play the full game when you have more time. It's also a great alternative to Settlers if you only have two people. All in all, a great game for anyone who enjoys the Settlers saga with the advantage of being able to cut down the game time.
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on 21 November 2016
A great game! I play it solitaire (I try to get 10 points before the Yule card in the basic game; 15 points before the Yule card in a theme game; and 16 points before the Yule card in the combined three-theme Dual game). It really gets you thinking about managing resources, establishing settlements and cities while dealing with the various negative and positive events, and characters, that the cards throw at you. Very entertaining and addictive - I now plan to buy the expansion sets (Age of Darkness and Age of Enlightenment) to add more intrigue and fun.
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on 17 February 2016
I purchased this game because I was disappointed that I couldn't play the original game as 2 player.
I have previously got other 2 player versions of games and have found them to be good fun, so I was hoping for the same.
Rivals of Catan did not disappoint. Whilst some of the game play is different, it is just as challenging as the original!
Just remember to use a big enough table to expand you area!
I would highly recommend this product.
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on 1 March 2014
As with all catan games, they are well designed and provide hours of pleasure. As a long-time player of the board games we decided to get this version for 2 player nights and to travel with. Not a drawback, but this is not suitable for trains and planes...even though it is a card game...as the layout requires each player to have 60cm x 30cm to lay their cards out and another area for common cards.

Great game...but requires similar space to the board game version.
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on 10 February 2015
Obsessed with this fantastic two player game. I won't go into details about game play as this is better sourced from the game makers but what i will say is that the three variations of the game keep it fresh and interesting. You start with learning the base game and then build in the other variations which are included to add interest and challenge. You do need a decent sized flat playing space to lay out the cards and it is a little tricky at first to understand how to play but dedicated players will reap the rewards. I prefer it to the large multiplayer version. The basic game can take as little as 30 minutes, the included themes can give you a couple hours play.
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