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December 2, 2017

‘Settlers of Catan’ board game fans can sign up for the ‘Catan VR’ beta

by John_A

In September, a version of the popular board game Settlers of Catan was announced for virtual reality headsets. Now, developers Asmodee Digital and Experiment 7 have released the first in-game visuals from the adaptation, alongside some new details of what fans can expect.

Catan VR will offer a faithful representation of the enormously popular board game, which can be played with distant friends online. It also offers computer opponents that players can use to hone their skills.

Opponents are represented by expressive character portraits, while the player can see a ghostly visualization of their own hands in order to help them pick up cards and perform other actions. The game’s user interface seems to be fairly clean, complementing the crisp game board and the sunny cabin where gameplay takes place.

The setting for Catan VR is a neat nod to the original board game. Outside the limits of the cabin, it is possible to see the winding road that graces its box art.

Experiment 7 has plenty of experience crafting this kind of experience, having previous released Magic Table Chess and Dungeon Chess, according to Road to VR. It’s very clear that the studio has made a real effort to capture the aesthetic of the physical board game, which should please its passionate fanbase.

VR offers the chance to explore new worlds in a more immersive way than ever before — but there is something to be said for a more sedate experience, like the chance to play a board game with friends. Donning a headset and sitting in a virtual room adds a different element to the overall experience when compared with earlier attempts to adapt Catan.

Anyone interested in trying out Catan VR for themselves ahead of its official release is encouraged to sign up for a closed beta via the Experiment 7 website.

Catan VR is scheduled to support both Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR headsets at launch and will offer cross-play functionality between the two sets of hardware. Experiment 7 indicated that further devices will be supported after its launch, but there are no further details on which headsets will be included.

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