Catan Junior brings serious board game strategy to tots
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conten...ed_MG_9078.jpg Catan Junior comes with everything you see here! Batteries not included (or required)
Recommended age: 6 - 10 years
Buy it from Amazon
European-style board games have been quickly surging in American popularity and availability for about three or four years now. I remember being tickled to find Carcassonne at a Barnes and Noble for the first time, though it was strange to see the board games placed in a completely different section of the store from the role playing game source books, which sat right next to science fiction and fantasy titles. Still, book stores were relatively quick to realize that people who enjoy buying a physical, hard cover book are likely to be the same people that enjoy the tactile, social experience that only board games can provide.
Big box retailers have been somewhat less adaptive to these customers' tastes. It has been a long road for Eurogames publishers to get their titles stocked in the Walmarts of the world; in fact it was only just this last year that I first saw Settlers of Catan on sale at my local Target. I can remember an instance, during my holiday shopping, where a little boy in such a store picked Catan up and walked it over to his parents. They all looked a bit puzzled by the description on the box and eventually put it back.
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