‘Catan VR’ Launches with Cross-play for Rift and Gear VR, Headed to Oculus Go


Based on Klaus Teuber’s popular board game Settlers of Catan (1995), the VR version of Catan is available now on Oculus Rift and Gear VR, and will be a launch title for Oculus Go. The game features cross-play multiplayer, and is said to be coming to more VR platforms in the future.

Described as “true to the classic but optimized for virtual reality,” Catan VR was developed by VR studio Experiment 7 in partnership with Klaus Teuber and his sons Guido and Benjamin, along with the Catan and Asmodee Digital teams. The board game takes place in a virtual room with views of the island of Catan itself through the windows.

Speaking to Gamesbeat last year, Experiment 7 managing director Demetri Detsaridis explained how VR offers a different experience to other digital versions of the game. “When you have the entire field of view in front of you – and Catan is on a big table – the pieces get to be larger than life,” he said. “The ‘screen’ is enormous. You can do cool things like have sheep run around or have water flow or have wheat blowing in the breeze without it looking like you’re peering into the inner workings of a wristwatch.”

Image courtesy Experiment 7

Classic Catan AI opponents are available for single player, and the game supports cross-platform multiplayer with friend invites and matchmaking. For now, the game is playable on Oculus Rift and Gear VR, and will form part of the launch line-up for the Oculus Go. The game was playable at GDC 2018 this week, with Rift and Go devices at the same table, as seen during Tested‘s Oculus Go video. Additional platforms are said to be on the cards, but Experiment 7’s previous titles have not jumped beyond Rift and Gear VR yet, despite Dungeon Chess (2017) being confirmed for PSVR many months ago.

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Image courtesy Experiment 7

Originally due to launch in late 2017, Catan VR is the third release from Experiment 7, who specialise in bringing board and tabletop games into their ‘Magic Table’ platform, an immersive environment designed for ‘social presence’ that supports cross-platform multiplayer. The team’s long-term goal is to attract other developers to the Magic Table platform. Their first game Magic Table Chess (2016) introduced the concept, followed by the Dungeons & Dragons-themed Dungeon Chess.

“The first time I saw Catan on the Magic Table, I was fascinated by what VR has to offer,” said Teuber. “The game I made in our living room with my family 25 years ago in Virtual Reality? It’s incredible. I never imagined actually stepping into the world of Catan when we first started making cut-outs and dreaming about exploring new lands.”

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Hard Mode Code

    This game looks amazing! But why is it that no big board game publisher ever bothers to make their game cross-compatible across all platforms? There’s almost no point in buying the game, since I only have a few friends with VR gear and I’m not sure I can convince them all to pick it up.

    If I could play with people on Catan Universe, though, it would be perfect! Hopefully they’re working on support for it, since it looks like cross-platform support is a big deal at the company.. https://www.catan.com/game/catan-universe

    • Stephanie

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  • impurekind

    Looks cool.

    One of the things I’ve spent the most time playing in VR is actually just a simple game of chess on a virtual board and tabletop, and I’d be more than happy to see a whole load of tabletop games done like this in VR.