the settlers of catan

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The Thing: The Settlers of Catan, Toronto’s current cardboard fixation

A time-tested antidote to winter-onset agoraphobia

The Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan board can be arranged differently every time it’s laid down

Last year, Toronto got Snakes and Lattes, its first dedicated board game café. Skeptics called it a flavour of the month, nothing but a passing trend. A year on, it’s expanding. And it’s only one of dozens of cafés and bars around town that have a selection of games hanging around for their nostalgic, broke and pseudo-ironic clientele. In cold, dark January, that’s something we can get behind. Board games are everything wintertime entertainment should be—cheap, social, warm and familiar. We suggest picking up a copy of the city’s current cardboard fixation: The Settlers of Catan, a German game with a cultish following (you can’t throw a set of dice in Snakes and Lattes without hitting a group of overgrown kids playing it). The object of the game is for players to build settlements in a fictionalized world. Think of it as a pacified, agricultural blend of Risk and Monopoly. If you drag the game out long enough, it might be spring by the time it’s finished. $45. Mastermind Toys, 639 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-440-0111.