We've documented 37 accessibility features for Catan, including Playable Without Hearing, No Pressured Communication, No Pressured Reveals, Audio Cues Mirrored Visually (Or no critical audio signals) and No Close Inspection Disadvantage. Its accessibility is strongest in Physical and Getting Started but it also has features in Reading, Visual, Audio and Difficulty to reduce unintended barriers.
This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.
External examiner, MIchael Heron, first checked Catan accessibility 21 months ago. It was re-examined by MIchael Heron and updated 21 months ago.
The game can be played in configurations that support colour blindness, but suffers most at the full player count where the yellow and orange pieces may lack easy differentiation. A catch-up rule is provided, but some stigma is attached to it in the culture. Sometimes called 'The Welfare Option'.
The game comes with a frame into which all its hexes fit, which technically means 'no sprawl' but the board is likely to require slightly more space than is usual for games tagged in this way. While the game does require a good understanding of probability, it does support this need with coding on the board.
Report informed by Meeple Like Us assessment which offers an extended review.
Release Date: 01/01/1995, updated in 2013
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Accessibility: 37 features
Components: Bag, Cards, Dice, Figures, Placeables, Score Board and Tokens
Costs: Purchase cost
We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Difficulty in Catan which deals with how you can adjust the challenge of play.
No Colour Advantage: Game can be played without colour-blindness being a barrier to performance.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty
If you want to play Catan, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Difficulty accessibility:
We've documented 8 accessibility features for Getting Started in Catan which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game.
Assistance Getting Started
These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.
Clear Manual: Game provides a manual that breaks play into number sections, groups information sensibly and uses illustrative pictures.
Electronic Version of Manual: A free online version of the manual provided by the publisher.
Getting Started Video: Game provides a tutorial video to get you started. This video must include subtitles and offer real examples of play.
Digital Version: Official version of game is available on digital platforms to both enable remote play and aid learning rules with the computer managing systems.
Reference Aid: In addition to the main rules, a succinct quick reference card is also provided for each player to remind them of key rules, actions and currencies. This may be a separate card or integrated onto the board or cards.
These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of managing your pieces and progression.
Reaction-Time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions. This means you don't need to quickly respond to events in the game or other players.
Low Pressure: Decisions aren’t time-limited so you can take your time with each action.
Catch Up Rule: Game includes catch up mechanics that give losing players a bonus or advantage to help catch up.
We've documented 8 accessibility features for Reading in Catan which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides accessible text.
How much reading is required to play the game and how complex the language is.
Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a primary/elementary student (9-year-old) could understand.
Necessary Text Visibility
How clear are the required text or numbers to play the game.
Large Clear Text on Board (Or no text required): Text or numbers are large and clear font at least 8mm tall (22pt) on the board and any other elements that are at a distance to the player.
Large Clear Text on Cards (Or no text required): Text or numbers are large and clear 5mm tall (14pt) on the pieces that you can hold close to read.
High Contrast Text (Or no text required): Text or number colours contrasts to the background. The text in instructions and other information is presented in high contrast ideally with a solid background.
QR Code For Text (Or no text required): QR codes that trigger voiced versions of the text to be played audibly.
Primary and Secondary Text Distinguishable (Or no text required): Game separates non-essential flavour text from essential gameplay text, to ease comprehension. Includes games that don't have flavour text.
Information Orientation: You don’t have to read text, numbers or symbols upside-down to play the game effectively.
Clear Icons: Icons are used to simply communicate and highlight important graphical elements related to gameplay. This assumes good contrast and generally familiar symbols.
We've documented 12 accessibility features for Physical in Catan which deal with how you interact with the game components and how accommodating these are of different requirements.
How the game components accommodate interactions through touch, shape, texture and colour.
No Non-Standard Dice (Or No Dice): The game uses standard numerical dice, doesn’t need dice to play or ensures dice are readable by touch.
No Tiny Pieces: Game pieces are not very small. This doesn't cover cards. The target size for this is not less than 20mm wide and not less than 2mm thick.
No Paper Money: The game doesn’t use paper money.
No Sprawl: You can play the game on a small surface (train table or hospital bed table) of approximately 1/2 meter square. Or you can manage this in a small space easily.
How the game assists interaction, manipulation and management of game cards.
Large Card Size: Cards in the game at least the size of a standard playing card (64mm x 89mm). This ensures the cards work with accessibility equipment like card-holders and shufflers.
Standard Card Shape: Cards confirm to standard size so they work with card shufflers and other card management devices.
Limited Hand Management: You don’t need to hold more than 8 cards in your hand. This includes games with larger hands that require minimal in-hand card management.
No Excessive Card Shuffling: You don’t need to shuffle the deck of cards more than twice per total play of the game. This wouldn’t include games like Poker.
No Right-Handed Advantage: Cards don't position key information in only top-left corners that favours right-handed in-hand card arrangements.
How the game assists interaction, manipulation, management and placement of game pieces.
No Unbound Placement: Game state is not easily upset by jogging the board. Components are either held in place or high friction.
Player Components Not Shared: Key components are not shared so you can organise them as best suits your needs. Keeping them close to you. Organising them in useful groupings.
Easily Verbalised Actions: The game is clearly labelled (landmarks, coordinates and so on) to make it possible to unambiguously describe game actions and relate those to the board or other pieces. This is useful for players who need others to move their pieces.
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Visual in Catan which deal with how well the game offers visual clarity and adjustments to accommodate visual needs.
How easy it is to see and identify the components you need to work with to play the game.
Outline Key Elements: Game uses a highly distinctive visual silhouette for essential elements required to play the game. This may be from the shape of game elements or by applying a bold outline or backing colour. It may also be clear text if that is the only pertinent information
No Busy Backgrounds: Game board or cards have a simple or monochrome design to aid in identifying game elements when observed in play on top of the board.
Easily Verbalised Game State: Other players can describe the state of both their playing area and shared areas for players unable to see them. The verbalised game state is not too complexed to memorise.
No Close Inspection Disadvantage: If necessary, players can inspect similar pieces to distinguish them without time limit or risk of leaking gameplay intention.
Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual
If you want to play Catan, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Visual accessibility:
- Santorini (5 Visual Features)
We've documented 4 accessibility features for Audio in Catan which deal with how the game supports player communication to meet a range of requirements.
How the game accommodates different styles of communication, particularly non-verbal.
Audio Cues Mirrored Visually (Or no critical audio signals): Where audio cues (soundtrack, player utterances and shouts) are critical for play, there are visual equivalents to ensure players with hearing impairments aren’t disadvantaged as a result of the loss of incidental sound.
No Pressured Reveals: No reliance on revealing actions or choices simultaneously. This ensures players who can’t perform the revealing action in real-time aren’t excluded.
No Pressured Communication: Game doesn’t require you to speak over (or louder or faster than) other players. The game includes gaps where only a single player is permitted to communicate and make their point.
Playable Without Hearing: You can play the game without the need to hear other players or sound made by game elements. Where other communication channels can be used if you have a supportive set of players, this is only included if communication can be low pressure.