Among those lowered barriers are a reduced number of pieces. There are 19 tiles in the regular Settlers of Catan game; those tiles will be converted into only six pieces in the simplified game, making it easier to assemble and helping to "reduce the fear factor," according to a Mayfair spokesperson. The simpler game will utilize the smaller format European-style cards, and wood pieces will be replaced with plastic.
Packaging will be designed to appeal to a broader audience. While the current package art is "very oil painting-esque," the art for the simpler game will be midway between that oil painting style and a straight illustration.
The simplified Settlers will not be expandable with additional products, but
In addition to the core hobby market, the simplified Settlers will be sold by Toys R Us and perhaps other mass merchants. The regular Settlers will continue to be sold only by the core hobby channel and specialty retail stores such as Barnes & Noble.
The core Settlers products were recently re-launched (see "Settlers of Catan Relaunch in November") to great response. The first print run was 10% over-sold before the first piece was made, according to