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In new Catan board game, it’s everyone vs fossil fuels

Upcoming standalone Catan board game explores an interesting showdown between fossil fuels and renewable energy, with multiple ways to win.

The new Catan Board game Catan: New Energies

There’s a standalone Catan board game on the way in Q2 2024, and it challenges players to avoid destroying the world with fossil fuels and pollution. But it’s not a cooperative game. You’ll be struggling to justify investing in costly renewables at the same time as you compete for space and resources – perhaps with players that aren’t so eco-conscious.

Catan New Energies was created by Benjamin Teuber, who worked on the game with his father, Catan’s original creator Klaus Teuber, during the Covid lockdown until the latter’s death in April 2023. According to an interview with Fast Company, Teuber wanted to expand on the green themes of the Catan expansion Oil Springs, and create a game about fossil fuels vs renewable energy.

As such, in New Energies, players will have a choice between harnessing cheap fossil fuels, or more costly renewable energy that will provide greater benefits later in the game. There’s more than a single path to victory, and if the world gets too polluted, the game can just outright end on the spot.

The player boards for upcoming Catan New Energies

Benjamin told Fast Company that the mechanics of New Energies can drive players to act in interesting ways, such as freaking out at the end of the game and trying to save the world, after the pollution is already there. He says the game highlights the positive impact of people working together to protect the Earth, with the only cost being that everyone grows a little slower.

In recent years there’s been a wave of environmentally conscious board games, with themes related to creating or protecting an ecosystem (see our Earth board game review for one such example).

Fitting with its eco-conscious theming, Catan New Energies is made from sustainably sourced wood and paper, without plastic shrink wrap or pieces. According to Benjamin, this has driven the price up a bit – to $69.99. In his Fast Company interview he compares this to the theme of the game, making conscious decisions to be green, even when it’s sometimes easier not to.

You can find out about the best board games elsewhere on Wargamer, and we can even teach you how to play Catan.