At times, the seminal euro-style board game Catan can seem like the ‘Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim‘ of the board games world; its simple, time-honoured, ultra-popular formula just keeps getting re-released with new themes, forms, and platforms. Well, we certainly weren’t expecting its latest iteration: Augmented Reality (AR) gaming firm Tilt Five has just announced it’s making a holographic version of Catan, which’ll be played using a specially developed reflective gameboard, hologram glasses, and a motion control wand. There’s a very sheep-heavy trailer, which you can watch below.
Revealed at the Gamescom gaming show in Cologne, Germany on Tuesday, Catan – Tilt Five AR is scheduled to be released in Spring 2023. Tilt Five says its AR Catan will be playable “together around the table, remotely with other players around the world, or solo against classic AI opponents”.
The reported strength of the AR system is that players can focus on the game’s 3D graphics, while still being ‘present’ with their real world surroundings or fellow players – the latter often thought of as a key advantage of tabletop gaming as compared to videogames.
“The magic of Tilt Five’s technology is that it allows virtual worlds to co-exist alongside our physical one, with a solution that is comfortable, affordable, and easy to use,” says Tilt Five CEO Jeri Ellsworth in a press release published on the firm’s website on Tuesday.
The Tilt Five system is currently available to pre-order directly from the manufacturers at prices ranging from $359 (for the basic set including one set of glasses, wand, board, and accoutrements) up to $959 (for three wands and sets of glasses). Tilt Five says delivery could take up to five months in the USA or UK, though, as it works through all its existing orders.
Tilt Five’s team raised $1.7 million / £1.4 million via Kickstarter in 2019, and has since been shipping out Tilt Five systems to crowdfunding backers in waves. Catan is the first high-profile title to be announced for the system, but its website has a ‘developer portal’ encouraging devs to create software for Tilt Five.