A good twist on the Catan series. In this review I'll compare this to vanilla Catan. The goods generation mechanic is largely untouched, but as the game progresses and players move west so e eastern tiles will lose their productivity. This mechanic serves to drive the players west and gives the game it's historical flavour.
It is the building mechanic where things have been radically changed. You're still buying different shaped pieces of wood with cards, but instead of building a road and plonking a town at the end, you build a settler that pays grain to move and ignores roads. When the settler arrives at a town location (only certain spots can be built on) it turns into a city and releases a good that must be delivered to an opponent's city by building rail and moving your train. You win the game by delivering all your goods, rather than building a certain amount. However, you still have to build to release your goods.
One benefit to this approach is you don't get boxed in like you can in regular Catan - which can be quite an unpleasant way to spend an hour or so. This version of the game is a little more complex, but not significantly so. All in all, I'd say a better game than the original. An even better gateway game than Catan, with a couple more strategic options to keep experienced gamers tuned in.
Catan Histories: Settlers of America - Trails to Rails(Base Set)
Date Added: 07/19/2014 by James Barton