Settlers of Catan is a three to four player board game in which the players compete to successfully colonize the newly-discovered continent of Catan. It takes about an hour to play and is suitable for anyone age 10 or higher. It's a great game for families and board game fanatics alike as the rules are simple and the game combines a perfect mix of luck and strategy. It normally costs $42 (in U.S. currency) and provides many nights of fun due to the fact that a new board is created each time you play. If you buy it, I suggest supporting your local gaming store by purchasing it there. Alternatively, you can find it on amazon.com. Amazon has sales very often and you can usually find the game for about $33. There are also 2 major expansions to the game (Seafarers of Catan and Cities and Knights of Catan) which add new rules and units, along with expansions allowing 5 to 6 people to play.
Settlers of Catan was created by Klaus Teuber and first published in Germany in 1995. It became popular very quickly, winning the prestigious Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) award that year. The game then spread in its fame to the United States, winning the US Game of the Year award in 1996. It has now been published in over 25 languages. The game also has many spinoffs including Kids of Catan, Starship Catan, a travel version, and the Settlers of Catan card game. Settlers of Catan can now be bought as a computer game or be played online (see the links section for more info). If you're interested in learning more about how the game works then check out my review.