Get ready to trade in your Pokemon for sheep and wood. Niantic Labs, the maker of Pokemon Go and other AR games, has quietly launched a website for Catan: World Explorers, a new game that combines augmented reality play with elements from the classic series of Catan games. Per the Catan: World Explorers website, the game will transform the world into one giant game of Catan, with players harvesting and trading resources to build settlements located at sites in the real world. As with other Niantic games, players will compete in teams both on a local and global level, trying to collect Victory Points. The game will be split into "seasons," with winners earning rewards that follow them into the next round of play.
Catan: World Explorers seems to be more focused on team play than Niantic's more recent AR games Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. While both those games feature team gameplay elements, they're only a secondary focus compared to co-op gameplay and collecting. Catan feels much more in line with Niantic's first game Ingress, which focused on direct team competition.
Settlers of Catan is one of the most well-known board games in the world, and serves as a "gateway" game for more complex games. Players compete to build settlements and collect victory points, while gathering resources based on where their settlements are built each turn. Trading resources either with other players or through a bank system is a critical part of the game, and it'll be interesting to see how Catan: World Explorers brings that to the mobile scene.
Fans can sign up for Catan: World Explorers at the game's website.