Settlers of Catan board game is coming to Xbox Live Arcade
I believe I have won some kind of award for being the last person on the planet to try Settlers of Catan (or at least, the last one out of my friends). The game was invented in 1995 and I’ve been hearing about it since at least 1999. What makes this even more of an anomaly is that I am a bona fide geek and a board game like this is right up my alley.
(photo by gadl)
The easiest way for me to describe Settlers is that it’s like a Real Time Strategy board game. A random map is built using tiles and randomized resource quantities. Players take up their starting positions, collect resources and build up their civilizations until they reach enough points to win. Points are given for settlements, cities, roads and armies.
One twist I really enjoyed about the game is the lack of combat. The only way for players to “harm” one another is by moving a robber marker that prevents a player from collecting a resource. The game is really about resource management and a large part of that is in trading with other players. I found it very well-balanced. Everything comes down to strategy and making the best choices from your current position. All players get more resources on every turn so by the next time it’s your turn your situation could have drastically changed.
What has me really excited is that it is supposed to be available for Xbox Live sometime in the near future. Until then I’ll have to keep myself busy with one of the various computer game versions: single player standalone or online multiplayer, or the freeware clone.