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Settlers of Catan board game is coming to Xbox Live Arcade

Posted in Games, Technology by engtech on January 15, 2007

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.

9 Responses

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  1. A.J. Valliant said, on January 16, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Have you actually played the game yet?

  2. engtech said, on January 16, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Not the Xbox Live version, just the sitting at the table drinking port version.

  3. engtech said, on January 16, 2007 at 4:47 am

    Release date should be Feb 1st.

  4. carocat said, on January 16, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Release date 1.Feb? That’s odd. New XBLA titles are generally released on a Wednesday worldwide.

    There is also Worms coming to the arcade in the next few weeks. :)

  5. santoki said, on January 20, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Actually, I think that I won the “last person” award, but I will trade it to you for two sheep and an ore.

  6. engtech said, on January 20, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Hmm, I have the sheep port… that might be worth it.

  7. Prof Kienstra said, on February 13, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Wannagame – EN version or Wannagame – Dutch version is also a great freeware version of the game. It also supports ranking and has it’s own messenger system so you can hookup to other players online.

  8. chickinagamestore said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:54 am

    I can’t imagine playing Settlers and not being around a table with the other players! Making “who’s got wood for sheep?” jokes is just not going to be the same in an electronic format…

  9. profkienstra said, on May 19, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    @chikinagamestore: i agree, around a table is best, however, sometimes this is just the easier way to play a quick game if you have friends who live a bit further away. A catan game can be played online in an hour or so.. and that is just a bit easier than travelling an hour, setting up the board and playing and travelling back.

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