XBOX Live: Settlers of Catan tomorrow! (Wednesday)

Catan finally makes it to XBox Live. Link!

800 points ($10).

How many points is it, though?

Ha! Kidding. I suppose that it deserves its own thread, now that it’s up on Live. I bought it and tried a tutorial game, and it RAWKS. Detailed impressions:

The fancy 3D “living world” skin is really the only criticism I’d make, at this point. It looks neat, but functionally, it’s almost unplayable. Tile number counters are turned off by default (you have to hold in a trigger to see them), and roads are hard to make out against the terrain. You really need to be able to assess the board at a glance in Catan, and this skin makes that far too difficult.

Not to worry, though, because the default skin for the game (which just looks like a 3D representation of the actual boardgame) is pretty much perfect. It’s clean, attractive, and very easy to read. Definitely the way to go. Which is, I assume, why they made it the default.

The instructions and tutorial are clear and well presented. It should be easy for people to get a handle on the game even if they’ve never played the boardgame (if you haven’t played the boardgame, I’d recommend playing a tutorial game against the AI before jumping online). One thing that they probably should have mentioned earlier in the tutorial, though, is the need to keep your hand from going over seven cards. Boardgame veterans know this already, of course, but newbies will probably be caught by surprise. If you roll a seven when you have eight or more cards, a tutorial popup appears to explain why you have to discard half your hand. At that point, though, you’ll probably be thinking “NOW they tell me!” Otherwise, though, the instructions and tutorial are quite good.

The interface is fantastic. It’s easy to learn and lets you do anything that you can do in the game, and more. Trading is very slick, and there are all sorts of stat windows that you can instantly access that show you building costs, total resources in play (though not, of course, who has them), an action log, and everyone’s current totals for victory points, road lengths, and soldiers played. They even have some cool esoteric stuff like a die roll bar graph (comparing actual rolls so far to the average distribution, so that you can check and make sure that yes, the dice really ARE conspiring to deny you those sixes that you need). Cool stuff.

There is also a bunch of animated graphical emotes, including some fun ones like “I hate the dice” (which triggers a little animation of you blowing up the dice with dynamite), as well as some practical ones like “sweeten the deal” (useful when trading). Those are going to be a lot of fun in multiplayer.

The AI seems pretty solid; I’ve only played the one game, though, and I suspect that the main appeal is going to be multiplayer anyway.

Overall, a big thumbs up. Pretty much everything I’d want in a videogame version of Catan.

Also, Achievements:

Settler of Catan - Build a settlement in any game of Catan. - 10
Scholar of Catan - Win a Single-Player game against Moderate AI’s. - 10
Professor of Catan - Win the Single-Player game against Hard AI’s. - 20
Builder of Catan - End any game of Catan in possession of the Longest Road card 10 times. - 20
Knight of Catan - End any game of Catan in possession of the Largest Army card 10 times. - 20
Merchant of Catan - Acquire 100 resource cards in trade in any game of Catan. - 20
Villager of Catan - Collect 25 Victory Points. - 10
Citizen of Catan - Collect 100 Victory Points. - 20
Elder of Catan - Collect 250 Victory Points. - 20
Statesman of Catan - Collect 500 Victory Points in ranked match play. - 20
Chancellor of Catan - Collect 1000 Victory Points in ranked match play. - 20
Ambassador of Catan - Invite a friend to play Settlers of Catan. - 10

Yep. After having played it on PartnerNet, I was eagerly anticipating its release (for a lot longer than I would have hoped, to be honest). Good to see it’s finally out, and hopefully setting the world on fire.

My only real complaint so far is trying to look at the stats at the end of the game. Using 4 different combinations of the trigger buttons to look at different stats? Why can’t I just press left and right to look at the different screens? Thats got to be one of the most bone headed interface designs I’ve seen in a long time.

Game is great though, AI isn’t too shabby either.

So when are we going to get some games going? I’m Angrycoder00 on live.

Great fun! (Sorry Tomasz)

Anyone know why there’s no demo available? Or is it just an oversight? This is the first XBLA title without one available that I know of.

I’m going to be picking this one up tonight for sure.

Question: as a n00b to Catan (though aware of some of the core game principles) how easy/hard is it to pick up and play on XBLA?

Erm, there’s definitely a trial version. Check again?

Catan’s quite accessible. One match is enough to learn all the basics. In fact, I won the very first match I played (in the real boardgame) because all the other players were busy getting at each others’ throats instead of paying attention to the beginner.


I’m interested in this, but I think these LIVE games are even more flash in teh pan than regular games.

Where are all the Worms matches? Uno? Assault Heroes?

Sounds good on paper, but I don’t think people will be playing Catan in a few weeks.

Hey, I played Uno for months.

Anyone know why there’s no demo available?

From MajorNelson-

Edit: We discovered a technical issue with the trial version of the game and had to remove it from the service. The full version of Catan is still available. The team is working onto fix the issue in the trial version and have it back up as soon as possible, but I don’t currently have an ETA. Thanks for your patience.

There are still a lot of people who play Uno and Worms last time I checked. I’ve never had any trouble finding games for either, at least. Assault Heroes, if I remember correctly, had connectivity issues from the start, and it’s also the type of game you can only play so many times so it doesn’t surprise me that people aren’t playing it anymore. At worst, you can easily find internet communities where people are willing to organize and play just about any game. In any case, these games are $10 or less so it’s not hard to get your money’s worth before the user base dies down.

Yeah, Uno is easy to find games for. I never have to wait more than a few seconds before I’m connected to other people looking for a match. The only games that are tough to find opponents for, in my experience, is the old arcade conversions.

Whre’s your Uno NOW Schmidt!? ;)

Play with random people? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I meant . . . yous guyz.

I’ll try and get on tonight. I’ve been looking forward to this even though I too am a Catan noob.

I never got Worms, mostly because no one seemed to be playing it (partly because it looked like they wanted to charge for all the weapons they took out of the last one). A Worms night around here would convince me to purchase, however.

Uno, on the other hand, had good staying power. I played a lot of QT3 Uno.

I’m in for Catan and always up for Worms (or Uno) anytime. I send out invites whenver I’m playing Worms but no one ever takes the bait. If we scheduled an official night I’d be all over it as well. I’m not really that good, I just enjoy the game.