Wood for Sheep

Every bit as fun as this picture impliesThe Settlers of Catan is the game I’ve been most looking forward to on Xbox Live, and it was finally released today. I played two games against the AI, and I totally won both of them.

My initial impression is that they did about as good a job of translating it to a console as possible. There are some hokey button combinations, and it can at times be hard to get an indication of the status of the game. I felt a little lost not having the cheat sheet of development costs visible at all times (you press the left trigger to get it). But at the same time, the setup is so much faster than the board game, that you can play more games in less time, meaning that it’s easier to remember the costs.

Since the game relies so heavily on trading between players, they’ve got a fancy interface for that, and it works pretty well. Giant arrows eliminate all the “Wait, you were asking for sheep? I thought you were offering!” that other players, never me are guilty of in the real game. I haven’t tried playing against humans yet, so I don’t know if the trade interface slows everything down.

So it’s highly recommended, if you’ve got an Xbox 360. Definitely if you’re a fan of the board game, but even if you’re just curious about it. Plus, you can play online against people in your friends list. If anyone wants to take me on, my GamerTag is ZombieGrundy. But be warned: I’m a master of the game and will totally own you..

6 thoughts on “Wood for Sheep”

  1. I dunno…having “settlers” in you game’s title doesnt make me think I’m in for action-packed fun. Is this one of those games you get at those creepy game shops that noone ever goes in?

    Ps. My Pokemans……let me show you them.

  2. Don’t let the title throw you off. But you do play as somebody in your mid-to-late 30s who’s given up on the idea of finding a perfect soulmate, and your objective is to find somebody who’s boring but dependable.

    Actually, it’s one of those German-originated only-available-in-game-stores games, but it’s accessible enough to be up at the front with the family games, instead of in the dark corner at the back of the store near the D&D manuals and the lead figurines and so-pale-they’re-translucent guys sitting around sorting their Magic decks.

    Word on the street is that they had to take down the free trial version temporarily, but it’ll be available again soon if you don’t like spending 8 bucks on it.

  3. Ah, well that changes everything. For eight bucks, it was a definite must-buy. But 10 bucks? That’s outrageous!

  4. Yeah, and I’ve read online that a bunch of people are having problems with network connectivity in this game. (I’ve played a few games with strangers, and the connectivity works just fine, but I’ve gotten schooled). Which makes me realize I just don’t understand how Xbox Live development works. I always just assumed that MS provided an entire library of networking code, and you just drop in your message format.

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