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Image taken from: http://xbox360media.ign.com
Overview
This is based on the board game with the same name, a pleasant little of game of developing your settlements and cities.

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Image taken from: www.outcast.it
The World
You can choose two different display modes, a flat map and a 3D one. The 3D looks amazing and the robber does a little dance however you cannot tell the values of the territories without holding down a button and it’s harder to see settlements and roads. The flat map is far more functional, as it doesn’t look as impressive but you can clearly see the value of everything and where all the game pieces are.

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Image taken from: http://foodandcircuses.files.wordpress.com
Objectives
To win at Catan you need ten victory points which you collect in a variety of ways. The main way the game works is collecting resources by dice roll, shown clearly while playing. Although it works fine, I personally always prefer rolling the dice myself against a random number generator contained within the game, but that might just be paranoia.

You collect points by building settlements, cities and having the longest continuous road as well as through using development cards either simply as victory point cards or through having the largest army (by using Knight development cards). All this is displayed clearly in both display modes.

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Image taken from: http://media.teamxbox.com
Enemies
You choose the AI opponents you face, and the difficulty level definitely does reflect the competency of the AI. The multiplayer games are always against real opponents and obviously their skills can vary hugely. A lot of Catan games face the luck of the dice, but the probability of certain numbers coming up is shown clearly. Another interesting thing in Catan multiplayer is that you mostly communicate through a large selection of emotes to display your hatred or love of other players, the dice or your luck in the game. Finally you are also able to trade cards with the opponents and so sometimes it’s worth not attacking them with the robber or trading with them to have them trade back in future.

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Image taken from: http://farm3.static.flickr.com (sorry I couldn't find a better pic)
Statistics
There are a huge amount of stats you can bring up by holding various combinations of LB, RB, LT and RT. You can see the points each player has, the length of their longest road, how many soldiers they have, how many times each number has rolled and the percentage of each number coming up. Also you can see how many of each resource is currently in play amongst all players, this last one is interesting as it’s something you wouldn’t normally know unless you’ve been counting every resource that each player collects.

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Image taken from: http://xbox360media.ign.com
Conclusion
Catan is a very fun and simple game, both the board game and the computer game. The different display modes give the option of choosing graphics or functionality and the mass of stats you can see and always useful. It’s not something I play constantly, but when looking for a break from all the gunfights, monsters, aliens and zombies, it’s nice to kick back, relax and play a game of Catan.

 





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