Joystiq readers have long asked for Settlers of Catan to be brought to Xbox Live Arcade. When Microsoft confirmed that they're working on the game, some readers rejoiced:

  • "Now THAT is cool. It almost makes a Nintendo fanboy like me want to buy a 360." -- RiemannMeetLebesgue
  • "A dream come true. All current online versions of Settlers of Catan are missing the main aspect of the game... voice communication. I cannot wait for this game." -- Ray Kasten
  • "prepare for the new most addicting game on XBL" -- Deadpool
  • "YES!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS BOARD GAME SO MUCH! This is the best news I've ever heard for 360 :-)" -- CrossFireXT17

(You get the picture.)

But some Joystiqers (self included) never really understood what all the fuss was about. Well, count another convert, as of last night. Here's a (brief) tale of how I became a Settlers of Catan addict.

The invitation to the New Year's Eve get-together encouraged partygoers to bring their favorite board or card games. Being provincial, I brought over a couple DSs with Tetris DS, intending to share my love of head-to-head Tetris with attendees. When I arrived, however, a game of Settlers of Catan had just been laid out on the dining room table. Curious to see what the fuss was about, I put away the DSs. They were not touched all evening.

We had trouble tearing ourselves away from the game board for the New Year's countdown, we were so into the game. After the ball dropped over the slack-jawed revelers in Times Square, we returned to the den and played for a couple more hours. Settlers of Catan plays like a multiplayer version of Civilization, with four players taking turns to build roads, settlements, and cities in an attempt to control scarce natural resources. It's simple, it's fun, and it's -- huzzah! -- coming to XBLA, eventually. Waiting's hard, though -- I've already filled and abandoned two shopping carts full of Settlers merch, but will wait to see if the XBLA version satisfies the jones.

[Image credit: Shifting Lands.com's homebew 3d Settlers of Catan set.]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.