I've upgraded this to a '9' for the online version. Played face-to-face it's not that compelling, but played in your spare time and quickly using www.playcatan.com
, it's a fun and interesting game, and is my new favorite time-killer. It's clever, with interesting decisions about risk and reward, and is more textured than it first looks when you're spending too much time waiting for your turn when playing with more players.
Fun filler. My only fear is whether it's a touch too long for what it is, but I'll find out soon enough, because I plan to start breaking this out as the filler of choice for the next little bit. The box says 15-30min, and I think at 15-20min it's a nice little game: just a fun dice game, but with interesting choices about how much risk to take to build what (low-scoring roads to set up dicey but high-scoring cities vs. more reliable settlements, when to use your knights, etc). It's not a brain-burner, but there is enough there to be fun.
On the other hand, there is definitely a lack of any player interaction, which is a bummer, and which I suspect means that the player count should be kept low. With 4 players, two sets might be helpful to keep things moving. If the game goes 30 minutes, I think it'll probably overstay its welcome (another popular dice game around here, Can't Stop, reliably goes past its expiration date of about 20 minutes).
This is much closer to classic dice games than another recent favorite, To Crown a King, was. This is definitely one you can play with your family/friends.