Okay, short version. The Catan Dice Game is really, when you get down to it, Yahtzee that uses a Catan map for a score sheet. You build roads and villages and cities and knights, albeit in a specific order. The five resources are on the rather nice dice, plus gold. Two gold make a wild and the knights each serve as one-time resources.
And I ultimately found the game dull, even disappointing. I actually enjoy Yahtzee and games like Take It Easy that are genuinely multi-player solitaire. But, for me, the heart and selling point Catan franchise is the heavy player interaction.
It also doesn't help that, since then, I have played dice games like the Zooloretto dice game and the Bohnanza dice game that used mechanics from their parent games and felt like I was playing games from their franchises. The Catan Dice Game just doesn't measure up to that comparison.
I do have two caveats.
First of all, I play it a lot back when I had an Android phone. It was fun as a way of fidgeting.
Second of all, I understand Klaus Teuber actually originally designed a more complicated and interactive game and his publishers insisted on the simpler version. (Since the dice game has sold very well, I can't even say they were wrong.) Since the initial release, which is when I got my copy, variance have been released and some are even now included in the game.
So if you want to accuse me of not giving the game a fair shake, that's reasonable. It has clearly come a ways since that first edition.
I was tempted to buy a copy again when I saw it on clearance the other day. The original base game was pretty meh for me but I do like the dice and maybe some of the variants would make them sing.