Scythe - Game Review

By Dan Vasile, 2016-12-06 12:46

One of the most eagerly awaited games of 2016, Scythe sees up to five players take control of innovative and valorous faction leaders as they try to stake a claim on “The Factory” in an alternate-history 1920s Europe. 

At its core, Scythe is a worker placement 4X style game. Players conquer new territory (eXplore and eXpand), enlist new recruits, reap resources (eXploit), gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs (eXterminate!) 
Scythe is extremely asymmetrical in it's gameplay. Every time you play it with a different faction, there will be different strategies that you will need to employ to be successful. This is because each faction starts with different amounts of the different resources, begins the game in its own unique location with its own limitations and possibilities and has its own hidden agenda for victory. This really increases the replayabilty of the game in a way that will make you want to bring it back to the table at every opportunity you get. 
Another interesting thing about Scythe is you are in complete control of what happens to you and your faction. Every aspect of the game sees you attempting to improve the very engine of the game itself. Players will be able to increase the efficiency of the actions that they take, build structures that give them beneficial effects on the map, recruit new units to enhance your faction's abilites, activate powerful mechs to deter opponents from invading (or maybe even to invade your enemies) and expand the regions they have influence over in order to gain greater types and quantities of resources. This helps to create a sense of progression when playing the game, that will leave players with a sense of achievement by the end of it all. 
The only aspect of luck in the game is the use of encounter cards when exploring new lands and interacting with the citizens there. Even then, these cards offer the players meaningful choices, so that the luck aspect is mitigated and it is down to what the players choose as to what happens to their faction. 
Something else that makes Scythe different to other games of its type is that there are no rounds or phases in which the players take their turns. An action-selection mechanism is used, to keep a fast pace feel to the game and to reduce the time between player's turns. Also, even with plenty of opportunities for in-game conflict between the players, there is no player elimination. 
Do you have what it takes to become the most powerful faction and take control of “The Factory?” Will you lead your people to greatness? Why not find out in Scythe.
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