Scythe is a fabulous game that is ideally played by adults; which brings me to
My Little Scythe . It is the same game but simplified for younger minds. The creators took great care to align this game very closely to the adult version, and the attention to detail is impressive- Making it more enjoyable for adults, while also creating opportunities for kids to learn the adult game a little faster in the future.
Basic overview of the gameplay
Just like with the adult version of the game, each turn you need to choose an action to take and cannot repeat the action of the previous turn. You earn and use Friendship and Pies as parallels to the adult version’s Popularity and Power. I also get a kick out of the fact that the battles you engage in playing this game are “pie fights.” The faction colors are the same as in Scythe and the animals for all the original factions match up to these characters.
The game consists of only two resources (apples and gems), making it a little easier for kids to keep track and achieve each Trophy- the equivalent of a Star in Scythe. To win the game one player needs to acquire 4 Trophies and the timing is roughly about 20 minutes total for the game. There are Power-Ups, quests that yield additional resources, and special abilities involved as well.
Good for the 4-year-old?
Yes! The concepts in this game are perfect for the 4-year-old because even though he needed help reading the cards, he was able to make his own decisions (with a bit of coaching). While switching up the action each turn got a little confusing, the visuals of the game helped with clear things up. There is a colored marker that is used when you take your turn to help keep track of the actions.
The game is fun for kids this age who yearn for either competitive or cooperative play. On some turns, you can roll dice to see what or where you will place resources on the board. There is an option, at times, to give additional resources to an opponent to gain friendship or to give those to yourself. Both are adequate strategies to ultimately win the game and it can be interesting to see kids this age choose how to try and win.
Good for the 7-year-old?
Yes! My 7-year-old enjoys the adult version of Scythe but his strategy for that game is woeful. There is just too much going on in the adult game and he has difficulty seeing the bigger picture so I always beat him (nope, I don’t let him win, life lessons and all). He just cares about battles on the board, no matter how many times I explain to him that the winner is the player with the most coins at the end.
The My Little Scythe version is excellent for him though. There are enough strategies that he can employ during gameplay that I have noticed he varies them on occasion and can understand the whole concept of the game. The various power-ups, quest choices, and special abilities enhance play for this age group and lead to some interesting choices that leave me asking “Why was this your plan?” as we pack the game up.
Related: Child’s Play: Kingdomino
The box recommends this game for kids ages 8 and up, but I heartily recommend ages 4 and up with the caveat that a 4-year-old will need coaching (but not necessarily need to be on a “team” with an adult). This game is engaging and on the right level for kids while still pulling in the complexity and enjoyment of the adult version.
Overall, I would say that Stonemaier Games nailed this one. If you enjoy Sythe and are looking for a game that you will enjoy playing with children, this is a great option.
Bonus Link: if you are interested in the adult game of
Scythe , I highly recommend that as well!
Have you played My Little Scythe?
*Photo Credit: Variant Liz