Parents' Guide to

Scythe: Digital Edition

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Complicated strategy game worth the high learning curve.

Game Mac , Windows 2018
Scythe: Digital Edition Poster Image

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If you're looking for an easy-to-learn, action-packed war game, this is not the game for you, but if you stick with it, it will reward you with great strategic play. Like most grand strategy games, Scythe: Digital Edition takes a while to learn and much longer to master. It's meant for patient, thoughtful players -- the kind of people interested in out-thinking their opponents rather than bashing them over the head. Still, even at their best, grand strategy games are tough to absorb. Faced with a too-basic tutorial and a complex interface, you're really in for a challenge.

Good as it is, Scythe: The Digital Edition fails new players from the get-go with a tutorial that just doesn't get its point across. Though it marches you through the basics, it fails to clarify each faction's strengths and how best to achieve your objectives. And once it's done, you're left alone with an icon-filled map and menus and no real clue what's happening. Tool tips appear when hovering over the game board, but your options can feel overwhelming, and the rules are hidden in the options settings. (If you click the rules button, your browser opens on a 32-page online rule book!) While it's true this stuff isn't exactly encouraging for strategy newbies, if you're willing to play a few games anyway, things start to make sense. The noncombat emphasis of the game and the slow burn of growing your territory starts to become satisfying. You'll notice the brilliant artwork and soaring music, revel in your first win, and realize this is a really well-made game. You'll see that the pace (of single player at least) is good, and that it's a nice change to win by more interesting means than just by obliterating your enemies. So if the initial difficulty gets you down, be patient. Neither Rome nor Europa were built in a day.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Asmodee Digital
  • Release date: September 5, 2018
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy , Adventures
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Violence, Mild Language, Use of Tobacco, Users Interact
  • Last updated: April 5, 2019

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