25 April 2017
My Little Scythe will be released for free in June
Scythe is one of the best board games we’ve played in a long, long time. As well as being downright stylish and exuding cool, its smooth flow of gameplay actions and decisions is a masterful piece of design – but it can be improved, as a five-year-old gamer from Canada set out to prove.
The problem is that although Scythe is a brilliant game for older players, it still might prove a little complicated for kids – and not every parent might want their child attacking their friends with massive stomping robots.
Enter My Little Scythe, a fan-made makeover of Jamey Stegmaier’s sweeping strategy game and toy range/cartoon TV show My Little Pony, co-designed by young fan Vienna (and her dad).
The game takes Scythe’s framework of multiple turn-to-turn actions and simplifies them to three choices: move, search or make something.
As in the original game, players are aiming to reach a certain number of achievements first: this time it’s four, rather than six. These feats are racked up by gaining friendship and having pie fights, which are tracked by the sides of the board as power and combat were in Scythe.
Players can draw magic spell cards (the replacement for combat cards) to help them win pie fights using similar dials to resolve clashes, as well as picking up quest cards which offer multiple choice decisions, just as encounters do in Scythe.
According to co-designer and Vienna’s father Hoby Chou, the original redesign of the game was suitable for kids around the age of 10 and ended a five-player match in under an hour, but still included too many elements to manage, making it harder for children around his daughter’s age to understand. He and Vienna went on to create a version more suitable for ages five and over, reducing the number of map hexes and refining the move/search/make actions.
The Chous’ efforts were even noticed by Scythe creator Jamey Stegmaier, who popped in to air his support of the project, saying he was ‘incredibly impressed’.
Hoby and Vienna plan to release My Little Scythe as a free print-and-play game in June, putting out an absolutely adorable intro video which you can watch below.