Babe the Blue Ox not included.

Scythe arrives for PC via Early Access

PC, (Mac, iOS coming soon) •

In a year with a lot of anticipated board game ports, Scythe from Stonemaier Games and Asmodee Digital is near the top of a lot of lists, mine included. Strangely, Asmodee has been somewhat quiet about what’s happening with Scythe, only giving us tiny glimpses into the inner sanctum. Sure, we got a week-long beta test back in April but that was only for PC so all the cool kids were left out. I’m built of strong enough stuff to wait for Early Access and a build specifically for Mac, yessiree…Oh, what’s this? Today, Scythe arrived on Early Access…for PC only. Ugh.

If you’re the one guy who hasn’t heard of Scythe, here’s a synopsis. Some guy made cool art and then they built a game around it. Pretty simple.

Scythe is cur…wait, what’s that? You need more? Okay. I guess I’ll stop this post and lay it all out there just for you. Aren’t I nice. (The rest of you can continue to the bottom)

Ahem. Scythe is a Dudes on a Map game wrapped around some Euro tropes which turned it into its own beast. Yes, there are giant mechs marching around the hex-filled board, and, yes, you can fight other players but that’s not the meat of the game. The game involves action selection via a simple worker placement mechanism and resource management. The backbone of the game is turning resources on the map into things you can build and upgrade on your player board. Players win the game by earning “achievements”. Do something cool and you’ll get a Star. Get 6 of them and it’s game over. Fighting can only get you 2 Stars at most, so if you focus solely on bumping up your mechs, you’ll fall far behind in nabbing any other Stars.

There’s more! There are spaces where events happen and are basically choose-your-own-adventures in a deck of cards. There are player powers for each individual nation. There are cards, big robots, little workers who can ride in your big robots, and a gigantic hexmap that would make Owen cry tears of joy. It’s big and brash and in your face and the expansions only make it bigger with airships and other such nonsense.

The digital version was released today for Steam Early Access, but only for PC. We’ve been told a Mac and iOS version is in the works, so let’s hope this is how they’re ironing out the bugs before those platforms get theirs. If you have a PC you can proudly spend $20 to help beta test the game, knowing that you’ll be involved all the way through release and beyond. Don’t be alarmed if the rest of us will are looking over your shoulders.

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