I'm not typically a fan of Euro or Euro Hybrid games...typically, worker placement and resource management are kinda blase. It was with a bit of trepidation that I shelled out for Scythe. I thought, "Well, at least I can sell this if it's not my thing." Turns out, it's my thing.
The mood and theme of this game permeate the gameplay in a way that's very satisfying. Just check out the box cover to see what I mean. There's an overarching sense of eerie mechanical dread in much of the artwork. It's rich in feeling, with peasants going about their day to day routing, and mechs in the background, either keeping a watchful, protective eye, or keeping the workers in line. I'm not sure which it is, but it's quite engrossing to ponder.
A game is all about the gameplay, of course, and in this way, Scythe rises to the occasion. The mechanics are streamlined and easy to understand. The designers cleverly allow the second half of your turn to happen while the next player does their first half. In this way, things don't ever really bog down, aside from AP if the player has a few equally appealing options.
The game will get even smoother as the player gains experience, making planning for future turns easier to approach.
Conflict is indirect, and mostly revolves around a race to approach the factory. And battle has consequences in this game, making you lose popularity if workers are displaced. This just plain makes sense...if you mess with the people, the people aren't going to like it one bit.
Scythe offers lots of strategy options, and that's multiplied by the variety of factions and player boards available. I do not have the expansion yet, but look forward to even more variety when it's released.
The theme, gameplay, and variety of this game makes this one to add to your shelf. Try and check it out, and at the least give it a play on someone else's copy. I feel this one will go down in history as something very unique and very, very good.