Scythe has been my first venture out into the bigger and heavier world of board gaming. Most of the games I have in my collection (Catan, King of Tokyo, Ticket to Ride, Sushi Go) were always purchased based on whether I could find something that my family or friends would be able to commit to and enjoy--something that looks simple and is easily and quickly consumed. But when I first discovered Scythe earlier this year, I knew I found something special that not only looked fantastic but also that I would have to have (and which surprisingly takes very basic mechanics and fleshes them out)!
Scythe took awhile to find the right crowd for me to get it to the table, but that crowd was one that was totally open-minded and willing to trust me on my word (because this game is worth the investment). Yes, it comes with a time commitment, but one look at the board and components and you will be shocked and a little upset you only get 2-3 hours to spend in this world before another go-round. This game is worth its weight in looks but also creates a gaming experience that certainly matches at all player counts. I have thoroughly enjoyed the few times I've taught and played this game with those friends and neighbors of mine who love to try new things, and we had a blast unearthing the puzzle of efficiency, tactical play, and building up our factions. I've also busted it out on plenty of occasions to try my hand against the Automa, and those times taught me plenty on strategy as well as revealed one more layer of enjoyment with each runthrough.
Scythe is well-deserving of the accolades it has received because it combines a rich and unique experience with a solid and well-thought base of a game, and I can't recommend it enough. If you are looking for something with plenty of meat on the bone, here it is. It is both a strategic think tank and a journey of exploration. The actions are interesting and fresh, and no two games are alike. Even the pacing of player turns is structured and balanced so that time flies. The toughest choices are dictated by strategy not luck, and there is a aching excitement over which action to do this turn when they all look so good. By the end of your first play, you will be sitting and conversing over the many possibilities and plans you and your friends had (if you only had just one more turn) as you look at the beautiful map and reminisce. Scythe was worth the price at full retail value, now there's no reason I wouldn't recommend it to a fan of the gaming hobby. My only caveat is there is a steep learning curve to any outsider, and it took me awhile through research, reading the rulebook, and watching videos of playthroughs to feel totally capable of teaching this game and playing at the same time without any reservation. I highly recommend watching Jamey Stegmaier's "How to Teach Scythe" video to help you, but as a fan of the Scythe universe, all the time spent learning only enhanced my experience.