We were nearing the end of the game, and my young daughter had collected the four apples she needed for her last trophy. She was frantically lugging them back to the castle portal to return them for the victory while her big brother raced to collect enough pies for his last trophy. She finally made it first with a loud, “Woohoo!” double fist pump followed by a not-so-sportsmanlike, “Hahahaha!” pointing her finger right at her brother. Mom and dad couldn’t help but chuckle while trying to teach good sportsmanship. =-)
Play as a pair of seekers in a mythical animal kingdom seeking to fulfill a set of challenges. Each turn you’ll take one action to gather tasty apples and precious diamonds, build trust and friendship across kingdoms, increase pie-fighting abilities, embark on valuable side quests, and much more. Complete each challenge for a coveted victory trophy. The first to four wins!
My Little Scythe starts to fill that large black hole between hard-core strategy games too complex for the young and the mindless luck games with little replay value. I actively search for solid strategy games that I can play with my younger children that don’t have so many rules, steps, or choices that interest is killed before we barely get started. My Little Scythe is a rare stepping stone to introduce the young (or old or new!) into this strategy game universe.
The length of the game and depth of strategy are just perfect for a kids strategy game. As an avid gamer, it may take a bit to get used to the abrupt conclusion of the game (I felt like I was just getting started!), but from a child’s perspective with a short attention span, it’s ideal. The strategy is very simple and visual where you place a marker on one of six available actions to keep track of what choices you can make. There is really only one component that requires being able to read (the Quest cards), but an adult or older child can easily help out without ruining anything. I’ll just say that My Little Scythe is my 5-year-old’s very favorite game right now and for good reason!
I’ve had too much experience with flimsy games that it has become a major deterrent for me when purchasing a new game. My Little Scythe is as solid a game as they come. The characters are hefty and dense, the board is thick (and huge!), and the diamonds and apples are solid and fun to play with. Other than the rulebook, the only paper component in the whole game is the action board (which just sits on the table and is fine to be paper). There aren’t many board games I’ll let my kids use for imaginative play, but My Little Scythe is now one of them…and they love it!
If I could magically choose one skill to teach my kids, it would be proper decision-making. Life itself is made of millions of decisions: small, large, and everything in between. This game helps teach the fundamentals of making good decisions by maintaining focus on priorities (you can’t go for everything!), by understanding opportunity cost (if you do this you have to give up that), and by thinking through choices to resulting ramifications. I felt like a sneaky parent using a board game to teach extremely valuable life skills! =-)
Tips & Tricks
- Go for Power Ups very first! They add a significant advantage and should be pursued early to maximize their value.
- Don’t hyper focus on a single trophy goal. Be aware of what’s out there and try to work towards two or three at a time.
Scoring & Wrap-up
Overall, as a light-weight, kids strategy game, I give My Little Scythe an 8.5 out of 10 (between “Very good – enjoy playing and would suggest it” and “Excellent – always enjoy playing it” on BGG’s scale) for the following reasons:
- Depth of strategy is perfect for retaining engagement across a broad age spectrum of kids (5-12+).
- Storyline is captivating and fun.
- Characters, board, and other components are sturdy and superb quality.
- Length of game is ideal for low levels of attention span (i.e., kids!).
- Color, design, and artwork are top notch. They are clean, crisp, and engaging.
- I truly couldn’t come up with a single detractor. Believe me, I tried.
My Little Scythe is perfect if you’re looking for a family game that truly pulls in all ages: the very young to the elderly. It’s one that elicits excitement for others’ success and a fun level of competition. Kids will be hooked, and you’ll create many memorable gaming moments playing this one for years to come.
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.