My Little Scythe Pie in the Sky was gifted to us by Stonemaier Games for review. It is an expansion for My Little Scythe and the base game is required to play. This medium sized expansion adds a new level of strategy and changes the game elements just enough to add new flavors to the kingdom of Pomme and the pie fights. The expansion includes two new seekers- the Fox and Owl kingdoms. There is also the addition of the Airship Kai and a few new rule changes. We will be discussing the expansion since we have already reviewed My Little Scythe in the past. If you would like to know more about the base game, click here.
In the core game we knew about the 5 kingdoms of Pomme and we now come to find that two additional kingdoms had been missing for 300 years! These two new kingdoms brought with them the legendary Airship Kai. What this means for the game is that we now have two new kingdoms to play with as well as the addition of the Airship Kai. The two new kingdoms are the Foxes and the Owls and while they play mostly the same as the other kingdoms (not including their gadgets that we will talk about later) they come with beautiful minis. There are very few rule changes to the core game which is wonderful. Sometimes expansions try to add too much to the core game and they become an almost undecipherable monster. Pie in the Sky adds just a few small changes that are easily incorporated into the core game while adding just enough changes to make it feel like a new experience.
The real star of the show is not the Foxes or Owls but the Airship Kai. The Airship Kai comes with its own mini and adds three new gameplay elements to the mix. You now have the shared Seek and movement as well as the new Cargo function and airship gadgets. Previously, the seek function was simply to roll the dice and add the appropriate resource to the appropriate region of the map. With the Airship you now do the same as before, adding resources to the appropriate regions and then you roll the Airship Die. This new die allows you to take control of the Airship Kai and move it to a place where there are resources. The handy thing about movement is that it allows you to obtain more resources since your movement will now be anywhere from 1-6 while using the seek action. There are 5 trophies and a 6(boost) side on the dice. The trophies serve as your movement but they automatically balance the game out. In order to win in Pie in the Sky you need an additional trophy which brings your total to 5 instead of 4 with the core game. Your movement when you roll a Trophy is limited to the amount of trophies you have yet to complete. So at the beginning of the game it will mean a movement of up to 5 and as you get trophies this movement will decrease. This helps keep the winning players in check by limiting their movement compared to players who may not have as many trophies yet. The 6 side counts as a movement of up to 6 regardless of your trophies.
Another handy thing about using the Airship Kai is that you can pick up items and place them in your cargo. This effectively speeds up the game since you can now much more easily obtain resources to bring back to Castle Everfree, upgrade, or craft! The fresh new take on the game adds enough flavor to keep the game replayable while maintaining the same gameplay elements. Interestingly enough, adding an extra trophy by no means increases the length of the game. We found the game speeding up as we were able to collect our items much more quickly by using the Airship.
Finally there is also the addition of airship gadgets. These are handy bonuses that can be used in place of taking your regular airship movement action. These bonuses vary depending on your kingdom. This was a welcome addition as it adds a small touch of asymmetry to the game. No longer will you be playing My Little Scythe simply by the cuteness of your mini. You will think about their airship ability and the bonus it provides. This makes the game more complex and makes it feel like its older brother Scythe while still keeping the feel of My Little Scythe.
Language Barrier Playability: Tough but manageable. You can play with mostly the symbols but for quests you will need a translator.
Replayability: Great. The game is already replayable and this adds a new dimension. The additional asymmetric airship gadgets add more strategy opportunities.
Artwork: Adorable. You get the same adorable artwork with the two new kingdoms and the Airship Kai is both daunting and cute.
Quality: Great. The quality of Stonemaier games is never in question.
Strategy: Great. The new Airship and the gadgets add new strategy elements and will keep you playing.
Instruction Manual: Excellent. The game describes the rules very quickly and does so promptly. The manual even adds small reminders for the core game in case you forgot how to set it up.
Organization: Fair. This was a tough one to score since we were so looking forward to using the additional spaces in the core game to store the expansion. The core game has additional spaces for the two new kingdoms and dice. However, we were greatly disappointed by having no space for the Airship Kai. There are also no additional meeple tokens to go with the two new kingdoms so you are forced to use the other colors which can get confusing if you don’t switch the bottom colors. The components do fit well in the original packaging but it was disappointing to see that the original packaging did not fit everything.