Sadly, one of the first things you will notice is the unfriendly layout which makes learning the rules a little frustrating at times. Just do yourself a favor and make sure that isn't the last thing you see because the rest of the content does much to make up for the difficulties you run into over layout. The artwork is well done and well placed, the text is easy to read and the pdf has a full set of options for navigation. Also, it's worth mentioning that a free Quickstart Guide is available and this goes a long way towards fixing many of the layout oddities.
My favorite thing about the way Eldritch was put together has to be the many sidebars that not only give optional rules but also give you a little insight into why a certain rule works the way it does. This kind of thing really makes it easy to make changes to the game mechanic.
After reading the Quickstart Guide (which I recommend before reading the pdf) and the pdf itself I found Eldritch to be very interesting indeed.
The game is skill based and it's quite easy for even a new player to pick up the game and have a character ready in under 20 minutes which I find to be a big plus.
The mechanics are based on ascending die types (d4, d6, etc) and you have the option of taking specializations and masteries to increase the number of dice you roll. This ends up being a very simple yet workable mechanic for handling all random actions (skills, combat, etc) in the game.
One of the things that caught my eye first was the level of participation players have during combat. Gone is the standard "to hit" roll vs various target numbers. In Eldritch, each player takes a hand in deciding how his character will defend himself against any attack. This allows the player to get more involved in combat which often makes up the bulk of any fantasy adventure. What's more, this level of involvement comes with no sacrifice in speed or ease of play.
Eldritch also does well in supplying you with the things that you need to play while skipping over the bloated bits you rarely use anyway. You need not worry about alignments, bloated equipment lists or encumbrance systems. You will, however, find plenty of information for weapons, armor, magic and all the things characters are likely to get into.
And while Eldritch does not come with a fully detailed campaign world it does supply enough information about the base setting to allow you to easily run games.
The one thing which Eldritch lacks is even a small list of sample monsters. However, it makes up for this by giving you all the information you need to create your own versions of popular fantasy critters or something totally new.
All in all I gave Eldritch a 4 rating as, despite the absent monsters, the game is packed with all the information you need to easily run story rich fantasy games. Everything from character creation to slinging spells is covered in a slick easy to use game mechanic that will have your players really enjoying the characters they create.
Lastly, make sure to visit the Eldritch forum at Goodman Games as it is a wonderful resource for the game.
[4 of 5 Stars!]