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Leonardo Bailey
Leonardo Bailey

Wingspan: The Board Game


Wingspan is a bird-collecting board game, based in science. Designed by Elizabeth Hargrave and published by Stonemaier Games, Wingspan has sold 300,000 copies since its debut in 2019. Kim Euker/Stonemaier Games hide caption




Wingspan: The Board Game



This bucks the trend of strategic games that start fast, but slow down as more options open up to players. Wingspan turns the other beak, and the speed of the game actually ramps up towards the end. Ensuring it never overstays its welcome.


There is a lot going on in Wingspan. All of it lovely. So we want to cover the game play quickly to give a bit of context for our review of the game below. This will not be a complete rundown of the rules. If you want to see and learn exactly how to play Wingspan, check out the always great Watch It Played video on YouTube.


Speaking of all those cards, their storage and in game use was considered in the wonderfully designed Game Trayz container/organizer that is included. There is plenty of space to hold all of the bird cards, the bonus cards, and the Automa cards that are included for solo play. Not only that, but the top comes off and is then able to be used to splay the face-up bird cards, making them easy to pick up, while the remaining cards in the deck stay nicely inside the tray, ready to be drawn.


The wooden eggs really up the table presence of the game. They come in five colors for aesthetic purposes only and it is the perfect touch. They look so amazing sitting on your player mat, and the flat bottom allows them to sit without rolling all over. I was worried that that could be a problem, but so far, so good, they stay nicely put where you place them.


This is easily one of my favorite engine builders. I absolutely love how you are given more time in the beginning to get your engine started, yet your action options are less powerful. Then, as the game progresses, you slowly lose the number of actions you have from round to round, but, if you built your engine wisely, your turns, though fewer, are more powerful.


Wingspan completely nails the theme in every way. It is not an afterthought, but rather woven through every single piece of this game. Not only do the look and feel of the components set the scene, but the very mechanics of the game, the actions and abilities of the birds, and the end of round goals all work together to make this theme come to life.


These force you as a player to not ignore the name of the bird. Without them you may have glanced at the name, looked at the bird, but then paid more attention to the abilities of the card. But with these types of bonuses, you are having to look at the name, along with all of the other mechanics because it all matters. I just love that. In a way it not only creates a fun, well themed game, but it also helps you learn a bit about birds in the process.


While there is a lot going on in the game, it is still a relatively family friendly game. The game play itself is intricate yet smooth. Once you understand how turns work and get used to managing it all, everything really clicks and flows beautifully. Yet you still have the satisfaction of having felt like you played a more substantial game.


The game itself is pretty heavily language dependent. Every bird card is unique and requires reading, so younger players will probably have to wait until they are pretty fluent in both reading and reading comprehension.


Wingspan is a fantastic game all around. It is a strategic, medium weight engine building game wrapped up in one of the prettiest packages I have seen in board games. After multiple plays it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.


Because the game features great depth of strategy while being relatively easy to learn and teach, it gives you the satisfying post game feel of having really played a great game without having your brain hurting from a three hour campaign.


As if this balancing act is not enough, there are end of round goal tiles that must be considered. Four tiles are randomly selected at the start of the game. The tiles give bonuses based on different game states at the end of the round, such as the number of birds in a habitat or eggs in a specific nest type. A brilliant decision was the inclusion of a double-sided goal board to display these tiles. One side of the board awards points based on the place players come in for each goal, while the other rewards up to 5 points for every player for each goal.


Each player is given eight cubes to represent their available actions. Why am I mentioning this now? In ANOTHER design decision that I loved, at the end of a round, you mark your points earned with one of these cubes. After every round, you have one less action in the next round. That means you will rely less on your action and more on your cards to generate the resources needed to win the game.


Loved this game! Used the tutorial for beginning players which walked us through the first 4 turns and then after that, we were home free, using the appendix and rulebook to figure the game out. We ended up playing 3 games in a row. Once figured out, it is easy and tons of fun. We never watched a video.


An upcoming board game, The Fox Experiment sees players attempting to domesticate foxes in a tabletop title inspired by real-life events. The board game is based on the Belyaev-Trut Experiment that took place in Novosibirsk, Siberia, wherein a group of scientists began to try and domesticate wild foxes by having them interact with humans, before selecting those that responded more positively for breeding.


In The Fox Experiment, players perform a similar experiment by having certain foxes from the available pool be bred with one another in order to make pups. Throughout the game, players choose from pairs of fox parents, before rolling the respective dice in order to successfully breed pups. Should those foxes become parents in the next round, players will then continue to perform their experiments with the hopes of resulting in useful data to please their patrons and possibly win them the game.


Apart from designing The Fox Experiment and the beginner board game Wingspan, Hargrave has also created tabletop titles such as Mariposas, a board game about the migration patterns of the endangered Monarch Butterflies that has players attempt to generate victory points by planning for each new migration.


The Fox Experiment will be published by Pandasaurus Games, the company responsible for releasing the likes of family board game Machi Koro and the Dinosaur Island series, which has players becoming the managers of their own dangerous dino parks.


Wingspan is a board game for one to five players that challenges them to score points by attracting various types of birds into their habitats. Each round of the game will feature unique ways for players to score bonus points, with the aim of gaining new bird cards and playing them on their board by paying the required food tokens. Once players have birds on their board, they will be able to place eggs on them in order to fulfill scoring requirements for the round and overall game.


Wingspan is a competitive, medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building board game for 1-5 players from Stonemaier Games. It plays in 40-70 minutes. This is the current version of Wingspan, which includes the swift-start pack.


It is considered an engine building and tableau building game. The combination of bird powers that can build resources and points more efficiently throughout the game, and this is built upon your own player mat without directly interfering with other players.


I highly recommend using this the first time you play as it is a great way to learn the game. Once you know the game, it's easy to teach others how to play by diving straight in without the Swift-Start Pack.


I've played Wingspan with only two players as well as with four, and I've played the solo variation. The game was just as fun and challenging regardless of the player count. After playing the solo version, I told Brian how much my brain enjoyed the challenge.


The game states for ages 10+, but we have played it with our kids who are 9 and 7 years old. We helped coach them through their turns a lot at the beginning, but they quickly caught on to how the game works.


It's a wonderful opportunity to have them play a game based in science and get them interested in learning more about birds. We've been paying closer attention to the birds we see and hear in our neighborhood.


We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.


Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!


An expansion is already in the works, and we're hoping it gives us a bunch of new abilities to experiment with. But Wingspan is already a fun game with a lovely theme, and it should find a happy home in many groups' collections.


This is a fun game. Lots of moving parts but not too difficult one you get the hang of it. A quick YouTube video helped to get the flow of the game. It's dynamic enough that every time you play it feels a bit different. Definitely a highlight to recieved this game!


Definitely a lot to learn at the start. But love it. Felt like I wasn't sure of my strategy the first game but still had fun. But after the first game definitely understood the game. Lots of pieces to setup but the quality of the game it great. Kind of a mash up of resources and deck building games where you only play/gather resources from your own board/playmat. Makes it more of a personal strategy game instead of pure chance.


A mid-weight Uwe Rosenberg game along the lines of Glass Road and Nusfjord, but more importantly, my favourite one! I love the environmental theme and how it brings all the mechanics together: everything makes sense and the rulebook is hardly required after the first play. 041b061a72


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