How It Plays
In Wingspan players are researchers looking to discover and attract new birds to your wildlife habitats. These birds are worth points at the end of the game.
The game is played over the course of 4 rounds. Each player is given 8 cubes representing their action on their turn. Each turn the player will place one of their cubes in a habitat and complete the corresponding action for their turn.
Once every player is out of cubes, the round is over and end of round bonuses are scored by placing one of the 8 cubes on the score board. Every round you will have one less cube to use making every action more important.
During their turn a player can take one of four actions:
- Play a Bird: Pay the cost in food tokens to play a bird card from your hand to the corresponding habitat.
- Gain Food: Take dice from the bird feeder and the corresponding food tokens from the supply.
- Lay Eggs: Players may lay eggs on their bird cards which are worth points at the end of the game. Eggs are also necessary to expand habitats to allow more birds to be place their.
- Draw Bird Cards: This allows you to draw cards either from the bird deck or from one of the 3 face up bird cards and add them to your hand.
When you take one of these actions all of the birds abilities in that habitat are activated, allowing you to have more powerful turns.
Once the 4th round is completed, players will score their points and the player with the highest score wins.
- Fast Paced. With each player taking one action per turn, there is very little down time in between turns. Of course with most engine builders the bigger the engine the long the turn, but I still found turns to move pretty quickly.
- Pretty Well Balanced. Although not all birds are created equal, more on this in the cons, I felt they did a good job with most of the bird powers to keep most games from having a runaway winner.
- Artwork and Overall Aesthetics. The eggs, dice, bird house, and everything else look amazing!
- Theming. Again, between the amazing artwork and the high quality components Wingspan has excellent theming! They even have facts at the bottom of every bird card in the game as well as where they are found around the world.
- Cards Galore! With 170 unique bird cards it gives the game massive replay value.
- Egg Spamming is No Joke! I found the entire final round we would all simply lay eggs making it kind of an uneventful end to the game.
- Not All Abilities are Created Equal. I’m looking at you tuck a card, draw a card. Get a few of these and a repeat a brown power bird and victory is yours.
- Only Two of the Habitats are Any Good. You really only need one bird in the water habitat if that. Drawing bird cards are necessary, but laying eggs, gaining food, and playing birds are where the real points are. Of course it all depends on how you build your engine, but I have yet to play a game where someone has won while focusing on their water habitat.
- Fans of Engine Builders. Wingspan is a fun engine builder that has an unique theme with a splash of worker placement for good measure.
- If you are interested in other engine building games, consider checking out our review for Gizmos.
- Value: 7/10. Currently about $60 on Amazon.
- Components 9/10. The bird theme is cool, unique, and the components really tie it all together. The only thing keeping it from a 5 for me is that there isn’t enough eggs or food trays that come included.
- Gameplay: 6/10. The final round and water habitat is a bit of a bust for me, but everything up to that point is fun.
Wingspan is one of the most beautiful board games that I have played. All of the components are of the highest quality. The gameplay is extremely fun, as you would expect from Stonemaier Games, but once you figure out certain strategies it does hinder the game. With that being said I would definitely still recommend this game.
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