Wingspan is originally a popular board game designed by Elizabeth Hargrave. It is a strategy card game that features over 170 types of birds exclusively from the North American region where the player with the most points wins. The birds are only from North America because it was what the creator of the game was familiar with. Plans for expansion of birds have been requested by seasoned players in the video game but have not yet been implemented as of this time.
To get a good feel of whether this game might tickle your fancy, let’s take a look at how it’s played. At first, Wingspan is a slightly daunting card game to someone who has never played before. You see birds, numbers, symbols, powers, etc., and have no idea what any of them mean in terms of the game.
The first thing you should do if you play the tutorial. The tutorial is absolutely necessary for beginners and probably should be viewed more than once to get a better understanding of the game. Luckily, the player can view each section individually after the first tutorial is finished because it is quite long.
It is recommended to keep SFX and other nature noises at their default levels so you can enjoy the beautiful music the game has to offer.
Trivia activation settings can be toggled here as well.
The game can be played up to a 1920 x 1080 resolution on PC.
Wingspan offers various text languages available in English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Italian, and Korean. With voice-overs only in English, Polish, Chinese.
Animations and habitat descriptions can be turned off if one so chooses.
The objective of Wingspan is to gain as many points as you can which is symbolized by a bird feather symbol but can be gathered several ways. You can get the amount listed on each bird card by playing the card. However, to play a bird card, food is first needed. To get food, you gather it by either utilizing the forest habitat, getting it through the bird-feeder via dice, or by activating special bird powers which the game will call “brown powers.” Be careful when committing to a decision because most of the time it is reversible.
Each turn the player or opponent can do one of four things:
-Play a bird card from your available cards in your hand on a habitat. There are three types of habitats: Forest, Grassland, Wetland.
-Gather food and/or activate forest bird powers.
-Lay eggs and/or activate grassland bird powers.
-Draw new bird cards and/or activate wetland bird powers.
You can also get points via:
-Caching food on bird cards.
-Tucking cards behind other birds.
One to five players can play and are composed of either you the player, AI (difficulty can be adjusted from easy to hard), a friend, automa (a simulated opponent that is generally more difficult than AI. The difficulty here can be adjusted as well), or someone online. As stated before, Wingspan has a pretty big following so it shouldn’t be too hard to find an opponent.
For each new bird that you get, it can show up in the main menu. So for those who want to collect them all (no, not like that), a completionist aspect is implemented.
Here is where Wingspan soars in my opinion. You could even say flies like an eagle. (I know, I know.) It has very smooth and calming music with some nature noises and bird sounds added in from the game to give extra ambiance. The tracks are limited in number but are decent enough that they make a good playlist to relax and play the game too because they really aren’t any duds in it.
Even you end up getting tired of the game or even disliking the whole game entirely, the soundtrack is definitely worth looking at. My hat off to Paweł Górniak, the composer, for a beautiful job. It is available on steam and is recommended. Extra tracks have been added to the soundtrack, will continue to update, and be available for free to those who have purchased the soundtrack.