Wingspan is a beautiful board game about attracting birds

Originally published at: Wingspan is a beautiful board game about attracting birds | Boing Boing


We got ourselves this game for Christmas last year. It’s beautiful and fun and no two sessions are the same, except that we always wish there was one more round. Highly recommend!


We picked up Wingspan last summer, when looking for new boardgames to keep us entertained during lockdown. It’s still the #2 most played game in our household, although it’s still a long way behind Terraforming Mars.


Are the birds on the cards exclusively US residents or is it a global set of birds?


It’s global, and each card has little facts about the bird. It’s an “engine building” game (I learned that term specifically to learn more about this game) and just really lovely. The cards, tokens, eggs, dice, you can tell everything was designed, not just made.


“However the board game industry transforms in the next few years, it’ll be Wingspan that causes it.” You must not follow any board game designers or groups. WS is but 1 of many unique games that has increased the interest in non-traditional board games. Maybe wander over to BoardGameGeek and explore before making such a bold statement.


They are releasing periodic expansions that increase the geographical extent of coverage. The most recent were the European and Oceania expansions.


Came here to say something similar. What’s driving this is women designers. Finally being allowed in to a deeply sexist business, they are producing all sorts of innovative themes and mechanics, and broadening the world of gaming in extremely positive ways.


Wingspan is fantastic. I’ve only managed to play it once, though, at a local boardgame convention prior to the pandemic. It is gorgeous and extremely easy to teach and learn. I just wonder how it would hold up to repeat plays for me.

Sadly, it is not a good fit for my household at this time due to have young children and a wife who, while someone who does enjoy games, would rather occupy her hands with baking or crochet in her free time. The game was initially very difficult to get a hold of when it was released, due to popularity and size of print runs. Everytime I saw it, I had to willfully pass it over because I knew it would be a $50+ that would take quite a bit of time to feel satisfactorily spent.

Birdfeeder dice tower? I look forward to playing this!


Wingspan is a great little engine builder. A really good intro to some of the more complicated aspects of modern board games. It’s very, very good-looking, too, which doesn’t hurt. I have all the expansions, and it’s top 5 in my board game group. I’m having trouble not spending all the money on the available upgrades for the game, including a wooden bird-feeder dice tower that has a tiny woodpecker that pecks when you roll the dice…

I am never gonna recover financially from this.


While absolutely gorgeous, Wingspan was quickly overshadowed at our game night by Everdell and its adorable animeeples :slight_smile:

That said, there are a few games that rip off the overall style of Wingspan, without the substance (looking at you Dust on the Wings). Beware.


A friend got it to play with his tweens due to it’s long-standing place at the top of numerous “family-friendly” boardgame lists, and I played it worth them for the first 3-5 games, and I have to say it feel a bit flat for us.

It is one of the games with the least player interactions that I’ve ever played. And I’ve played plenty of Euros in which the only interaction is taking the colored cube that the other person wanted.

We found it to be really just simultaneous games of solitaire. You’re competing to see who made the best engine at the end.

That kind of game works well for lots of people – me included! – but I did not feel it was a “family” game at all, which, for me, means a lot of interaction between the players.


I was psyched when I was finally able to get a copy during it’s initial release and fanfare.

The rules were a mix of complicated and clumsy, and once we had it down it felt like the abilities were sparse with combos that never feel like they really payoff. Winning or losing ends up feeling more like chance and less of ruthless competitive strategy, creating a friendlier atmosphere.

The beauty in this game is a nice color palette and wooden pieces (the custom dice are cool!). Learning a little about the birds adds a satisfying dimension and the cards themselves are really well done. The dice tower is a fantastic addition, not often seen, and listening to the wooden dice plunk down the tower is very satisfying.

New players without a mentor would do well to watch a couple of how to play videos online to go along with reading the rule book.

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That sums it up so well. Most of the game I’m not even sure if I’m doing well, and then the winner is just kind of unceremoniously identified.

I prefer board games to their video game versions. But this game is available on the Nintendo Switch and currently on sale for less than $15.

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Totally agree. The only exception I have is for Ascension, which has a fantastic mobile version.

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We have had this game since close to its beginning since it was created by a friend of my aunt and uncle, who are also health policy analysts into birding (there’s a demographic sub-subcategory for you).

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Bird Feeders of Catan.

I, too, would rather play Everdell than Wingspan (two games in which you are buying cards for scarce resources). I don’t really see how Wingspan can be called unique, when most of its mechanics can be found in many other games.