From Stonemaier Games, WINGSPAN is a terrific engine-building board game for 1-5 players aged 10 and up. This game has earned a jaw-dropping 5,300 reviews on Amazon with an average 4.9 rating. I played it last night for the first time and found it lived up to the praise. It was loads of fun.
In this game, you and the other players are bird enthusiasts tending wildlife preserves, where you’re hoping to attract a variety of species of birds to live in habitats. In each turn, you can take one action, which is gain food tokens from a bird feeder dice tower, lay eggs, draw new bird cards, or play a bird card on a habitat.
It’s the kind of game that’s kinda complicated until you play a round or two, and then it all comes together. Gradually, you build an engine that starts producing real points. More food, more birds with different capabilities, more eggs.
I really enjoyed this one. The production quality is charming–the eggs, bird houses, the facts about real bird species on the cards–and the birds have such unique capabilities that no two point-generating engines you build are likely to be the same. The competition is also pretty stress-free, as other players can’t mess with you. You’re really playing against yourself and against them at the end, when all the points are counted up.
Overall, WINGSPAN is a fun game that is competitive but also not competitive, with a really strong charm factor.