The Nintendo Switch has plenty of excellent board games already available on it. Wingspan is one of the best, if not the best of them. Admittedly the developers were fortunate in that they had the most beautiful, well-designed base material to work with, but rather than do a pedestrian copy/paste of the game to make for a boring digital release or, worse, somehow mess it up by trying to change the game in some way, the team has shown some real respect and appreciation for what makes Wingspan a special experience. Without changing the fundamental appeal of the game, the developers here have taken advantage of the video game medium to enhance the experience in all the right ways. Wingspan, on Nintendo Switch, is nothing short of perfect.
I play this every single day. The perfect wind down.
I’ve only held off a 10 because although this is a near perfect conversion I do think the UI could be slightly easier to navigate and the graphics are a little flatter than perhaps they could’ve been. I nice bird feeder asset or card shuffle animations etc might’ve really cemented this as a video game experience.
All in all, almost perfect. Worth every Penny.
I was extremely excited to grab this game upon release as my son just got a Switch, so I was eagerly awaiting the moment to download it. Being extremely familiar with the board game I have played it dozens and dozens of times, possibly closer to 50 games.
Two expansions have been released for the board game so far; the Europe expansion and the Oceania expansion; which includes birds from Australia (my home country). The Switch doesn't cover these two expansions yet.
I have played five games on the Switch so far and knew what I wanted to include in this review from the completions of game #2. The last three games i played really cemented mechanic knowledge.
In the first game, you really are hit with difficult controls. Although you may be familiar with the board game and I know it inside out, there were some bizarre implementations of game mechanics. By the end of the first game, I was finally getting confident with some of the finer UI mechanics on the Switch; an example being a really swift way to check a particular habitat for each of you opponents, in a very easy way.
In the last few turns I was definitely confident to play vs strangers on line (my first game was with a friend who introduced me to the board game and even he was struggling with some of the controls. If you can get over the hurdle of your mindset going with "play a bird; pick a habitat" and instead go with "pick a HABITAT; play a bird" you will do so much better in the long run.
One really cool feature that I noticed is that illustrations of birds in your hand and in the bird tray are static; once you play them into the different habitats, they animate to life. They also have unique birdsong if you tap on them and during the game the are always moving within the confines of their individual card; that's pretty awesome.
One other feature that I loved was that the score card shows you ahead of time just what other end of round goals will score for you in later turns and that makes strategy much easier.
There are really great attentions to details throughout the game that open up as you play along, and with each play, I find more and more.
I think that this is a great port of the board game onto the switch; i just dont know if its a great board game port onto the Switch since this is my first time playing a board game port. I currently cannot put the Switch down, since it scratches the Wingspan itch during a time (Covid) when I cant get the game out to play with friends.
I hope that the two expansions are developed for the Switch really soon.
I urge you to pick this up ASAP, but realise that there is a bit of a learning curve for the mechanics. That being said play some birds and feed them today!
Wingspan is a fine adaption of the physical board game and a much cheaper way of playing it at that. Features like online cross-play, local play and well-explained tutorials make this one of the better board game adaptions to hit the console and hopefully allows Wingspan to reach a much-deserved wider audience in the video gaming world.
The presentation is superb, with hand-drawn artwork and a relaxing ambient soundtrack. This all adds to the feeling that Wingspan is well aware it is targeting a very small niche. Even with that in mind we’re still not sure Wingspan needed a digital gaming iteration, and if you can get your hands on the physical version we’d recommend that as a first resort – even if it is triple the price. If not then this a more than serviceable alternative.
The lack of any story or narrative means that, well, to a certain extent the game is shallow. It’s got a lot going on in play, but not a lot to draw you back in or anything of the sort. Also, it’s a competitive game, and that means playing with certain other people can turn things into a cesspool because some folks just cannot handle competition even in a chill game. Your mileage will vary. But none of that is to change the fact that this is a very supremely relaxing game. If you have the right people around you, or are just in the mood for something relaxing? This is an excellent option. Just relax. Settle down for the game. Don’t worry about people who are going to make this into a big to-do or anything of the sort, just… let it wash over you. Sit on the couch. Close your eyes for a bit, there’s no timer. Ooh, look, a red-tailed hawk! It’s a beautiful bird and it catches cards for more victory points. This is a fun game.
If the Switch is the only choice you have, it's not the worst option. This is perfectly playable and works fine. But if you can somehow play this in person with your small group of socially distanced friends or on your PC while talking through Discord, then that would be the optimal way to experience this lovely little game.
Wingspan challenges players to draw and play cards featuring various birds in order to outscore your opponent(s).
If you haven’t played the board game it may well be difficult to learn, but this is a pretty good digital version. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of ranking system added at some point.
Beautiful and wonderful game! My family and I are huge fans of the tabletop version so I was very excited to have a digital version since it hard to get people together lately.
PROS: Just like the source material, the visual style and artwork is wonderful. The subtle puppet animations for each bird are a cute touch, and the narrated bird facts are honestly the highlight for me. -The game has a nice assortment of tooltips to help you through phases and card effects. It’s very nice so you don’t have to keep consulting the rule sheet if you haven’t played for awhile.
-Playing against the AI is enough a challenge to just kill some time, and it has an online mode, which I intend to try soon.
-It’s cheap! If you've had your eye on the physical copy and were put off by the price point, or had issue getting it when the stock was limited, digital may be the answer!
- It’s a very faithful recreation of the board game.
CONS: The interface is a tad cluttered, and the controls are not intuitive. After playing a practice game, they came to me easy enough.
- I had a couple bugs where I tried resolving too many effects at once (I think) and the game would not proceed. Reloading the auto save from the home menu fixed it. I chalk that up to something a simple patch update could fix.
- This version only has the base game, 170 birds. It’s plenty to play with for now, but I hope for quick updates to add Eurasia and Oceania expansions so the digital game doesn’t feel too far behind the physical one.
THOUGHTS: Some games you play because they are challenging and competitive and others you get because they make you feel good. WINGSPAN is definitely the latter. Settle in for some chill music, bird songs, and did-you-know bird facts! :)
Fun, but extremely unbalanced both on and offline (for the good and the bad). If you really want to play, stick to the board game. This version needs an overhaul. Maybe they'll patch it. Maybe for $10 on sale, but without some work, it's just not fun for more than a game or two. At least the touch control is nice.
SummaryWingspan is a relaxing, award-winning strategy card game about birds for 1 to 5 players. Each bird you play extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your three habitats. Your goal is to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves.