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Wingspan Asia... No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.

A standalone game or an expansion to the famed original, Wingspan Asia brings Elizabeth Hargraves popular game across the globe to discover a plethora of Asiatic birds. This game offers a variety of play modes from solo play to duet to flock mode (with the original game) making it a versatile option for 1-7 players.

For a game with so much hype surrounding it and being a couple that love board games, I have no idea why it took us so long to give it a try, but eventually we got sucked in with the Asia expansion and try it we did!

First Impressions

The artwork on the box is what initially hooked us into Wingspan Asia. The beautiful design and vibrant colours along with the lure of a specific 2 player variation really drew us in. Upon opening the box, the components impressed me straight away, not only the quality of the pieces but also the way they all fit in the box to make the most of the space. The plastic bags are biodegradable and aside from the wrap around the cards and the box, there was no further plastic in sight! These environmentally conscious choices, perfectly reflect the theme of the game and are a fantastic step in the right direction for the board game industry.

Initially the game felt quite overwhelming, with a main rule book, an automa rule book and a glossary booklet as well as a huge deck of cards and multitude of components. However once I'd started to look at it, I discovered the swift start Guides. These were a huge help and broke down the learning into manageable chunks and introduce the different actions you can take one at a time so that you understand how they work. This was such a simple addition to the box which made a huge difference in getting started, I was really impressed by it.

Game Play Overview

The aim of the game is to collect the most points from playing birds into their corresponding habitats, laying eggs and completing bonus cards. Players take it in turns to carry out 1 of 4 available actions; play a bird, lay an egg, collect resources and draw more bird cards. The more birds you play, the better the actions become and the more bonus actions you can carry out. However as your birds start filling up your habitats, the more they cost to play. In Duet mode, each round sees players competing not only for the standard bonuses and points but also on the duet board whereby you can gain additional bonuses for completing certain tasks. Each round that goes by sees players start the next round with 1 less action. The game is played over 5 rounds and the game ends at the end of round 5 when final scores are tallied and the victorious player is crowned the winner.

Pros and Cons

The game feels quite overwhelming when you first look at it, however once you start playing, it doesn't take long to realise that the mechanics are not all that difficult and that the hardest part of the game is in fact deciding how best to spend your dwindling actions. I really liked the concept of losing actions as the game went on as it really made you think about which action was the most beneficial; it's not a mechanic you often see in games but it works. The artwork is gorgeous and the bonus cards have a nice variety and choice. Personally I would prefer there to be a few more cards that allow you to draw extra bonus cards during the game, however this does not detract from the gameplay and makes every game different.

Final Verdict

Overall, I really enjoyed Wingspan Asia. It's not overly complex but is still meaty and engaging. The aesthetics of the game are fantastic and the game play isn't diminished in their wake. It's a game we have gone back to play several times and every game has currently played differently with completely different scores and challenges. If you're brand new to gaming, this may be a little on the heavy side but is relatively easy to pick up. However if you are familiar with games like Carcassone and Pandemic then you should have no issues in getting to grips with Wingspan.

In conclusion, we would rate this game a 10/10


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