So perhaps it’s not surprising that the digital edition has garnered so much praise over the last few months. Having been exhibited through online events like the Steam Festival and, more recently, PAX Online, the game seems to spark interest with fans across the globe. On 18 September, the game was finally released on Steam in full, and so far the reviews are very positive.
Once you get stuck into the game, it’s easy to see why people are drawn to it. With hand-drawn art and a soothing soundtrack, Wingspan might just be the most thoroughly relaxing game I’ve played all year. Gameplay-wise, the digital edition of Wingspan has stayed loyal to its physical counterpart. Like in the boardgame, every player plays as bird enthusiast with their own nature reserve. To win the game, you must populate your nature reserve with as many birds as possible.
While this sounds like a straightforward aim, the gameplay mechanics of Wingspan are surprisingly intricate. Wingspan is often described as an engine-building game where players will need to complete certain actions and aggregate resources slowly in order to achieve bigger goals. For Wingspan, this mostly translates into collecting food and eggs, which in turn enable you to add birds to your habitats in the form of bird cards that you can play. Every bird has a food cost which will need to be paid in order to play it. Other actions – like drawing more bird cards or gaining more food – need to be paid for with eggs.