'Wingspan' Could Be 2019's First Big Boardgame

2019's first big board game is for the birds.

Wingspan, a new tabletop game designed by Elizabeth Hargrave and published by Stonemaier Games, is now available for pre-order on Stonemaier's website. The new bird-themed game puts players in the shoes of ornithologists competing against each other as they try attract the best birds to their respective wildlife reserves and gain victory points.

At the heart of Wingspan are the birds themselves, which are represented by 170 cards with unique art. Each bird has abilities that trigger at different times, most of which generate victory points or resources that can be used to play more birds. Many of the birds' abilities create powerful combos, which become more important as the game goes on due to the lessening amount of actions that players can use in each of Wingspan's four rounds.

Players also compete for victory points by completing certain objectives, which are then tallied up at the end of each round. These objectives change game from game, so players can't rely on the same strategies when playing. Players also have a secret goal that they're also trying to complete that also translates into more victory points.

Gameplay takes about an hour and can be played with 1-5 players.

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While it might seem unusual for the tabletop community to be buzzing over a game about birds, early reviews for Wingspan is almost universally positive. There's a lot of early buzz for this series, with many players (and Stonemaier Games itself) comparing its play style to a streamlined version of Terraforming Mars.

Wingspan will be released on March 8 and will cost $55. However, Stonemaier is giving players a chance to pre-order now at a discounted price and receive the game early. If you want to get an early jump on one of 2019's first big games, be sure to check Wingspin out today!