Review: Wingspan – Games & Tech Movies
– Publicity –
Wildlife is a wonderful thing. Watching and studying the creatures in their natural habitat should be cherished. People become addicted to animal watching and one of these groups is known as “Twitchers”. These bird watchers enthusiastically sit down for hours to spot different species, study their habitats, while observing their natural behavior. Span attempts to replicate this hobby by allowing players to experience different birds while enjoying competitive play.
Developed and published by Monster Sofa, this is a complex, tactical deck-building board game to master. Originally available as a board game, computer gamers can now enjoy the local or online gaming experience from their living room. You have to follow the same rules as the original, so if you’re a fan, you’ll be fine with it. New players are in for a tough race, but keep going because there is a lot to love about this title.
Span: a stimulating but calm experience.
Now I like a tough board game, but Span This is another thing ! With lots of rules to learn, powers to combine, and goals to aim for, it’s unique and quite complex. I tried it for many hours, but the computer still beats me. It’s boring and frustrating, but it’s also addicting, healthy, and it will get you under the skin.
The basic concept revolves around the hatching of birds in their correct habitats. You have to select their favorite food from the bowl and use the collected eggs to bring them to life. Each bird has a special value and power that changes your approach. Playing them can increase your food level, automatically lay eggs, or allow additional actions per turn.
Each game takes place over four rounds, each with a specific objective of bonus points. The first round has eight rounds which decrease by one for each subsequent round. Every ride you choose; hatch birds, collect food, lay eggs or draw cards. When your turn is over, other players can go and the scoreboard will automatically show who won that turn. Each player is then assigned his points according to his position and the game continues. Clear as mud, right? Don’t worry, this becomes clear with a little practice.
It’s all a matter of tactics and long play.
But Span is complicated at first, its basic concept is simple. Select the right bird for each habitat (wood, grass or water), hatch eggs and feed your animals. To win, however, you need to study different tactics, understand power moves, and focus on bonus points. Using the power of each bird to your advantage is the key to getting a “wing” ahead. You know your computer opponent knows the rules inside out, so no mistakes can be made.
It’s all about the long game, and players can go from last to first in the blink of an eye. Each habitat contains a maximum of five birds, these can be changed at any time from the cards you hold. The more birds hatched, the greater the bonus per habitat. In the woods you gain food, the more birds there are, the more food you will collect per quarter. Grasslands produce eggs and the more birds that live there, the more they produce. Finally, the aquatic habitat offers new bird cards to use. You have to decide which approach is right for you, score the maximum number of points and you will win the game. Your tactics should be fluid and playing the long game is vital. Still clear as mud? Honestly, it becomes clear as you play.
Online is fine, but local play is flawed.
Half the fun of board games lies in the mystery behind your tactics. Your opponent doesn’t know what you are doing until you play your hand. Unfortunately, the local game removes the secret element. Your cards are there for everyone to see and that undermines the tactical advantage. It’s always fun to play against family and friends and it retains the charm of the board game. But it’s hollow and removes the element of surprise when you put down a match-changing hand.
The online mode, however, retains all of these elements while allowing you to find less skilled players than computer opponents. Where the online mode falters is its lack of personality. The sessions are cold and secluded and the feeling of friendship between friends around a table is suppressed. It’s very clinical and devoid of emotion unless your online friends have invested in a copy.
Span has simple graphics, original artwork and a clean user interface.
If you’ve played any of the board games for computer game deck builders, you’ll know what to expect. The graphics lack complexity and feature a simple finish that is pleasing to the eye. With quirky artwork and cute character models, it’s a healthy title to play. Pastel tones enhance the relaxed ambience, making it a pleasant experience. With so many elements, the screen could have looked messy. A simple and clean user interface with removable tips reduces the clutter allowing you to enjoy the slow-paced action.
Lightweight and smooth audio supports visual presentation. The calm tunes play quietly in the background and are pleasant to listen to. Like a piano in an upscale restaurant, they are quickly forgotten. It’s nice to have, and it improves the mood. However, he knows his place, and he’s not dominating the situation.
It’s amazing how easy it is to play.
The mechanics can be complex with all the little pieces working together, but it’s surprisingly easy to play. With a limited number of buttons required to complete each activity, you’ll know how it works long before you master the intricacies. The button mapping is well thought out and clear references on the screen help clear up the confusion.
People love board games because of their competitive and addicting gameplay. Span the video game captures all of this, so you will be hard-pressed to let go. Even when you are mercifully beaten by your opponents, you will still want to keep playing. Its list of stimulating achievements and its many birds to study will keep you playing for hours.
Span will make you a virtual “Twitcher”!
With a lot to learn about each species, you will soon become a virtual “Twitcher”. You will need to understand; nesting requirements, preferred foods and their desired habitats. There is a lot to learn, but it will be fun to master the different tactics. I loved him, even though he beat me several times. If you like board games, I recommend you buy it here! Study the bonus points, stay flexible and aim for long game victory.