Snuggle up with your switch and a nice cup of hot cocoa and a blanket overtop this holiday season with WINGSPAN - you won't regret it one bit. For all intents and purposes, this bird-themed board game makes the leap from coffee table to small screen in spectacular fashion - it's infectiously cute in all the right places, and is intuitive to a T. Very few physical games make the leap to digital and warrant that jump, but WINGSPAN offers plenty that a board game simply could not, making it the perfect adaptation. I'm not one for card games, at least not in digital form, but WINGSPAN had me hook, line, and sinker, and it's not surprising that it did. This competitive online card game (or couch co-op, your call), has you building an army of flying mammals, foraging in the woodlands, and eating berries, so a typical Wednesday afternoon for Alex (Editor's note: apparently I'm a druid now...).

Gameplay

I know, to put it lightly, absolutely nothing about birds (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration). If I see one that's cute, the extent of the dialogue you'll have with me is, "Oh, that's a cute bird," but that's where the line gets drawn. I know the blue tit from immature school days, robins because who doesn't? Red Kites because of my local heritage and a few others dotted around here and there, but in general? No, I'm no bird expert. Yet, Wingspan's embrace of bird culture(?) was a treat to peruse.

The gist of the game is like most strategy card experiences, with that bird twist - you collect cards, play birds, scavenge food, and lay eggs. It's all the beats of a bird simulator neatly packaged into a board game format. Each round lets you play numerous actions, but the amount you can take diminishes as you go on, meaning that you have to form a game plan - the aim itself is pretty simple, you have to gain the most resources and complete objectives. Weirdly enough, despite the competitive nature, you'll find that trying to do harm to other players is, for the most part, a waste of time. That initial learning curve is fairly steep and definitely left me on the side-lines for a good while, but its intuitive enough that after a game or two, you start to pick up the pace rapidly.

Enjoying our Roundguard so far? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitterfor more Nintendo Switch content. Also, please consider supporting us on Patreon so that we can continue to do what we love doing.

Enjoying our Roundguard so far? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitterfor more Nintendo Switch content. Also, please consider supporting us on Patreon so that we can continue to do what we love doing.

Enjoying our Roundguard so far? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitterfor more Nintendo Switch content. Also, please consider supporting us on Patreon so that we can continue to do what we love doing.

Enjoying our WINGSPAN Switch Review so far? Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more Nintendo Switch content. Also, please consider supporting us on Patreon so that continue to do what we love doing.

The best part? WINGSPAN isn't an RNG-heavy experience. Card games especially tend to be, whether that's your bog-standard Poker or your more video-game oriented Hearthstone. You build up a strategy with what you have and those combos are as enticing as The Binding of Isaac's mix-and-match power-ups, keeping you coming back for more and more and more.

Story / Personality

Naturally, WINGSPAN doesn't have a story - it's a board game. Personality though? Where to start? Board games when adapted can be a little cut and dry; a wonky cut and paste attempt of the traditional experience in a non-traditional setting. However, WINGSPAN's devs knew what to keep, what to alter, and what to throw out. Naturally, this means that the game is gorgeous, with the music so good that those sticking to the physical board game may be better off playing it in the background. There's a narrator that tells you trivia - a must for one as ignorant to bird lore as I am - as well as playable chirps. It's the little things that make it a charming experience that stack up, and what's especially fantastic about all of that is that WINGSPAN has elements in its personality that the board game cannot - that's how you do an adaptation. Take notes, Monopoly.

Graphics / Art Direction

A card game can be a visually boring affair. A collection of cards with some artwork on top and bland backdrops - I'm looking at you Gwent, as much as I love you - but WINGSPAN has beautifully hand-drawn birds with colours that pop and backgrounds so picturesque that I'm half-tempted to make them my desktop wallpaper. The UI is, at times, a little on the busy side, but with so much complexity in the gameplay, that's a tough nut to crack - all the same, the UI has that natural feel to it, blending perfectly with the open fields, woodlands, and gorgeous skies and lakes of the backgrounds. But we're a Nintendo Switch website, so what does it look like on the ol' handheld? Magnifique! Blown up to the big screen, it doesn't take too big a hit, and on the smaller one? It's drop dead perfection.

Click here to read our Quick Review of Roundguard

Final Score: 86%

If there's a card game to get on the Switch, or a board game for that matter, then WINGSPAN is the one to nab. It's a top-tier entry into the genre that deserves a looking into, even if that initial hurdle can be tough to climb, especially for a bird ignoramus such as myself.

Thank you for checking out our WINGSPAN Switch review, thank you to PR Outreach for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: