Wingspan Asia – A Two Player Variation Worth Playing
If you haven’t played Wingspan or read our review of the original game or expansions, you can find those linked in this article. We absolutely loved the original game, and equally loved the Oceania expansion and the Birds of Europe expansion. As I work through this review of Wingspan Asia, I’m going to assume you have an understanding of how Wingspan works – if you are unfamiliar, go back and read that review. Otherwise, let’s get going!
Off the top, it is worth noting that the Asia expansion for Wingspan also introduces the ability to play the game with 6 or 7 players. In this new variant, two players will take their turns at the same time, using a dial to keep track of who will be playing and when. The two new colours of white and black are added to the 5 colours available in the original game. Asia also, obviously, comes with a ton of brand new birds with new abilities and more. These cards are great all around, and while some feel a bit more powerful than others, there is a nice balance so all players have the chance of grabbing a good bird.
In the two player variant, the big change to the game is how objectives are scored. This time around, both players – black and white – are given half of a ying-yang symbol, and whenever they place a bird on their board, they get to place one of these symbols on a separate board. This board provides a number of locations that the symbol can be placed on, but there are placement rules. Sometimes players may place their symbols on locations that provide something for free – perhaps a card, something from the bird feeder, etc. – but other times you are placing the symbols to either make your group of smybols on the board larger (for end game scoring), or because they help with some of the new objectives.
In past games, objectives would provide you extra points for having specific things in your habitats, perhaps a type of nest. This time around, you are instead scoring for how you place your symbols. You might be required to place more symbols on water spaces than other players, or have more symbols on the outside edge of the board. With a ton of different objectives to use, each game felt just a bit different, and definitely changed how I prioritized bird placement on my own board.
I’ve always loved Wingspan, and having this Asia expansion is phenomenal. The quality of the cards and the tokens is top notch, and seeing all these new birds is great. What Asia made us realize is that we cannot wait to get even more great Wingspan expansions in the future.