Have you ever heard of the boardgame Wingspan? If yes, then this blogpost might make you want to play even more! I’ll share everything you need to know to play Wingspan from anywhere without bringing all the game material with you. Whether it is the local pub, cafe, the park, your friends’ house or a different country. This post is a very exciting one as my partner Brad and I have developed the app that makes it possible to get the feels of a boardgame while being completely independent of location. We are proudly presenting: Wingflight – play Wingspan from anywhere!
If you haven’t heard of Wingspan yet, it’s definitely worth having a look! Wingspan is a card-driven, strategic and engine-building board game. It’s about building your own bird empire within four rounds by playing birds, gaining food, laying eggs and activating their abilities. At the end of the game you count all your points and the player with the most points wins. The reason why I could play this game almost every day is because there are so many different birds that each game turns out differently.
Wingflight is not an official Stonemaier Games app, but it was created with permission from Stonemaier Games and Monster Couch. All credit for the wonderful board game “Wingspan” goes to Stonemaier Games and game designer Elizabeth Hargrave.
About the idea of Wingflight
First, let me share a little bit more about how we came up with the idea to develop Wingflight. It all started in September 2020 when Brad introduced me to Wingspan in a boardgame café in Oxford. We both loved the game and bought it a few weeks after that. For a whole year we played basically every weekend and even took Wingspan on a camper van trip to the Lake District. I vividly remember the summer days when we packed all the game material (boards, food tokens, action cubes, eggs…) into a bag and cycled to a café in London.
When we packed for a long trip to Thailand it was clear that we couldn’t bring Wingspan with us, it was just too big. This is when we first came up with the idea of digitalizing the boards to be able to play from everywhere we go. 9 months later we started drafting the app, drawing the app elements & Brad began writing the code.
The vision became reality
In total we spent almost a year playing Wingspan with our app & improving it step by step. We started showing it to friends and they really liked the whole concept. This encouraged us to start thinking about actually publishing Wingflight so everyone could benefit from it! What was meant to be an app just for ourselves became a public product. Wingflight enables Wingspan lovers to take the game anywhere they want without missing out on the interactive part of playing a boardgame.
Digital without losing the physical
There is a fully digital app to play Wingspan on your phone. What we didn’t like about this alternative though was that it’s too small of a device to properly see the cards. Also the whole interaction is missing as you only end up staring at a screen during the whole game. We play boardgames for a reason, right? Especially with Wingspan, the bird cards are what make the game so exciting and unique. Wingflight combines the digital aspect of a location independent app with the tactile feeling of actually playing a boardgame and handling all of the cards.
An app can never fully replace a boardgame. This is why we wanted to find a way to get the best of both worlds and play Wingspan from everywhere without bringing all the material.
Brad Ellison, Developer of Wingflight
Wingspan game setup
Let me now introduce you the game setup of Wingflight. It’s the best companion to play Wingspan outside your home. We’d say Wingflight is a hybrid boardgame acting as an assistant that enables you to play from anywhere – without missing out on the feeling of handling cards and having them laid out in front of you. Check the photo below to see what the game setup is supposed to look like:
one (for a maximum of two players) smartphone or tablet
original Wingspan bird cards
original Wingspan bonus cards
original Wingspan end of round goals
Everything else, like the food tokens, the action cubes, the end of round goals & final scoresheet, eggs, etc. will be provided by Wingflight. Due to them being on the app there is unlimited availability (We’ve had some games where we ran out of physical eggs).
You basically play Wingspan exactly as you know it. The only difference is that you use Wingflight to place the cards on the board and take the different actions like laying eggs or gaining food. The physical cards you play remain in front of you as usual. You’re kind of pretending there is a board in front of you. All the actions happen on the app though.
To learn more about all app features I highly recommend going through the tutorial you can find on the app. It teaches you how to do certain moves and shows you the game setup.
1. Game actions
In Wingspan there are four game actions: play a bird, gain food, lay eggs, gain bird cards. To execute an action you press one of the buttons at the top of the digital board (see the screenshot below). After each round, Wingflight will reduce the number of available action cubes by one.
2. Play a bird
When you play a card you lay the physical one out in front of you and place a digital card on the app at the same time. By holding down and highlighting the card, you gain some additional options – you can delete it, move it up or down, rotate it, or cache food.
3. Gain food
To gain food you just click on the available food token in the birdfeeder and add it to your food pile (watch the Wingflight tutorial to learn how). Once a food has been taken from the birdfeeder it will automatically move to the unavailable tray. By clicking on the bird house and talons you can reroll both trays.
If you want to play with more than one device you can use the ‘online play’ function (see no. 7) which keeps the birdfeeder and unavailable tray in sync across all devices.
4. Lay eggs
You can lay eggs by clicking on the nest of a bird card, and then to remove it by clicking on frying pan. Please mind how many eggs a card can fit as the app won’t know. The total egg count will be automatically added to the final scoresheet (see no. 8).
5. Boards per screen
One device allows a maximum of two boards per screen. If you are two players you could therefore either share one device with two boards per screen or use two devices with one board each. In case you are using more than one device you should activate the online play function (see no. 7) which keeps the birdfeeder in sync across all devices. This way even more than two players can play Wingspan together.
6. Supported boards
Nectar & Oceania Expansion
Duet Mode & Asia Expansion
7. Online play
If more than one device is joining to play Wingspan you should activate the online play function. On the home screen just tick ‘online play’ and create a game ID. Other players can then join by entering the same game ID. The online play function synchronises the birdfeeder across all devices.
Note the following: Everything else apart from the birdfeeder will not be synchronised. The board type, boards per screen and game mode have to be put in per device. Also the placement of the tokens on the end of round scoresheet have to be done individually per device (see no. 8).
8. End of Round Goals
The end of round goals have to be brought and chosen physically. With Wingflight you can place the tokens to enter the points after each round. If you play with more than one device make sure to put your individual token on the right spot as you won’t be able to see the other players’ token. The final scores for the end of round goals will be calculated automatically (see no. 8).
9. Final scoresheet
After completing all four rounds it’s time to calculate the scores. With the automated final scoresheet this is a very fun and easy one! You have to count the following and adjust the sliders on the final scoresheet:
The eggs, cached food and nectar (if used) will be automatically added by the app. To see the final score just click on the eye button. Wingflight does all the calculation for you and provide the result within only one click.
Wingflight Pro Version
The Pro Version of Wingflight can be easily purchased through the app for 3.99 £ (plus VAT). It’s a one time purchase which will give you lifetime access to the Pro features as well as to future updates. What are the benefits of going Pro?
No ads between rounds
Access to Oceania Board & Nectar
Access to Duet Mode
When playing with more than one device every device involved in the game needs a pro version to access these features. The app will remind you if that’s not the case.
Wingflight is for you if…
Wingflight is for you if you love playing Wingspan. But more importantly if you want to play it from other places like your favourite café or while being on holiday without packing all the game material. Wingflight is for you if you love boardgames. One of our biggest goal was to keep the feeling of a boardgame and the tactile handling of the cards.
Wingflight gives you much more flexibility when it comes to where to play Wingspan. It’s the perfect complement to your boardgame at home. I’d describe it as your take away cup for your favourite birdgame. I stopped counting the amount of times we’ve played Wingspan over the past two years. Without Wingflight the whole boardgame would’ve had to stay in Europe and not be touched for years! We travelled the Ha Giang loop in the North of Vietnam and took breaks to play Wingspan with the best view ever. The app made it so easy to play from anywhere.
Due to the unlimited availability of eggs and food we also have friends who downloaded Wingflight and regularly meet up with them to play together. Have I mentioned the idea of playing via video call with another person (provided both of you have bird cards)? Wingflight opens up so many new possibilities to play Wingspan!
Now it’s your turn: Download the app for you iOS or Android device and have fun playing!
We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the app. Just send us a message on Instagram or leave a comment below. Also please tag us on Instagram when you play! We can’t wait to see to which countries the app will travel with you guys.