Spreading My Solo Wings with Wingspan: 5 Years Later

Jun 15, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Attract all sorts of beautiful birds to various habitats by collecting resources and using colorful eggs in Wingspan.

If I discovered a solo game I last played nearly 5 years ago and felt rather foolish about abandoning it… Well, that would be Wingspan! There was a time when I enjoyed it a lot, picked up the first expansion, and then somehow let it perch on my shelf like a sleepy bird. No more! It was time to jump back into this lovely game and get lost in its cozy charm again!

Game Overview

Game Name: Wingspan
Publication Year:

A. M. Martinez Jaramillo, N. Rojas, & B. Sobel
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

Resources attract different birds to a trio of habitats to gain bonuses. There are compelling choices to make, and sometimes, it’s all about finding the right bird at the right time for cool combinations! The solo opponent offers a delightful challenge across 4 rounds that swiftly fly by.

Setting Out to Find Pretty and Adorable Birds in Wingspan

First Play

March 8, 2019



Latest Play

June 16, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

30 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

28" x 18"


Low Score


Finding Lost Treasures

Owing to the fact that it had been years since I last opened my box, I forgot all about what was inside! I loved seeing the colorful eggs again, yet there was something else…

My friend printed these custom birdhouse tokens ages ago, and it was so nice to see them! Thanks, Ed! The different shapes make the solo experience stand out a bit.

I was also amazed at how simple the rules were and had to seriously wonder why I let this one go into hibernation.

Right away, I dove right into tough decisions amidst all of the wonderful avian artwork. Absolutely beautiful!

Pretty Eggs and Birdhouse Gifts Hidden in the Box of Wingspan

Vision-Friendly Cards

Last year, I found out about the official collection of Wingspan Vision-Friendly Cards. There was a major sale at the time, so I picked them up for every single bird card!

Visual accessibility is important to me, and I prefer larger text with higher contrast wherever I can find it.

The bonus with the expansion decks is that I have all of the new bird cards to mix in without all of the extra boxes.

Granted, this means I don’t have the components for new mechanics and game modes… Yet do I need all of that? I’m here for the birds and the streamlined solo mode!

Appreciating the Larger Text and Legibility in the Vision-Friendly Cards for Wingspan

Filling the Wetland

My first return play was slightly shaky as I settled back into the rhythm, yet it was quite smooth! I enjoyed finding neat combinations and filling in the wetland with birds.

The solo opponent was hardly easy, though, and I enjoyed the ways I could actively compete or steal valuable birds.

Round goals were straightforward and I always felt like there was a competition. That might have been due to me using the highest difficulty level. Ha! What a fun time!

In the end, I lost, but pulled off my highest personal solo score yet. This looked quite promising. Welcome back!

A Lovely Selection of Birds to Admire in Wingspan

Fierce Competition

Random round goals gave me some sense of direction as I made my bird card choices. Sometimes, it seemed better to give up on an early goal to plan for the later victory points.

I didn’t fare too poorly, aside from the final round when I didn’t have enough birds in the grassland to add eggs to.

Looking back on my comments from years ago, it sounded like I was getting a little tired of the randomness and luck.

However, I thought those added to the charm! As I kept on playing, there were clever synergies to uncover and plenty of pretty birds to keep me visually interested.

The Challenge of Mastering Different Goals and Finding the Right Strategies in Wingspan

Moving Out of the Past & Looking to the Future

This was so much fun to finally bring this game back to my table! The smooth gameplay mechanics were on full display, much like a bunch of feathers. Ha! I found an excellent challenge in the solo mode at the highest difficulty level, yet naturally, I had to think about what I wanted to get from the experience. Were the expansions right for me?

In short, I picked up all of the vision-friendly cards purely so I didn’t need to grab the full expansions. This means I’ll miss out on additional mechanics, yet I also don’t need to worry about additional boxes and finding more shelf space. With the Wingspan: European Expansion hanging out from years ago, I can store everything I need to!

My collection continues to grow, yet that’s also making me carefully consider expansions. It’s wonderful to have everything for every game, but realistically, will I ever get to play it? And, possibly more importantly, do I want to disrupt the ruleset I already spent time learning? For me, I’m happy to simply add in more bird cards for variety!

Eggs, Eggs Everywhere

My strategy shifted for my next play, which saw the solo opponent collect a huge amount of eggs. Well, fine… I leaned into the same strategy out of spite. Ha ha!

This time, it was the grassland that ended up full of birds. I’ve read that an egg-heavy strategy can be overpowered in the base game, but I still didn’t manage a victory here.

Play time markedly decreased, though, and I loved how I had fewer and fewer actions as the rounds progressed.

I remember having some trouble seeing the original cards, but these vision-friendly versions were much better!

A Most Eggcellent Strategy with Lots of Full Nests in Wingspan

A Worried Crossbill

Determined to win before I added in all of the expansion birds, I came so close! Predators were important to me, so this broad-winged hawk seemed like the right choice.

Only there were many hunting whiffs, thanks to the dice I rolled rarely showing rodents. This was a tiny cache that could have been 2-3 times the size with better luck!

It looked like the nearby red crossbill had a slightly worried expression as this hawk looked for other food…

Bottom line: I ran into some bad luck, but didn’t find that it spoiled the game experience for me in any way.

Tough Hunting Times for the Broad-Winged Hawk and a Worried Songbird in Wingspan

Session Overview

Play Number: 16-18
Accessory: Wingspan Vision-Friendly Cards
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Eagle-Eyed Eagle Difficulty Level
Outcome: 90-105, 75-101, 85-86 (3 Losses)

Oh! Lost by a single victory point in my final play, which saw me fill in the forest. Absolutely awesome experience, though! I felt engaged the entire time, and any frustration was quickly swept away by enjoying the artwork or finding clever bird card combinations. Definitely excited to keep playing this one and increasing the variety in the birds!

Falling Just Shy of Victory in a Wonderfully Relaxing Solo Play of Wingspan


20 Plays


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • Gameplay moves very quickly and only lasts 4 rounds, each of which has a clearly defined goal from the start.
  • Managing the solo opponent takes minimal effort but still provides a challenge that feels competitive.
  • All of the artwork is beautiful and cozy, creating a relaxing atmosphere filled with all sorts of unique birds.
  • There are plenty of action combinations to chain together and different strategies to try to pursue to win.
  • Not a lot of table space is required for how engaging the experience can be, and nothing spreads out too much.
  • With the vision-friendly cards, reading cards from afar is improved and more variety can be added without boxes.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Some degree of bad luck is almost certain to happen, which can spoil certain strategies without quickly adapting.
  • Keeping the habitats neatly organized can be a slight challenge, particularly when tucking a lot of cards.
  • Focusing on laying eggs can feel overpowered at times, especially when the action isn’t linked to any round goals.
  • The text size on the solo summary cards is extremely small, to the point these cards are very difficult to use.

More Wingspan

Explore related posts about Wingspan!

Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 86% 86%

Goals and Milestones


Score at least 80 points.


Score at least 90 points.


Win at least 1 game at the eaglet difficulty level.


Win at least 1 game at the eagle difficulty level.


Win at least 1 game at the eagle-eyed eagle difficulty level.


Score at least 100 points.

Continue the Conversation

What do you like about the solo experience of Wingspan? Have you tried out the vision-friendly cards? I was surprised how well the larger text and better contrast worked for me. The fun facts were lost in the process, but I loved having cards with better functionality! Onto some expansion content next, and to see if I can earn a victory in this decade!


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