Wingspan: Oceania Expansion DLC – Review
Follow Genre: Board game, Card Game
Developer: Monster Couch
Publisher: Monster Couch
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Wingspan: Oceania Expansion DLC – Review

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Good: New gameplay mechanics allow for different strategies
Bad: A game-breaking glitch is allegedly present in the Steam version
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

It took a surprisingly long time for Monster Couch to bring Wingspan’s Oceania Expansion to the digital version of the beloved digital board game – in fact, it was announced back in October of 2022- but the wait is finally over. Given that we absolutely adored the base game, we couldn’t wait to expand our bird sanctuary with new species, although the main focus here is on the addition of new mechanics. Should you swoop in to pick up the Oceania Expansion or would that be a bird-brained idea?

We won’t be going over the audio or art style in depth again, because what we’re getting here is stylistically very similar to the original game. It’s more of the same, but given how wonderful the original release was, there are no complaints here. The same applies to the core gameplay for the most part, although the addition of a handful of new mechanics does shake things up. There is, of course, a plethora of new species cards that have been added to the game, like the Emu or the Superb Lyrebird. The total number of new species is 95, and of course, they all have their own specific abilities to help you improve your bird sanctuary. However, the biggest change in the Oceania Expansion comes in the form of a new food source, nectar. Nectar acts as a ‘wild’ food, meaning that it can be used as any type of food when summoning any bird card in the game. However, it cannot be used to activate powers requiring specific food types. You can’t just hoard nectar either, as any unspent nectar is discarded at the end of a round. The nectar you have spent counts double towards the end-of-the-game score too, so there is no reason not to spend what you are able to gather up.

A more subtle change comes in the form of updated player boards. These have been modified to accommodate the new nectar mechanic, but in addition to this, players can now reset the bird feeder and card tray from the forest or water biomes, and the pacing of certain mechanics has also been adjusted. Using the new board, laying eggs is reduced, but food and new cards are being gained much faster, resulting in a game that feels more dynamic. We’re not sure whether this change was absolutely necessary, as we did enjoy the flow of the original anyway. However, having played a few games with this setup, we do see the appeal of this change of pace.

That said, not every addition included in the Oceania Expansion is equally appealing. There are several “smaller” mechanics introduced that are intended to allow players to come up with niche strategies. Most of these are end-of-round goals that award a higher score if you can meet them in addition to the core gameplay goals themselves. The original game had you pay attention to which “set” of birds inhabited your sanctuary, and of course the sizes of their wingspans, for example. However, the new scoring mechanics also take a look at things like whether or not all birds on your card art are facing the same direction. Wingspan isn’t an overly complicated game once you get to grips with the basics but this amount of minutiae in the Oceania Expansion may feel overwhelming for newer players and might turn them off from the game entirely. Your mileage may vary here, of course, and experienced players will absolutely love the sheer amount of new strategies and goals they can work towards.

With nearly 100 new bird species introduced and interesting new mechanics, you’d think that picking up the Oceania Expansion would be a no-brainer if you’re a fan of the base game, but there are some caveats. The biggest hurdle is the price point: while it’s certainly not overly expensive comparatively, the €12.99 asking price is actually higher than that of the base game, even though there is less content here. Given that the European Expansion comes in at roughly half the price of the Oceania Expansion, we were expecting the latter to debut at a similar price point, although we should add that the European Expansion is mostly an extra card pack that doesn’t bring new core mechanics into the fold. We’ve also seen reports of users running into a game-breaking glitch, where the game end cards don’t activate. While we haven’t encountered this glitch for ourselves, and we’re sure that Monster Couch is already hard at work looking to resolve it, you might want to hold off until a patch is issued for this. We certainly don’t want to end our review on a negative note, however, because Wingspan is a lovely game in general, and the Oceania Expansion is a worthy addition. You just might want to wait a bit instead of picking this one up immediately.


If you’re a Wingspan fan, then the Oceania Expansion should be on your pick-up-eventually list, as it adds a plethora of new mechanics and strategies without diminishing the appeal of the base game. We do suggest waiting for a patch to deal with the potential game-breaking glitch that’s been plaguing some users before picking it up. That said, we can’t wait to see what the future brings for Wingspan, and thanks to the physical board game, we already have a good idea of what to expect next. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait another year and a half for the Asia Expansion.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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