Yay for Wingspan on BGA!

The boardgame Wingspan is available in electronic form on various platforms. Unfortunately, I find two of those platforms deeply frustrating to use. Fortunately, a third one turns out to be a pleasure to use.

Over the past year or two, I’ve tried to play Wingspan on iPad and in Steam. Nearly every time I’ve done that, I’ve ended up upset, because I cannot get the UI to work in a way that makes sense to me. I regularly get stuck on screens where none of the buttons seem to work. Or I accidentally tap the wrong thing and then can’t cancel even though the action isn’t complete yet. Or I try to play a bird card, but I apparently tap/click the wrong part of the screen and it won’t let me play the card. Or there are multiple views of the game boards, and the UI seems to behave very differently in those different views. And so on.

The people who I’ve played with don’t seem to run into these problems, so it’s apparently not so much a broken UI as a mismatch between my expectations and the UI. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for me.

So I’ve developed something of an aversion to the game (or at least to playing it online); I know that trying to play it is likely to result in my being very unhappy.

But sometime in the past couple weeks, I agreed to play Wingspan on Board Game Arena—

—and everything went completely smoothly.

The BGA implementation is a joy to play. In the two or three games of Wingspan that I’ve now played on BGA, I haven’t had a single UI problem that got in the way for more than a couple of seconds. Everything works the way that I expect it to.

And everything on the screen gives more info when I hover the mouse pointer over it. And if I play on my external monitor, I can make the window wide enough that I can see both my player board and an opponent’s player board at the same time. And there’s a nice little dashboard at the top right of the screen that lets me see a bunch of useful info at a glance. And unlike some other BGA games, everything moves fast—the game reacts as soon as I click.

It’s really pleasing, and it makes me like both Wingspan and BGA more.

Many thanks to whoever implemented it. Excellent work; recommended.

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