Review – Wingspan: Oceania

WIngspan: Oceania Expansion. Stonemaier Games, 2020. Elizabeth Hargrave, Designer. Anna Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, and Beth Sobel, artists.

Today, we have a review of the new Wingspan: Oceania Expansion from guest meeple Dave Summers!

Wingspan has recently released its second expansion, Oceania, which adds a number of interesting new gameplay mechanisms and quite a few new birds. It can be played with or without the first expansion, Europe, or even as a standalone game.

Wingspan is a 1-5 player game from Stonemaier Games where the goal is to gain more points than your opponents over the course of four rounds. You do this though a combination of four actions: playing a bird, gathering food, laying eggs and gaining additional bird cards. Additionally, you get points through end-of-round goals and bonus cards. Wingspan is considered an engine-building game, where the impact of one play can have a trickle-down effect for future moves.

Here’s what’s new in the Oceania expansion and how it impacts the game.


The Oceania expansion adds a new food type, nectar. This food is quite plentiful in the Oceania region, so it acts as a wildcard in the expansion.

In other words, it is essentially a replacement for any other food. With that, it becomes a powerful new food. But if any nectar isn’t used at the end of the round, then you lose them from your supply. That means being very careful to pick up nectar earlier on in rounds and cautious at the end. I’ve found that I tend to hoard nectar when available, given how powerful it can be.

There is a new end of game bonus for whoever uses the most and second most nectar in each habitat. It forces the players to think about using nectar throughout the game, which is really neat.


Nectar is now paired with fruit and grain on the new dice provided.

The days of waiting for one particular food in the birdhouse/dice tower are mostly gone, which is a nice change for the better. Your chances of rerolling and getting nectar are pretty high. The exception is when you need a specific non-nectar food such as fish for caching on cards.


Suffice to say, you have a ton of new birds available, some of which are much better than others. There are quite a few powerful Oceania birds with unique powers. In total, there are now nearly 350 bird cards you can play, which means no two games will be the same.

There are now also end-of-game bird powers, such as caching unused food on a bird. Playing these cards in the later rounds can have a huge impact on your overall score if you play them right. In fact, you can even go so far as changing the outcome of a game with a well-timed play of a bird with end-of-game powers.

A new set of end-of-round goals adds variety to the game. The new “no goal” selection is particularly fun, as no bonuses are scored so players can focus more on their boards.

The Oceania expansion also adds a few new bonus cards, because why not. It appears that every expansion will incorporate each of these items to keep adding depth to the game.


The board has undergone a pretty significant makeover. The general design is the exact same, with the three habitats and the top row for playing birds.

Let’s look at each habitat and see what has changed.

Forest: Simply put, it’s now easier to get food. Starting in the second column, you now get two foods each play, instead of one food and one potential other one in exchange for a bird card. In row three, you now have the potential to get up to three foods instead of two. These earlier injections of extra food, along with the wildcard that is nectar, make it much easier to get the right food that you need, or to just store up extra food for other purposes.

Grasslands: Eggs are now a little less plentiful than before. You can now only get two eggs in the second column, and the third and fourth columns only allow you to get more with card and food exchanges. This means a premium on eggs now. You can’t just rely on an end-of-game run of egg laying (commonly referred to as egg spamming) quite as much, unless your row is completely full. Birds that lay eggs as part of their special powers can be more useful now since you simply can’t get as many eggs as before.

Water: The additions to the water habitat mimic those of the forest. You can get more cards quicker and earlier in the game now, which helps not only define your overall strategy, but also gives you more chances of landing helpful birds. It’s quite useful for someone like me who doesn’t tend to keep a lot of cards in their hand at any given time.

You have a better opportunity to get more birds and food, but quite significantly less opportunity to lay eggs. For someone like me who tends to lay eggs en masse at the end of the game, this has proven frustrating. It means more of a focus on playing birds in other habitats, or ramping up your bird count in the grasslands. As usual, it all depends on your particular strategy for that game.

Overall, I love this expansion.

The addition of nectar adds quite a few wrinkles to the overall gameplay, while the new board setup allows for easier bird playing and less of a dependence on egg spamming. More birds means no two games will ever be the same.

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