At Flügelschlag from Stonemaier Games, we are bird lovers and make it our task to attract special and even rare bird species with food and to ensure that they become at home. Tierra del Fuego games took over the localization and recently won the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019 award.

Flapping wings is a competitive game with a map driven engine building mechanism. Interesting combos can be designed using bird cards that have different promotions and bonuses. As soon as a new card is placed in one of the three habitats, all other cards are activated in sequence, starting with the new card. That forms the core of the game. The aim is to get the most victory points. Some conditions for victory points are modular and each game is different.

Image: Melanie Dürbeck

The game is suitable for 1 to 5 players, ages 10+. The duration of a game is approximately 40 to 75 minutes, depending on the number of players.

Beautiful material and high quality

You have to leave that to Stonemaier, a lot of love has been put into both the game material and the instructions. The cube tower as a bird feeder is one of the highlights. The colored eggs, which are housed in plastic boxes next to the food markers as the main resource sources, are also pretty to look at.

The cards are practically housed in a large blue box, on which the available cards are laid out face up during the game. It serves as a so-called bird bath where the birds gather.

Both the cards and the three instruction booklets are of excellent quality. You can even feel its structure with your fingers.

Image: Melanie Dürbeck

The heart of the game are the bird cards. These contain important information for the game, but also things that are not important but interesting. For example the Latin name and an illustration of the countries in which the bird can be found.

Image: Melanie Dürbeck

Easy entry into the game

Even the instructions leave nothing to be desired. There are three booklets in total:

Image: Melanie Dürbeck

The instruction booklet with the main rules explains the rules of the game in detail and also offers a brief instruction with which it is possible to acquire the rules in real time during the game. The second booklet, the appendix, explains all the cards and tiles in the game. While the iconography is basically straightforward, this is a great way to look it up if you're unsure of the game.

I find that remarkable, because for me personally the fun of the game disappears the more vague the rules are or when the meaning of a single card is unclear. There is a separate booklet for solo play.

The rules and the course of the game are common and are supported by symbols on the player board, so that there are hardly any replay hurdles. I was able to explain the rules for other games that were somewhat different in time without having to prepare.

Competitive but little interaction

For some gamer who needs action, might Flapping wings seem a bit boring, as you mostly only control yourself on the tableau. The interaction is limited to snatching bird cards and food from each other from the bird house and activating cards that benefit other players. It doesn't affect me personally, because flapping my wings has enough incentives for me. If I want to fight against other players, I choose another game from my collection.

My personal opinion - and how to win as the expert game of the year

The price as Expert game of the year effect Flapping wings honestly deserved. It has common rules and a simple gameplay, but the difficulty comes with the optimal use possible, playing and activating cards in order to generate and win a lot of victory points. Gambling based on gut instinct is also feasible.

It is also a real feast for the eyes, the design and the choice of colors with the pastel tones are consistent. The instruction booklets are simple, but structured and structured, and offer no reason to complain. I enjoyed the games with others as well as alone.

Image: Melanie Dürbeck

What I would like to see as an extension would be a set of cards of birds that are native to Germany or Europe. Or cards especially from parrots and parakeets, because I love them. I think that all of this is not completely ruled out, and there are already fan extensions. In any case, one can be curious.

Who visites Flapping wings has not yet or is waiting for an expansion, to whom I quote an announcement from Tierra del Fuego games on July 23 on Facebook:

"Wing beat, the second, third, etc.: how to proceed.
This week the second edition of FS arrived in Germany and the third edition will arrive at the end of August. With the award, both will surely be sold out quickly. The first major edition after the award arrives in October before the fair in Essen.
We hope that we can also present the expansion in Essen.”

Images of flapping wings