Gaming Library congratulates Just One and Wingspan for winning the 2019 Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres respectively, two amazing games that deserve their rewards, with Just One being deceptively simple yet offers a high level of fun factor and replayability, and Wingspan being a surprise release from Stonemaier Games.
Just One is very sleek and intuitive with its design and have very simple rules with a difficulty that is set by how well the players interpret the guesser's chosen word through their clues, and the guesser interpreting these related clues together to guess the word he blindly chose, but if two or more clues are the same, they are removed from play and are not shown to the guesser, making the game harder for them, meaning there can either be six clues or none at all in a turn. So even while giving out clues, the game already presents a challenge to everyone by making sure they give out a good clue, but not so obvious enough that someone else might think of it.
Just One is one of those games that you can play and enjoy with anyone in all ages and sizes, and it's cooperative to boot so everyone is helping each other out, and you might not know, maybe at the end of the day your relationship improves with your playmates if you get all the words right in one try.
Wingspan is an engine-building game where you play bird cards to try to get the most points. In the game you place an action cube on the action you want to do on your turn, it may either be gaining food, or drawing more bird cards. Most of the gameplay is on playing bird cards which you add on your board which makes actions better. For example with no bird cards, the gain food action lets you take 1 food token from the birdfeeder, but with two bird cards in the action, whenever you take the gain food action you take 2 food tokens from the birdfeeder. Additionally, after doing the action, your cube passes by all the cards in the row of the action, and if the card has a brown ability, it activates and might give you and even other players benefits. Each round you score a specific round goal, and you also get bonus cards which score at the end of the game. After scoring all the points whoever has the most points wins. If you are familiar with games like Terraforming Mars and Gizmos, Wingspan will be easy to learn. It sounds complicated, but actions are very intuitive, give yourself just one round of gameplay and you will mostly understand all the rules.
Wingspan is a beautiful game not just with its mechanics but its production as well. The birdfeeder is essentially a dice tower, and the game has many storage boxes for the different components; plus, the cards and even the rulebook has a nice linen finish. Overall Wingspan feels like an elegant, smooth, almost zen-like kind of game, there is no take that element in it but there are some interactions within players, but they are mostly helpful. A relaxing game for the family who wants more for their game night, Wingspan will definitely brighten your game day.