What is Birdsong?
Birdsong is a bird-spotting themed roll-and-write that is currently on sale on Randomskill Games’ PNP platform.
- Birding Sheets (11 pages) – Everglades, Big Bend, Central Park, Glacier Bay, New Zealand and Galapagos
- Scoring Sheet (2 pages)
Additional Component Required:
- 4 six-sided dice (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow)
How to play:
In Birdsong, you spot birds that are depicted on the birding sheets with the 4 six-sided dice. The birding sheets have different birds and dice combinations, depending on the location. The game is driven by a dice drafting mechanism whereby the active player will roll all dice and choose one dice. The passive player will choose a dice from the remaining pool and choose one action to perform. The round (day) will end when no dice are left for drafting.
With the chosen dice, you can choose to cross out a bird, perform a dawn observation or prepare for subsequent spotting. This either gives you an immediate bonus or after the entire row or column is completed. There is an engine building element in this game as spotting all the birds in the column of a section will provide you with the choice to add up to a certain number of pips to your dice roll in the future. In order to spot rarer birds (for higher points) or perform higher level preparation, it will require the bonus dice pip addition.
Why should you play Birdsong?
First of all, the artwork is amazing! In fact, it has been carefully examined by a state director of ornithological studies to make sure the information/illustrations were correct and to make sure it would appeal to the hardcore birder audience as well as the family audience. The player sheets can actually double for birding checklists at the specific locations (Everglades, Big Bend, Central Park, Glacier Bay, New Zealand and Galapagos).
There is enough meat and decision making in this short game (10 minutes per player) that makes it appealing to play as a filler, in a family setting or as a competitive game. The decision making is particularly satisfying as the game splits the decision making into 3 tracks whereby each gives a different kind of “boost” to the player who manages to complete a “set”. From my experience, focusing on one track usually does not win you the game. There must be a right balance which is also dependent on the roll and the dice available for drafting which can definitely provide you with a good dosage of brain-burning fun.
On top of that, the game also offers solo, cooperative and team play variants which allows for a variety of game plays. No matter what kind of fun you are seeking, there is bound to be a mode or a variant that can cater to your need in whatever setting you are in.
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Link to the previous post of the Print-and-Play Spotlight series: can be found here.
Print-and-Play Spotlight compilation: