26/02/2024

Fly A Way, rescuing birds and let them migrate across the globe [Review]

Fly A Way Travelogue Creations Board Game Review

The journey of migrating birds, as they make their way from the chilly northern regions to the warmer and more comfortable southern climates, is truly a fascinating story. No wonder it’s worth a show on Discovery Channel. It’s a tale of remarkable resilience. Soaring across vast distance, from the snowy realms of Russia to the mild landscape in Australia. Imagine those flapping wings. Fly A Way captures this captivating aspect of nature.


A short disclaimer before you read my board game analysis

As an avid euro gamer and hardcore Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) LCG player, my reviews may reflect a preference for these styles, and I may not cover solo games/variants extensively. Please note that my personal remarks are based on my gaming experiences, and I aim to provide honest insights within the scope of my preferences.


FLY A WAY, an overview

Fly A Way revolves around Bird cards. Drawing parallels with Wingspan, this game shares similarities in the card-based aspect and thematic elements. The Bird cards provide in-game information, such as the starting and ending points of the bird’s migratory route. Besides, we can also find the educational insights of that particular birds. For example, the bird’s habitat, as well as its conservation status.

Here’s the kicker. The game does not stand as a mere copycat attempt to ride on Wingspan’s coattails. The resemblance diverges when it comes to gaming mechanics. In Wingspan, we build engines — here, the route and connection are constructed. Big difference.

Alongside the Bird cards, we’ve got these Wing It! — and Fowl Play in the mix, too. The former ones bring some nifty perks into your hands. It helps to squeeze extra points and get ahead. On the other hand, the latter ones don’t really play nice. They are the equivalent of immediate disaster. Especially Birdtastrophe ones. These nasty surprise lurks in the deck, bringing some big swings mid-game.

Once these birds safely touchdown at their destination, the Bird cards go online with additional gameplay abilities. Some provide a game-changing engine. The others might come in handy during the final scoring. Combining this with the limited number of route tracker tokens per player, it’s clear that making smart choices about which routes to build becomes crucial.

PERSONAL OPINION

Fly A Way is pretty straightforward. It’s perfect for any kind of gaming gathering. For me, this game is that kind I’d introduce to a group of newcomers or even those who haven’t dipped their toes into the board game world. It may have the magic touch for the younger audiences as well. The bird saving concept is a breeze to grasp. What’s good is, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Fly A Way is quick and fun to play.

The Bird cards are like a scattered aviation mini-encyclopedia. They are informative. Two thumbs up for the publishers and designers for going extra miles to gather and showcase these bird facts. It’s what makes Fly A Way an exemplary example of education through gamification.

Playing Fly A Way’s main mechanic is like a modified version of Ticket to Ride. Instead of secret goals, we’ve got these open-for-all objectives, adding a bit of more focused competitive spice. Things get more intense. Especially when snagging those Bird cards becomes a race, and the player who lays down the last tokens on a route claims the prize. One might think that this is an unfair implementation. But rest assure, the ones who contribute to the route still gets participation points.

One thing that caught my eye is the somewhat thin connection between the game’s theme and its actual gameplay. Like, why do some Bird cards have special abilities? Does it mirror what birds do in real life? Maybe it’s just me not being a bird expert, but I’m kinda curious about the reasoning behind those abilities.

Conclusion

Fly A Way holds its own as a decent game, especially considering it’s the first release from Playlogue Creations. There’s room for improvement, of course. Yet, it serves well as a gateway into the world of more complex board games. The table presence might not be a showstopper for everyone. But, for bird enthusiasts and kids, it could hit the sweet spot. I’m personally stoked to see what Playlogue Creations cooks up for their future projects!


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