Have you ever found yourself playing the widely acclaimed and popular bird habitat board game Wingspan and thought, "This could use a healthy dose of Pokémon"? So did one Reddit user who created a Tabletop Simulator mod that reskins all of the birds and many other game elements as pocket monsters.
Reddit user lockwinghong posted their creation on February 8th, sharing a fairly comprehensive retheming of designer Elizabeth Hargrave’s competitive title about maintaining a bird sanctuary to score victory points, which they call Pokémon Nursery.
A month prior, they had submitted a mockup of a single card that had simply replaced the bird art with an adorable image of Bulbasaur. Other iconography had been modified to fit the aesthetic and food of the video game series and Niantic’s mobile tie-in, Pokémon Go.
Lockwinghong was seemingly inspired to take the initial concept and run with it. “I never intended on making the whole conversion, but a whole bunch of people liked it and I was inspired to actually do it. It was a stupid amount of work, but I finally finished it!” they said in their most recent post.
Pokémon Nursery reportedly plays exactly like the official boxed version; though extensive, the modifications are largely superficial. The only exception was the predator wingspan mechanic, which lockwinghong tinkered to use the elemental typing on each Pokémon’s card to decide the winner.
All 151 first-generation Pokémon have been represented on a card that fits their nature and form as close as possible, with the remaining 19 displaying shiny versions of particular critters. Food transformed into the myriad berries from the video game’s universe, and the eggs are the unmistakable mottled design that any Pokémon breeder will surely recognise. Lovers of the included bird facts will rest easy knowing lockwinghong even replaced those with Pokédex entries from the 1996 Game Boy games.
Publisher Stonemaier Games gave lockwinghong the go-ahead on publicly sharing the mod after they reached out to the publisher for its professional blessing - and to avoid any legal nastiness. “Jamey [Stegmaier, Stonemaier co-founder] said it was fine as long as I didn't copy the text of the rules or images. That's when I had an awful realization. I never changed the habitat icons. I had to go update every single stupid card with a new icon,” they said.
Lockwinghong said this labour of love might be the only conversion they do, so don’t expect an expansion to Pokémon Nursery in the near future. The mod is now available for free on the Steam Workshop page for Tabletop Simulator.