Welcome to Maple Valley, friend! Winter maybe a few seasons away, but it’s never too early to start prepping a cozy hideaway from those chilly days. Gather up your goods, buy some heartwarming snacks, and make sure your den is the best place to hang out by the time the first snowflakes fall to win Creature Comforts!
Creature Comforts is a worker placement game, where players will scurry around the board, assigning their family members to various chores around the village and using dice to determine how effectively they can complete their various tasks. It’s played over a series of rounds, through Spring, Summer, and Fall, leading up to the first of Winter when the game ends.
At the beginning of the round you’ll flip over a new traveler card whose power will affect each player.
Once the traveler card is resolved, everyone will roll their Family dice and place them on their home board. Then players will take turns placing their workers on locations. Your family dice give you an idea of what dice will be available to you on this turn, but there is a bit of a push your luck element since you don’t know what the values of the shared Village dice will be yet.
After placing workers the first player will roll the Village dice and place them on the hilltop. With that, all dice values are set for the month. On your turn you will use some combination of your Family dice and the Village Dice to take actions at the locations you placed your workers on.
The locations around the board will allow you to gather and trade resources, buy Comfort cards, build Improvements, and visit the inn to gain a benefit from the current Traveler. What is available at these locations will change each turn, giving you an ever shifting variety of options to choose from.
The goal of the game is to make your home as cozy as possible. You gain points from the Comfort and Improvement cards you’ve collected throughout the game. The player who earned the most heart points wins!
KTBG has published some really excellent accessible-yet-engaging titles, and Creature Comforts is definitely on that list. It’s so visually appealing, with its colorful art and absolutely wholesome theme, but the idea of having dice that are shared by all players as well as dice that are uniquely your own, paired with the assignment of workers when you only have partial information, means that there’s both luck and strategy at work in its gameplay, and that really kept it fun and exciting every turn. Add to that the variety of travelers who might visit your town and all the possible synergies between Comforts and Improvements, and we found Creature Comforts to be an absolutely great time!
If Creature Comforts piques your interest then make sure to also check out Maple Valley, a standalone sequel coming to Kickstarter this fall! You can sign up for a notification on the launch of the campaign here.