Welcome to the village of Maple Valley. This community is filled with crafty creatures and there’s always a visitor willing to lend a hand. Creature Comforts is a release from Kids Table Board Gaming that was designed by Roberta Taylor with art from Shawna Tenney. Let’s dig into this ultra cute family game and see what it has to offer.
Over the course of 8 months (8 rounds, can be adjusted down to 6 rounds), players will collect resources that help them improve their homes or craft items that are worth points. You want to craft the most “comforts” and improvements before the Winter hits Maple Valley.
Resources can be foods like mushrooms, apples and wheat; or they are non-edible objects like rock, yarn and wood. More valuable resources like books and money are more rare and players should look out for opportunities to collect these.
Each player picks a family that comes with a home board, 4 workers, 2 family dice and 4 cottages. Rounds start with players rolling their 2 family dice simultaneously to see what options they have access to. Everyone then sends out their family of workers across the 12 placement spaces on the board. More on this in a minute.
The active player then rolls the 4 village dice that all players have access to on their turn.
Since this is a family-weight game, a lot of the worker placement spaces are very straight forward. Some spaces like the Valley cards and Traveler deck will change each round. Other spaces like the Owl’s Nest, the Workshop and the River will slightly change what’s available as the game progresses.
Sending Out the Family
Each player sends out the members of their family to gather what they need during a round. This step requires planning as you look at the 2 family dice you just rolled and consider what could be available when the village dice get rolled after everyone places their workers. You’ll want to do “all the things”, but it’s just not possible. Multiple players can place their workers on a space but each space can only contain a single worker from your family.
There is a little bit of dumb luck at this stage. We’ve literally rolled 3 1’s and a 5 before with the village dice. Players place the dice to meet the requirements their workers are at in any order. If a player can’t resolve a workers space, they get a “lesson learned” token which can help change the number on a die in the future.
I like this placement before having the information from all 6 dice. It makes it really rewarding when you take a risk. Lesson learned tokens keep the game from feeling like you’re punished and make future turns more successful.
Comfortable Like a Pair of Sweats
Each round you’ll collect resources to turn them in to create comfort cards and make improvements to your home. The game is not complicated and could probably be many kids first experience with a real worker placement game. As the rounds change, visitors and valley cards will change, giving everyone new options to consider.
Creature Comforts is like board gaming comfort food. The strategy is light and the artwork is warm and inviting. It’s similar to that favorite pair of sweat pants you own. Settling in for a game of Creature Comforts is easy because the mechanics are familiar and the game flows nicely.
The age on the box is spot on at 8+. While my kids are all teenagers now, my 16 year old son enjoyed playing this one with me and a friend. We had a fantastic time introducing this to my brother and sister-in-law a couple weeks ago. This game was made to share with families and enjoy gaming with multiple generations.
Creature Comforts will never show up at a game night with my co-workers. The game knows what it is and leans into it. It’s a game to be enjoyed with kids and family. As an adult who has been gaming seriously since my teens, I really enjoyed what Creature Comforts brings to the table. I also know it’s focus is a younger audience and that’s going to be where it shines.
The only issue that I’ve run into sharing this game with different people is the amount of time it takes to play. While the box says 45 minutes and the rulebook says 40 minutes, we’ve not completed a game in under 70 or 75 minutes. It takes a minute to plan the placement of your workers. Multiply that times 4 or 5 people and the game can drag a little.
During the setup, you can choose to play 8 rounds or 6 rounds which is important depending on who’s playing. I remember different moments in my kids development where sitting for over an hour would not have been possible.
For the most part, friends and family have been fully involved during the course of the game. Players are always preparing their resources to create their next craft. Creating a synergy and earning bonuses for the items you craft can be a lot fun.
Creature Comforts is exactly what you’ve come to expect from Kids Table Board Gaming. A fantastic game that families can make memories with. In this review, you’re seeing pictures of the upgraded wooden components which are gorgeous. Even without upgraded components, the love and care poured into Creature Comforts is felt throughout the game.
Whether this game is the first worker placement game you teach your kids or the game that hits the table around the holidays, Creature Comforts is a wonderful experience. This is a game that will stay in our collection no matter how old our kids get. This is that comfort food that we all need from time to time in board game form.
Creature Comforts is available at retail on April 8, 2022. You can find a copy at your local game store, on the KTBG webstore or through Amazon.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- The tension of placing workers before knowing all the die faces
- Lots of options to gather and convert resources
- Gorgeous artwork and wonderful design to the board
- Simple to teach and involve newer gamers
- Not a short game, especially at 4 or 5 players
- Player downtime could be an issue for some