The newest title from publisher Kids Table Board Gaming, Creature Comforts, introduces a worker placement game about animal families preparing a warm and welcoming home in which to ride out the winter.
One to five players spend their round - one month in the fiction of the game - travelling between home and the three Maple Valley locations rich with materials. An initial dice roll from each player lends a bit of wisdom on how to best spend time - call it animal instincts. Then, they send family members beyond the edges of town on a search for goods. Trading with merchants back in town, including a unique visitor that changes every month, opens more options for nabbing that last item on a player’s shopping list.
Crafting various comforts and upgrades generate most of the victory points needed to ultimately win the game. Certain comforts work well with others. The Kickstarter page art shows a quilt enhancing the bonus of the rocking chair, likely because the elder porcupine really loves kicking back and staying warm.
The art style and feel of Creature Comfort does well in conjuring the sights and smells of an arboreal valley in the midst of autumn. Artist Shawna JC Tenney’s previous games, such as Wizards of the Wild, put anthropomorphic animals front and centre, and the five families of Maple Valley - foxes, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, porcupines - are delightfully illustrated.
Like many of Kids Table’s games, Creature Comforts includes instructions for paring down the rules for kids and the inexperienced without sacrificing strategic depth for more practiced hands. For example, there are no occupancy limits at resource spots, but players can hamstring themselves by overextending during any individual stage of each round.
The Kickstarter campaign for Creature Comforts offers an exclusive version of the game that will not be sold through retailers for CA$59 (£34/$45). Shipping to backers is expected to begin in December 2021.