The Summer heat has faded away and Autumn has come to Maple Valley. The residents of the small village went about their chores, but with more urgency as each day passed. The coming Winter was fast approaching, and everyone was looking to get the finishing touches done on their den before the first snow fell.
In the Squirrel home, Fall is their favourite time of year. Their home sits high up in a tree bursting with beautiful colour, as the leaves turned from green, to orange, to red. The changing seasons are always a cause for celebrations, but also serve as a warning that they better be ready for the coming cold weather.
“Why do the leaves change colour mom?” Sam Squirrel asked.
“Well, I think it’s nature’s way of letting us know that the seasons are changing and Winter is on its way.”
“I love this time of year,” offered Camille. “You can find all sorts of different goods in the Forest and Meadow.”
“Let’s not waste the last bit of good weather we have,” said mom. “We have a lot to do before the snow begins to fall.”
In Creature Comforts, rounds are called Months, and as each one passes, it brings change to the board. The Valley is made up of the Forest and the Meadow. When one round ends, the top tile on both locations is discarded revealing new goods that can be collected when you send a family member there.
As the seasons change, so does the Valley, going from Spring, where the first buds of the year are starting to bloom, to Summer, where the valley is bursting with life, to Fall as the colours change and the end of another year is signified. When the final month tiles are removed, the first snow fall occurs in Maple Valley and it's time for final scoring.
This month, dad was determined to visit the Inn and see what new Traveler had arrived to share stories from outside of Maple Valley. It seems whoever showed up had an affect on the village for the time they were visiting and often offered some interesting exchanges.
With Camille heading to the Forest, Sam decided to try his luck at the River. There were three different spots to look for Coins and Stones at the River. Some were easier than others, but it seems the flow changed each month and Sam was never quite sure where was the best place to go.
Mom knew they needed more inspiration for their den, so she headed off to visit the Owl. They were the resident expert on Comforts and always had good ideas to share for items that could be crafted by the residents of the village.
Aside from the Valley tiles which change each month, the River dial rotates. This means you need to use a different die to get the results you want as each month passes. The better the reward you can get from the River, the less dice you can use to get that reward.
The last thing that changes each month is the Traveler visiting the Inn. That character comes with a rule that is in place for the the round. The rule is always beneficial. Sometimes it is related to a specific location, sometimes it has an immediate effect that benefits everyone. The Travelers also have a power that can be used when you send a family member to the Inn during the month. This can earn you hard to find goods or a favourable exchange rate, depending on the die you use there.
As the final Fall month came to a close, it was time for the Winter Festival in Maple Valley. Each year, the residents got together to show off the Comforts and Improvements they had added to their den and award the family who had made the coziest residence to ride out the Winter. They scored points for the value of their Comforts and how well they worked together. Each Improvement they made came with a point value and some even interacted with the Comforts that other families had made over the year. Families also earned point for the number of Cottages they had built on Improvements (each time you build an improvement, you place one of your own Cottages on it to indicate that you own it). Finally, all of the families earned points for their leftover goods. Some could be stored on different Comforts they had built, but on their own, they received one point for every three Goods and one point for every Coin they had leftover. Stories were worth two points each, because a good tale is very important to help the cold Winter months pass.
This year's Winter Festival was the closest ever! The Raccoons had done an excellent job creating lots of warm garments for their den, the Rabbits were very disciplined and stored a lot of Goods, and the Porcupines had made a number of delicious looking meals to keep them fed throughout the Winter. However, it was the Squirrels who were judged to have the coziest den, with a combination of Comforts, Improvements, and leftover Goods that couldn't be rivalled.
The celebrations continued long into the evening, but as the snow started to fall again, each family said their goodbyes and headed home. The cycle of the year was complete in Maple Valley. It was time for some rest, relaxation, and family bonding until the snow melted again for another year.
Creature Comforts is coming to Kickstarter on November 17.
Read Creature Comforts: Spring Comes to Maple Valley here.
Read Creature Comforts: The Squirrel Days of Summer here.
Sign up for a Creature Comforts launch day reminder here.