• platinum

Maple Valley

RRP: £38.99
Now £31.19(SAVE 20%)
RRP £38.99
[yith_wcwl_add_to_wishlist]
Nexy Day Delivery

Order within the next

12 Hours & 47 Minutes

for Next Day Delivery

Nexy Day Delivery

You could earn

3119 Victory Points

with this purchase

The day the last snowflake of winter has melted away, all of the critters emerge from their cozy homes to celebrate… and that day is today! Maple Valley’s annual Spring Festival is a gathering of friends welcoming the warm months ahead, and you don’t have a lot of time to prepare! Maple Valley is a game of traveling trails, finding friends, and celebrating new begi…
Read More
Category Tags , SKU ZBG-KTG9002 Availability 3+ in stock
Share
Share this

Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Improvement on Creature Comforts
  • Easy to follow rulebook
  • Beautiful wooden components

Might Not Like

  • Able to see opponents strategy
  • Too addictive!
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Related Products

Description

The day the last snowflake of winter has melted away, all of the critters emerge from their cozy homes to celebrate... and that day is today! Maple Valley's annual Spring Festival is a gathering of friends welcoming the warm months ahead, and you don't have a lot of time to prepare!

Maple Valley is a game of traveling trails, finding friends, and celebrating new beginnings for 1-5 critters set in the world of Creature Comforts.

Maple Valley

For fans of the award winning Creature Comforts (Best Social/Light Strategy Board Game at Origins 2023) and those looking for an enjoyable family game, Maple Valley has arrived. It plays 1-5 players and is set in the same world as Creature Comforts and by the same designer/artist team. Is this a worthy sequel and what do you get for your hard earned cash?

Content

So straight off the bat, the Kickstarter version has a slew of upgraded components as well as a resource caddy and contents holder from premium insert manufacturer gametrayz. In addition it also comes with two mini expansions, more of which later.

  • 125 Standard size cards
  • 13 Oversized size cards
  • 40 Square size cards
  • 200 Wooden tokens
  • 19 Cardboard tokens
  • 5 Heavy duty card player mats
  • 5 Wooden player tokens along with 50 (10 for each) wooden tokens.

Maple Valley Board

Rules & Gameboard

The cards have the same high quality artwork from Shawna JC Tenney as Creature Comforts, though the characters this time are the younger family members. Card quality is good but on the thinner side of thickness, with a nice shine to them and easy to pick up/shuffle.

The wooden tokens are all screen printed on both sides and use multiple colours. For example the leaf (read herb) token has the stem and edges of its real life equivalent and has two tone green printing. All the wooden components are excellent and an improvement from Creature Comforts.

The rule book is 16 pages long with clear instructions/illustrations on setup and how to play. The back page is “the entire game explained on one simple page” which speeds up gameplay and looking through the rulebook.

Gameplay

So how does this play?

In Maple Valley your chosen animal meeple has been “tasked with searching the woodlands for the ingredients needed to make a dazzling variety of party favours” The game lasts five rounds and is stated at 60 minutes. If you suffer from analysis paralysis (as I do), 90-100 minutes will likely be the length of a game. What follows is not an exhaustive account, but outlines the main play elements.

You start with one critter and draw a friend from the deck of 36 cards to help you collect the required items to craft your favours. You are also dealt three favours from the deck of 72 cards and choose two to keep. The favours fall into four categories (decorations, entertainment, food & gifts) and some cards will score bonus points for either having a combination or items stored on them at end of game once crafted ie: the bug jar scores 2 additional points for each set of bug and herb kept there whereas the tambourine scores two additional points if you also have a fiddle. If you’ve previously played Creature Comforts this will all be familiar territory.

The friend cards are split into three types (water, rock & forest) allowing you to travel only on their specified paths across the game board. Your starter friend has the ability to travel along any path. Each friend usually gives you a bonus when played in the form of an extra item. Taking turns to play your friends you can move and collect resources with which to craft your favours.

Additionally some of the locations on the board will allow you to:

  • Gain additional favour cards either from the deck or the four displayed
  • Trade resources you hold for ones that you don’t
  • Gain map tiles which allow additional movement
  • Collect patches (think scouts/guides badges) from the four on display
  • Recruit an additional friend from the four on display

The patches are ingenious and can become an integral part of your strategy. You are limited to a maximum of four and no duplicates. They either reward you with in game benefits or additional points at game end. They are a massive upgrade on the Improvement cards from Creature Comforts which in my experience was the least utilised part of that game.

If a player finds themself with fewer friend cards at the start of a round they are able to draw from the twelve card dawdle deck until they have the same amount of cards. Whilst this won’t allow you any extra movement in your turn, when you play a dawdle card you gain the two stated resources. This is a clever system to keep players engaged and not feeling they have no chance to win, especially when playing with younger family members

The Kickstarter version of Maple Valley comes with two mini expansions. The 10 card “Tail Feathers” introduces new friends shuffled into the deck and an additional “wild” resource in the aforementioned tail feather. “Roaming Raven” is a meeple which moves across the board and players are able to trade one resource they hold for one they don’t. Whilst not massive expansions, they add a little something more to the game and are a nice addition.

Final Thoughts & Replayability

Maple Valley has somehow taken all the best bits from Creature Comforts, added a slight twist and shaken it all up to make a much more enjoyable game. Card cycling is quicker allowing you to get to cards that you can combo together for higher points scoring. The patch cards are ingenious giving both in-game and final score benefits. Within several games I can see the depth/variety of strategy without the game being overly complicated. Creature Comforts is one of my most played games, but Maple Valley will certainly be hitting the table a LOT in the coming months.

Publisher KTBG (Kids Table Board Games) deserves high praise with this game. The Kickstarter campaign actively involved the community in the design/naming of cards (especially the patches), to make a game people really wanted to play.

If this review has piqued your interest and you’re undecided if to buy the regular or Kickstarter version, treat yourself. The gametrayz inserts, upgraded components and mini expansions are worth the additional outlay. KTBG are good at subsequently making upgrade packs available, but the gametrayz won’t be. Bottom line – make that purchase now!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Improvement on Creature Comforts
  • Easy to follow rulebook
  • Beautiful wooden components

Might not like

  • Able to see opponents strategy
  • Too addictive!