Creatures Adventures is a game about caring for and observing members of a fictional race of creatures called Norns. The game begins in the hatchery of a house where the Norns live. When the baby Norns hatch, it is the player's responsibility to care for them by feeding and putting clothes on them, watch over them by making sure they stay out of trouble, and reward or discipline them as necessary. The latter is carried out using the ever-present stickler and water jet icons: the first tickles the Norn and makes it happy, while the second sprays water, which the Norn has an aversion to. The player get the privilege of naming their Norns, dressing them, and playing with them. They will often have to monitor multiple Norns at once, each exploring the environment individually.
Eventually, the Norns grow up and strike out to bigger and better adventures. Meanwhile, day turns to night and seasons change during the game. The Norns will also pair off and procreate in order to lay the groundwork for more Norns that the player will eventually oversee. Sooner or later, the Norns will die of natural causes and be buried in the backyard of the house, at which point the player gets to start fresh with the new Norn generation.
The game features extensive parental controls which allow parents to create game files for different family members complete with passwords. The parental controls also allow limiting each family member to a certain amount of playing time each day as well as specifying bedtime.
When Creatures Adventures is installed along with Creatures Playground, another title in the series, they can be merged together to form the game Creatures Village, which was also the name for the remastered compilation that holds both games.