If you know anything about gremlins, then you know that they’re not the most well-behaved creatures in the fantasy world.
In fact, they’re probably a close second to demons. Gremlins are greedy, they’re ugly, and they’re just plain jerks. Gremlins Inc. is a strategy board game where you play as a despicable gremlin and compete against other gremlin players to see who can be the biggest arse of all.
Gremlins Inc. is an intense online board game featuring a huge variety of elements that make it different every time you play it. You play as a few different gremlins randomly chosen including The Banker, who looks like a pompous swindler, and the engineer, who is kind of like a mix between Inspector Gadget and Dr. Horrible. Each player’s character is different in each game but every gremlin is basically the same, besides starting in a different location on the board depending on which character they are. The Banker, for example, starts off at The Bank – makes sense. Other than that, everyone has the same stuff as everyone else, including the same deck of cards and the same amount of money, just as in most board games like Monopoly.
Now, I’m not a good person to ask about the start of the game because on almost every occasion I’ve spent my first five to 10 turns in jail. What can I say? My gremlins REALLY like money and harassing the police. But anyone else would tell you that at the beginning of the game your main goal is to try and get ahead of your opponents in as many ways as possible. You do this mainly by using your cards.
During the game you always have six cards in your hand. You can use your cards two ways; the first is by using a card to move. Each card has a dice value on the top left and that dice value is how many spaces you can use that card to move. The other way you can use your cards is by playing it. The catch is that you can only use the card if you’re on the spot that is designated by it. For example, the card “Lucky Trinket” is used only on the “The Treasure” space and gives the player one gear when played. Gears (technically called “Score” in the game) are what the player needs in order to win the game. Whoever has the highest score at the end of the game wins. The end of the game happens in three ways. The first being that the player reaches the score set as the goal at the beginning of the game. You can also set a time limit so that the game is over when the time is up and the person with the most gears wins. The final way is by setting a turn limit, like in Mario Party, where at the end of a certain number of turns the game ends and the person with the highest score wins.
There are a ton of other elements to Gremlins Inc. that definitely made it hard to get used to at first – although the extensive tutorial did help a ton. For example, if you’re someone who goes to jail a lot, you can earn popularity in jail up to the point where you can earn gears for being in jail so much. For the first few games I had absolutely no idea what the purpose of the jail was. Now, and I’m not trying to brag, I always try, and sometimes succeed, at being the Kingpin Gremlin in jail. It’s a quick way to earn a couple extra gears.
Another complicated element of the game is the act of collecting votes. Throughout the game there are many cards that, when played, earn you a certain number of votes. Every 20 rounds, an election is held and if you have the most votes and the least malice (which you earn when you do something evil) you get to become the governor. The governor doesn’t have to pay any bribes and the police never question him. This ends up saving the player a lot more time and money than they might think. Once you get your head around the various elements to the game though, Gremlins Inc. offers a lot of fun, especially when playing against friends. The only part I’ve come to dislike is your inability to choose which Gremlin you’d like to be.
When it comes to online play there are a few things worth mentioning. You can play by yourself in single player mode against computer players. There are certain challenges you can play against the CPUs as well. In multiplayer mode you can play with your friends or you can create or join an online match and play against people from all over the world! I’ve played a few games with a good friend of mine, and the only problem we had is that it often takes quite a long time to find a match in the online lobby – though the fantastic steampunk gremlin party music does make this part bearable.
It would take ages to explain every element of Gremlins Inc. so I won’t try. My recommendation would be to get it yourself if you’re interested in strategy board games that you can play with your friends. These might not be don’t-get-wet-don’t-feed-after-midnight gremlins – these gremlins don’t care about food, they just want your money – but they still know how to have a good time and screw over their friends in the most clever ways possible. Go ahead and pick up Gremlins Inc. if you’re itching for a great board game guaranteed to bring hours of fun.