Gremlins, Inc?

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Samuel Tow
Samuel Tow's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 18 2011 - 5:45am
Gremlins, Inc?
Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Frontpage News: 
No

So here's something weird... I ran into a "digital board game" called Gremlins, Inc. which seems to work like a much more complex, much more entertaining version of Monopoly (so says TotalBiscuit, anyway). It's new on Steam for $15 and it actually looks pretty cool to play. As I watched the guys play, I started noticing that both the name and some of the artwork seemed very familiar. Did I see that name thrown around here? I seem to remember you guys had a bunch of indie game events a while ago (might have been a couple of years) including stuff like Hoard, Greed Corps and a few others. Do I remember wrong, or was Gremlins, Inc. part of that line-up?

I searched through the forums as best I could, but nothing came up and the game released on Steam about four days ago, but it is a Kickstarter thing near as I can tell. It could have existed before it got on Steam. Or it might entirely be that I have shit for brains and don't remember my facts straight any more Smile That's entirely possible, if not very likely. I did find a game called Goblins, Inc. which might be what I remember...

In either case: Gremlins, Inc. Does this look like something you might be interested in playing? From what I can gather, it looks like a really fun board game with a very strong and creative theme. You play as a Gremlin trying to make it big in a horribly corrupt capitalist society where everyone hates your guts and wants your money, but you can still run for governor or become a hardened jailbird. It has a cool art style by the looks of it, and the actual mechanics seem pretty well-balanced. It's the perfect game for screwing over your friends in simple but very satisfying ways. Check out TotalBiscuit's enormous gameplay video on the matter, for more of a hands-on approach. That's what I'm just now coming out of.

I don't own Gremlins, Inc. at the moment (it's on my wishlist), but if any of you guys are interested or perhaps even already own it, then I can drop 15 Euro to play it with you. Could even make an event out of it, since the game seems to support up to 6 players. Judging by past event experiences, we'd be lucky to get anywhere near that Smile

So... What do you think?

Orion Pax
Orion Pax's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Nov 7 2011 - 9:04pm

I'll check it out, Sam.  The only Gremlins that came to mind were from the 1980's movie that featured animatronic and puppets with Gizmo the Mogwai and Stripe the Gremlin - but somehow, I don't think that's what this game references Wink

Samuel Tow
Samuel Tow's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 18 2011 - 5:45am

No Smile This one's more the standard Fantasy Gremlins as seen through a sort of Steampunk industrialised society filter. You have banks, factories and a blimp, but at the same time you have what appear to be demons, gods and magic - on rare occasion. The theme is actually pretty interesting as it's equal parts funny and cynical. The police is corrupt which can be both bad and good, casinos are everywhere, nearly all of the special cards - both good and bad - are some degree of underhanded... Ignoring the actual gameplay aspect of it, the theme is rife with backstabbing, politicking and corruption while simultaneously trying to put an honest, idealistic front.

It's also a game about fucking over your friends, though, which is where I feel most of the fun comes from. There's a LOT of interaction between the various players, which always makes for a cool board game.

Of all the things I've lost,
I think I miss my mind the most.

 

Samuel Tow
Samuel Tow's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Nov 18 2011 - 5:45am

So I caved in and bought the game. Let me tell you a story as best I remember it:

Four of us got the idea to make it big in the Clockwork City. I, as the Devil, would get the first move, but the Gambler, the Politician and the Merchant had big dreams of their own. We started out fairly unassuming, each of us winning and losing money, screwing each other whenever possible. The Gambler focused on on amassing a fortune through the various casinos in the city, though he wasn't having much luck. The Politician cashed in his dividents early, which allowed him to rig the elections - he wanted to be the Governor, clearly. The Merchant, interestingly enough, kept getting sent to jail. It was mostly bad luck - the police are really crooked in the Clockwork City.

Me? Oh, I was evil, and very very stupid. In fact, I was almost cartoonishly evil, as I kept paying visits to the Inferno. In fact, I started my rise to power there, sacrificing a strange artefact to the dark powers. It's just a shame that the Inferno is surrounded by "Misfortune" blocks that I kept having to walk through. It cost me oh-so-much money and reputation. I even ended up in such a misfortune that I caused a recession or two. Everyone lost most of their money, then most of their income. I even went to jail for my trouble, but I didn't want to sit in jail. I had cards to play and prizes to win! They let me out in good behaviour, but my plan never panned you for I was dead broke.

That didn't stop me from becoming the Governor, though. Using evil trickery, I managed to usurp the power from the old Governor (not one of the players), throwing a monkey wrench in the Politician's plans. He'd spent so much time and money bribing voters and somehow failing to make convincing public speeches that the polls had him set to win. Pity there wouldn't be an election. So sad *sniff* I was leading on score with the evil artefact and a few knick-knacks here and there, but the others were having none of it. They hated my guts, so they kept tipping off the police and putting me in jail and stealing my victory points. Eventually, the Politician leaked some... Unfortunate information about me. I was impeached, jailed and snap elections were held which he - obviously - won.

I tried to make a comeback, but there was a problem - I had no money, and I couldn't make any money. You see, I was really really evil at the time, and that's a problem - the more evil you are, the bigger the bribes you need to pay. Cascading economic recession had reduced my financial income to literal nothing. I could make money here and there - rob a bank here, extort the Gambler there, dig through the dump and survive off of welfare, but it was all for naught - the moment I passed through a bribe block, I'd lose most of it. This is when I decided to dedicate my life to crime!

I was sent to jail, and this time I would stay my full sentence. I became the kingpin of the Underworld and developed actually quite a significant popular following. Plenty of people were willing to overlook my criminal background and vote for me and the ones who wouldn't would ah... Develop sudden and severe health problems, if you know what I mean. I did get out of jail, eventually, but bribe blocks no longer worried me. I had no money to give and was already leading everyone else on malice such that the extra few points from not paying my bribes didn't matter. In fact, I hatched a plan - I would go to the Astral Plane and take a mission from I forget who, but an evil demon of some description. This was one of the few ways to earn victory points without paying a ton of money. It would make me even more evil, but eh - I'm OK with it. I was resigned to never having money anyway.

I was actually in jail when election day rolled around, but that didn't stop my cohorts from coming down to the booths and voting me Governor, on my release day no less. I wouldn't have to pay bribes, at least for a while, so I went off across the map amassing a fortune. I collected old debts, dug up a massive treasure, pocketed bribes from my competitiors and even made enough money to construct a major invention. Unfortunately, on my way to showcase it, the Politician incited rebellion, which led to snap election, which he won. You see, support wanes after elections, and I hadn't had time to go to jail and reorganise my own supporters. He, however, had done his homework. But it didn't matter. I was leading the pack and spent all my money on victory points anyway.

In fact, after a while, I started committing crimes intentionally. After investing so much in my "tough guy" persona, I'd become The Don. Jail wasn't a problem for me, it was the solution. I could make money in there, raise supporters and even cause "misfortune" to happen to my competitors, all from inside my own cell. Oh, and if any of them got put in prison with me, well... Let's just say that my press gangs were pretty good at extorting money from them and stealing their supporters. Hell, at one point I managed to get elected Governor from inside prison again. The Don's reach is very, very long.

I almost won the game several times, every time through more "normal" means of almost finding a magical machine or almost sealing the deal of the century, but my opponents kept ratting me out and putting me back in jail. Eventually, I decided to simply stay there and win the game that way, but they kept letting me out! Pathetic! My coup de grace came when the Merchant - now a hardened criminal himself - picked a fight with me. As we're Gremlins, fights are decided based on who pays more, and the Merchant had no gold at all. He wanted to be put in jail. I could pay as little as 1 gold (I had about 50) and put him in jail anyway... But I didn't. I paid nothing, through the fight and got arrested. The very next day, my criminal influence was such that I reached the required 20 victory points, earned my amnesty and walked away a free man. The others floundered for the rest of the day, but come the end of the turn, it was all over.

I won by becoming the king of jail and the most evil Goblin who ever lived. Sure that meant I could never ever keep any money I earned, but that's fine. This is Goblins, Inc. There are far better ways of doing business than honesty and ethics.

Of all the things I've lost,
I think I miss my mind the most.