Gremlins Inc founds a new colony

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The board for Gremlins Inc looks like a swirly looping mess of random spaces. Until you play the game and discover that it’s not. Clockwork Town is a very specific place with a specific layout with specific gameplay implication. It has a hard-to-reach Heaven, a Hell just a short jaunt off the beaten path, and a progression from the courthouse to the treasure vault to the bank to the office. The newly released prisoner will find himself approaching the casino, and he won’t get to the marketplace anytime soon. Like the board for any boardgame, it reveals patterns as you played it. It rewards you as you pay attention to it. It has geography.

Now it also has company.

The latest update for Gremlins Inc. adds a new map called Clockwork Colony. The most immediate difference is the rigid angles. None of this swirly looping nonsense that might confuse someone into thinking it’s a swirly mess of random space! This is an orderly and maybe even strictly governed colony. It has corners instead of curves.

A lot of the basics are the same, but there are differences in the arrangement of locations. The familiar courthouse, treasure vault, bank, then office progression has been shuffled. Hell, which is a space to buy powerful one-shot cards, used to be a quick detour between jail and the casino. An appropriate placement for the requisite lost souls. Now it’s in the middle of everything, occupying the shortcut from one end of the board to the other. That shortcut used to be a sort of toll road. Now it’s the path to hell.

The original treasure vault is guarded by bad luck. To get there, you have to pass over a space that makes you draw a misfortune card. The new treasure vault is guarded by the state. To get there, you have to pass over a pair of bribery spaces. Which means whichever player holds the governor’s office gets easy access to the treasure vault, because governors don’t pay bribes! In fact, governors get to take bribe money, so maybe the governor in Clockwork Colony would encourage others to visit the treasure vault.

The new board is, of course, free. All the Gremlins Inc. updates with actual gameplay content are free. If you want fancy new character portraits and emotes, you can buy them in paid DLC. But if you want gameplay, you get it all for the price of the game.

Read the Gremlins Inc. review here and watch me Tomsplain the board here. You can also watch me play a full game with my colleague Kelly Wand here.

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