It takes place in a Clock Punk setting, where an underworld of rich and industrious gremlins is busily vying for power, which can be represented through cogs, prestige or plain fear, and they'll try every trick in the book in order to come out on top. After all, there are more than 130 cards to deploy, all with a range of varying effects, along with the more conventional Monopoly-like mechanics, such as one-way movement around a looping path, or jailtime.
Tropes present in Gremlins, Inc:
- Audit Threat: This is one of the cards through which players can hinder each other.
- Betting Minigame: The Casino is all about these.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Pretty much every gremlin player, be they human or AI, are this. Playing it clean is highly unlikely to get you to victory, so it's best to enjoy the comical skulduggery.
- Counterfeit Cash: One of the things you can do in the game.
- Dirty Cop: There are police tiles where the police will arrest and imprison the player, unless they bribe them. However, once in jail, they can also bribe the guards to get an early release.
- Of course, the same corruption also allows the other players to engineer situations where you get sent in jail. For instance, one of the cards has the user collude with the arbitration judge so that they force a rival to pay a fictitious "debt" of 200 gold to them, in exchange for the judge receiving half of that sum. A player who can't pay out the entire sum is sent to jail. It's fun when you get to use this, and less fun when it's turned against you.
- Encyclopedia Exposita: The various properties of the world are explained through "Gremlinopedia".
- High-Class Glass: Some of the gremlin avatars used by the players wear monocles.
- Nice Hat: Some of the other gremlin busts wear these, always impeccably tied with bright ribbons.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: "Dirty Rumours" card alleges that the targeted player is no gremlin at all, but a cross-dressing fairy.
- Teleportation Misfire: One of the "Anomaly" cards has this happen, and makes you roll a dice to determine where you are sent. Rolling 1 sends you into the game's Hell, 2 into the slightly better Dumps, 3 is Bazaar, 4 is Factory, 5 Casino, and 6 doesn't teleport you anywhere.
- Variable Player Goals: Players can win the game through either reaching a set number of cogs, prestige or accumulating enough negative karma points.