Review – For Sale

This evening I didn’t have much time for gaming. Unfortunately I missed the special 3rd weekend of CABS gaming this month. I did have just enough time to run up to the meeting to drop off the copy of San Marco I had checked out but then I rushed home.

With what was left of the evening I did manage to crack open my copy of For Sale. For Sale is an extremely quick card game that supports 3-6 players and only lasts about 15 minutes per game. It makes a great opener/closer for game nights or a game you can chat over when the in-laws are visiting.

The game, designed by Stefan Dorra and published by Uberplay comes in a very nice box. There are two decks, each with 30 cards. One deck is composed of pieces of ‘real estate’ numbered 1-30. The other deck of 30 cards depicts personal checks with values from $2000 up to $15,000 with a few voided checks thrown in worth $0. The only other component of the game is a pile of silver $1000 coins and a few gold $2000 coins printed on thick cardboard.

Your goal is to purchase auctioned property using the money you’re given at the beginning of the game. Once you’ve purchased properties (everyone will have the same number), you sell them off and the player with the most money at the end of the game is the winner.

The game is played in two phases. In the first phase, property cards are turned face up and placed in the center of the table (one per player). The starting player bids a number of coins and bidding continues around the table. If you bid you must outbid the previous bidder. If you pass, then you take the real estate card with the least value left in the center of the table and you take back half of your bid rounded up. Bidding continues with properties being taken by those that pass. When only one player is left with the highest bid, that player takes the last card (the highest valued property) but must pay his full bid amount to the bank. You’re not required to bid to obtain a card. In other words, you can immediately pass and take the lowest valued property for free. The last player to take the property card starts next round of bidding.

Bidding rounds continue until all of the property cards have been purchased. Any money you have left from this phase is held until the end of the game. Purchased property cards are held face down by the players and are used during the second phase of play.

The second phase begins by placing the deck of checks in the middle of the table and picking up your purchased cards forming your hand. Check cards are turned face up and placed in the center of the table in the same manner as the property cards during the first phase. After the checks are exposed, players select a property from their hand and everyone exposes their choice simultaneously. The checks are awarded to the players in the order determined by the value of the property.

When all of the properties have been exchanged for checks, the game ends. Players sum the value of their checks with any coins left from the first phase and the player with the most money is the winner. Ties are broken by the player with the most coins.

For Sale is a great filler and I really enjoyed playing it with my family. We played two games back to back with Lisa winning the first. Lisa and Sophie each had 61 (Lisa broke the tie with more coins left from the first phase). I had 60 to Noah’s 47. Our second game proved Noah the winner with 72 beating Lisa by one coin. Sophie had 56 to my horrid 48 (be careful of those voided checks!).

For Sale is a great game…go find a copy and grab some friends.

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