Manufacturer Überplay
Year 2005 (1997)
Designer Stefan Dorra
For Sale Box

For Sale


Best. Filler. Game. EVAR!

Background

    For Sale was originally published in 199x, and many folks raved about it. I was intruiged enough to mark up a deck of cards in an attempt to play the gmae, but I didn't mark them up well enough to make it work very well. It ws of course, soon out of pront and hard to obtain. When Uberplay republished it in 2004, I picked it up immediately, and so should you!

Jump to my opinions

The Gameplay

    For Sale is very simple. There are two decks of cards. One deck is the property deck showing various buildings, ranging in value from 1 to 30. Each player is given around 18 coins to use in bidding. One card is turned face up in the middle of the tabe for each player in the game. One person is chosen as the starting player and the game begins. The starting player may either put a bid in coins down on the table, or drop out, and take the lowest valued card on the table. Each player in turn then is faced with the same choice, to increase the bid or drop out. When a player drops out, they must pay half of their bid to the bank. The remaining player, however, must pay the full amount of their bid. Another round of cards is turned up, and the high bidder becomes the new starting player. This process continues until the entire deck has been distributed.

    Then the second deck comes into play. This deck represents checks, which range from 2,000 to 15,000, (two of each value), and two "VOID" cards, which are worth nothing. As in the first round, one card per player is turned up, and each player now secretly selects one card from their hand of properties. These are revealed simultaneously, and the highest valued property takes the highest valued check, and so on down to the lowest valued property taking the lowest valued check.

The Scoring

    After all of the checks have been distributed, players add up the value of their checks, and any coins they had left unused from the first phase of the game. The player with the most money wins!   

Why this game is so great

    It is not a particularly deep game, but it is fast and fun. The bidding presents interesting choices, as as the cards come out, you need to decide on the valuation of each card against what you have already taken, and what your opponents have taken. The spread of the values on the cards up for bid can suggest an immediate exit, (if they are all near the same value for example), or sticking it out to the very end, (when the highest card you've taken so far is a 18, there's only two cards left, everyone else has gotten a bunch of 20s, the 29 is out there, along with the 1 and the 2). Finishes are often pretty tight, so money saved can be the difference maker. The decisions in the second phase are interesting as well, as while you generally want to get rid of your low cards, if you don't save one you'll end up with a terrible draw of checks, and have to use a high valued build to win a cruddy check. Plus, as it's blind bidding, you have to guess how low you can go, while still being higher than the other players.

    So you get all this in a game that takes very little time to explain, and about 15-20 minutes to play. another thing which I have to mention is the box it comes in. This is probably the sturdiest box in my game collection, one that is so good, I felt it deserved a mention.

Why others don't agree

    Well, there are the anti blind bidding people, who might not think much of For Sale. It's also wildly lucky, as all of your good money management and hand managements skills can fall victim to a whacky check draw. Another thing some people didn't like was the fact that Uberplay slightly tweaked the deck distribution and the auction rules. I don't recall what the original check distribution was, but the bidding was changed in that in the original rules, a player was not forced to increase the bid of the previous player, only to match it. if you were the player who's bid was matched, then you would have to increase the bid, but many people feel that this made the auction portion a little more interesting. It certainly can be used as a house rule without any problems.

Recap

Strategy:  4
Complexity:  3
Fun:  9
Overall:  9

Buy/Read about For Sale now at Funagain

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