Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games
Designer: Stefan Dorra
Duration: 20-30 min
Sometimes there’s not much on the real estate market. An igloo, a teepee, a hut by the beach… a cardboard box in the alley? Sometimes you just gotta buy what’s available at hopefully a low price. But then next time the market rolls around… a nice townhouse, a castle on a cliff, a skyscraper… and a space station? Oh boy, now you’ve got something to buy! But your competitor is trying to outbid you, and do you overpay and try to sell high later? Or let them buy it, and hope to sell some lower properties for a huge profit when the market is lacking anything on it?
For Sale is a lighting-quick game of buying properties, then selling them for maximum profit. Can you buy the cardboard box and make a nice profit? Or are you gonna buy a nice mansion only to lose out when someone outsells you?
What’s in the box?
There isn’t that much inside the box. You get 30 property cards (labeled 1-30), 30 currency cards (Values of $0 to $15,000, but skipping $1000, and 2 of each value) and 72 coins (60 $1000 and 12 $2000). Thats it!
The art on the property cards is cute and cartoony, works well in a family game. However, some of the international versions have much better art, and the currency cards are cheques. The North American version here feels a little bland, but is serviceable and fits in perfectly to the family game category.
So how do you play?
Setup is very simple; separate the property and currency cards and shuffle the piles. Then each player receives coins to start the game. In a 3-4 player game, each player receives $18,000 (14 $1000 and 2 $2000 coins. Don’t you feel rich now?), and in a 5-6 player game you only get $14,000 (10 $1000 and 2 $2000… by playing with more people you already lost $4000, don’t you feel ripped off). With 3 player you remove 6 of each cards from their respective decks without looking at them, and with 4 you remove 2 from each deck. Now get on with it, properties are gonna sell fast!
The game is played in 2 phases; Buying and Selling. You will start with the buying phase. You will flip over as many property cards as there are players, and the person who lives in the biggest house goes first (ooo look at you, not only do you own the biggest house you get to go first too!). They will start bidding for the highest property currently out by laying down however many coins they wish. Then, the next player chooses whether to big or pass. If they choose to bid, they must bid higher than the previous player (i.e. if the previous player bid $2000, the next player must bid $3000 or higher. Bidding continues around the table as many times as needed, until all players but one have passed.
If a player chooses to pass, they will get the lowest value card on the table. If they have already made a bid, they take back half their bid (rounded down. For example, if the player bid $3000, they get back $1000). The rest of the money is removed from the game. You can pass without having bid anything and get the lowest valued card on the table for free! This continues, and the next player to pass takes the next-lowest valued card and so on. After all but one player have passed, the remaining player takes the highest valued card but pays their full bid. Then all players place the card they received that face down in a pile next to them, and then the next 4 cards are laid up and the process is repeated, with the player who bought the most expensive property starting the next bid. This goes on until the property deck runs out. Then all your coins you have left are set aside, they will be worth money at the end of the game. Important note: you can keep your money secret during the entire buying phase!
Now its time to begin the selling phase! Pick up all the properties you have bought and put them into your hand. Now like the first phase, draw as many cards as there are players from the currency deck. Now, each player will choose a card from their hand and place it face down. When all players have chosen a card, they reveal it, and the person with the highest value card takes the highest valued currency card, and then the next player with the highest valued card takes the next highest currency card and so on. This will continue until every property card is sold for a currency card. Then players will count the values of all their currency cards and any money they may have left over from the buying phase, and the highest total is the winner! Look at you Mr. Moneybags! Who has the biggest house now?
Is it any good?
For Sale is the ultimate filler game. It plays super quick, easy to learn and is highly enjoyable! It’s a perfect game to start off the night, in between a couple of bigger games (as you would say, a palate cleanser) or a great way to end the night. It has a great bidding mechanic, and you always feel like you’re in it because you never know what cards are going to come up. Sometimes you get a awesome lineup when even passing on your first turn means you get a great card for free, and sometimes the lineup is so bad no one wants to spend money on anything, but does because the other cards are so bad no one wants them in their hand!
What I absolutely love about this game is that the phases actually feel like 2 different games. They both involve bidding and bluffing, but used different mechanics to achieve, I love how the first phase feels like a buildup to the second one. It’s my favourite part of the game!
I still feel the components and art are kind of a letdown, especially after seeing how much thought was put into the art and components in the international versions. The game also feels a little flat at 3 players, theres just not enough for the bidding, and too many cards are removed. It works best at around 5, but feels good at 4 and 6 as well.
If you are having people over who have never gamed, and want something to play, For Sale is one of the best choices out there. Plays super quick, easy to learn and a lot of fun and interaction. Or, if you’re like me, a more experienced gamer, with a big group and you need something to start off your night or play between a couple of big epic games, you can’t go wrong with For Sale. Every time it comes out on the table, its a success. Now go get that property and sell it for maximum profit!
- Easy to learn and play; perfect for new gamers!
- Really fast fluid gameplay
- 2 phases are different yet work so well together
- Art and components are a bit of a letdown, especially knowing it has been done much better
- Doesn’t work too well at 3, really a 4-6 player game