For Sale Review
Time: ~10 – 20 minutes
Times Played: 20+
If I ever win the lottery (which admittedly, will be very difficult as I don’t actively play), I would like to get into property management and real estate investing. Since that is incredibly unlikely, a game where I can quickly buy and sell property in an active market will have to make due. Enter For Sale.
For Sale is a light filler card game where you buy, and then sell, residential property. Games will take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes depending on the amount of players. The game can scale from three to six players very well with very little difference in gameplay.
There are two versions of For Sale that you can purchase. There is the normal version as well as a travel version. I would recommend buying the normal version as the coins for the travel one suck. They’re basically cheap, flimsy paper coins. The cards are identical in both sets. The game is already incredibly portable and the travel size does not offer much besides a few dollars saved. Both come with thirty property and thirty money cards as well as several coins valued at one or two thousand monies.
For Sale itself is played in two halves. The game is incredibly easy to teach and learn and since it has two distinct halves, you could even teach the rules before each halve so the players have less to process.
Dependent on the number of players participating, each player will start with an array of coins that can be used to bid on properties. During the first half of the game, players will compete to buy properties that range in value from one to thirty. Again, dependent on the amount of players, some properties might be removed blindly at the start of the game to create more balance in the bidding.
On each turn, a number of properties is laid out face up equal to the number of players. Starting with the first player (which rotates each turn), players can either bid on the highest property available or pass and take the lowest value property available.
When bidding, a player has to bid more than the previous bid and the winning bid pays all the money to the bank for the property they bought. For players that pulled out of bidding after previously bidding, they receive the lowest building available and half of their bid is returned to them, rounded down.
Once the first deck of property cards is exhausted, the second half of the game commences. In this phase, money cards from the second deck are laid out face up equal to the number of players. These cards range in value from zero to fifteen and there are two cards for each value. There are an identical amount of money cards and property cards. Each round, players will sell a property simultaneously with the highest value property taking the highest value money card and the second highest value property taking the second highest value money card and so on and so forth. This continues until all property cards are out of your hand.
The player with the most money at the end of the game is the winner. Money can come from the money cards and from any left over coins you have from the first round.
For Sale is a simple and quick filler game that has some nice player interaction. I don’t think the winner really matters, as we usually play this two or three times in a row before starting another game and each game has someone else coming out on top.
Okay, that actually might be a bold faced lie. We are all pretty competitive and do care about who wins and who loses but there seems to be less bragging about this game compared to others.
This game is incredibly replayable and everything you do fits together perfectly and makes sense. You bid on property and then you sell that property. For Sale is simple, but not too shallow. This is by no means a deep game and while there is some strategy to it, the average player can sit and enjoy this game. It could be a filler game between euros or maybe a quick lunch game with friends.
The only thing that I don’t like about For Sale is the back of the cards. The money cards have a property on the back of them and the property cards have a green back. That’s my only complaint. It made the first couple of games annoying as we would shuffle and forget which pile was which.
This game is a huge hit in my group for two reasons. It’s easy to teach (or everyone has already played and remembers the rules) and it’s quick. We can bang out games within ten minutes. The risk/reward of betting is fun and playing with the same personalities is enjoyable as you can see how far you can push someone to bid for a property they think they really want.
One more selling point for this game is that it scales incredibly well. From three players to six, the game plays the same and even with adding players, there isn’t much, if any, downtime between player turns.
Lastly, the art is incredible for the game and every photo has some animal included in the property photo. It’s a fun little quirk and nice to look at when you hold the cards in your hand.
If you don’t own For Sale and are looking to be swayed one way or the other, I am telling you to buy it (if affordable). I might very well call this game a ten out of ten just for the simplicity and value it offers.