For Sale Review

for sale
3-6 Players
20-30 Minutes Playtime

Brief Overview:
For Sale is a simple game of buying and selling, to (hopefully) make a profit. Each player will accumulate  various properties that range from a cardboard box through to a space station, and will later try to sell all investments in an effort to become the richest property mogul.

The game consists of two phases - the first is an auction where a property card, ranked from 1-30, is placed on the table for each player. The higher the value of the card, the better the property.  As the auction commences each player who does not want to increase the bid, will back out and take the lowest value card remaining on the table until the highest bidder wins the highest valued property.  However, a benefit of not being the highest bidder is that you only have to pay half of your bid (rounded up) to secure the lowest property still on the table.

Rounds of auctioning continue until all the property cards are purchased and the game shifts to phase two - selling.  Instead of properties being placed on the table for each player, cheques ranging from $0-15,000 are put out and each player will sell one of his properties for the values on the table. The player who played the highest value property will collect the largest cheque and the lowest valued property will take the smallest cheque.  Once all the properties are sold, the winner is determined by the player who was able to amount the most cash ready for retirement.

My Thoughts:
For Sale is a delightful little board game that can be played with kids or adults.  The cartoon artwork carries a lot of charm, suits the lighter nature of For Sale perfectly, and even adds to the fun.  Often we've found ourselves discussing who has the better property profile comparing a cave, private island property and apartment to an outhouse, a camper van and a castle.  Or somehow found a theme in our collection that ranges from an igloo to a tree-house all due to the pleasing style of the artwork (unfortunately only on the property cards), that definitely adds to the game. 

Artwork aside, For Sale is a fun game.  Luck does have a big factor on the end result, but the simple choice and risk of trying to sell off one of your low properties for a high return adds a basic element of strategy to the game, and you can just play poorly.  Its rewarding seeing your sewer (a value of 3), sell for $11,000 when your opponents high rise penthouse (a value of 29), was only able to capture $12,000 in the open market. But its also equally frustrating when your space station (highest value of 30) is played poorly and only nets you a return of $7000.  These elements are partly luck and partly planning and strategy - but it reflects the ever changing real estate market of our world and does not effect For Sale in a negative way.

The auctioning phase of the game is the weaker one, and doesn't carry that much weight on the final results. If you are clever enough to be the 2nd highest bidder, a majority of the time you'll come out with the best value, taking a high value card and half of your money back.  It feels like a win as you watch your opponent pay at least double for a property often valued only a few points higher than yours - which is always satisfying.  After a few plays the reality will sink in that doing amazing or terrible in the first phase doesn't necessarily carry through in the end, as luck can effect the second phase where the scoring is actually done.

Luckily, For sale is designed as a light and easy game, so having luck decide your highest property isn't worth as much as you thought only adds to the laughs.

for sale

My Verdict:
A light game of fun for the whole family
Charmful artwork