tuck box edition
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Bid and bluff your way to purchase the most valuable real estate for the lowest amount of money, then turn around and sell those houses (and shacks) for cold hard cash. Be the richest mogul at the end of the game to win this Stefan Dorra classic.
During phase one, players must decide how much of their spending capital to invest in available properties, knowing that their own actions in the second phase could turn those properties into extremely lucrative bargains or crushing losses.
Players: 3 - 5
Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 200 grams (estimated)
Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is a domestic item.
Average Rating: 4.4 in 16 reviews
This auction game has proven to be one of the most popular games of the modern era as a quick and fun card game, and deservedly so - it's such great value, and there's room for it in virtually every collection. For Sale is rightly called by some The King of Fillers, because it has everything you could ever want in a filler game - it's fast, it's fun, it's interactive, and it's easy to learn.
The game comes with high quality attractive cards (featuring properties, and currency cards) and money chips, and the gameplay consists of two phases. The first phase is an auction as players bid to purchase properties. The second phase of the game has players simultaneously choose and reveal these properties in an effort to get the most money for them, and choosing a property while not knowing what others are going to choose is a big part of where the fun lies!
Of all the card games I own, especially those which work with people who don't normally like games, I would put For Sale near the top of the list. It always goes over well! The artwork is great, especially since each card has a different animal pictured on the property, so this can be a point of humour when auctioning off the different buildings. There's lots of tension during the auction phase, and the simultaneous auction for the currency cards at the end often features lots of hilarity, with both groans and pleasant surprises. What more could you ask for in a satisfying auction game that plays in about 15 minutes?
This is an amazing game, given the amount of fun and tension it packs into a short time, and how accessible it is. If you don't have this in your collection yet, now is the time to get it.
Being a strategy game fan, it is often hard to find something that can be enjoyed by everyone in my family. For Sale fits the bill well. As already indicated, the game is a fast play and the is pretty clever in its construction. Many small games are often overpriced for the elements in them, but this when stands up well. Although it could have easily used play dollars instead of $1,000 and $2,000 coins, there is something more tangible about the coins. The illustrations are clever and the bluffing element is fun. If you play your cards right, you could obtain an old wooden outhouse for nothing and sell it for $10,000?
For a long time, I've heard just how great For Sale (Uberplay, 2005 -- Stefan Dorra) was as a "filler", a game that can be played in a short amount of time. Originally released in Germany in 1997, it's taken eight years before an English version was produced (although no language translation is necessary). Comments from BoardGameGeek include "my favorite filler", "a marvelous filler", "best.filler.ever.", etc. Well, with praise like that, I was eager to play it!
And the critics were right! For Sale is extremely simple, consisting of only two auction rounds. The ease of play, the simplicity of the rules, the quickness of the game, the fact that it can accommodate up to six players, and the beautiful components make For Sale a truly great filler indeed. Currently, when I have only about fifteen or twenty minute and a small group of people, it's my game of choice; and I think it will stay that way for quite a while. Everyone I play with enjoys it -- it's the kind of game that you sit around wishing you had designed.
Each player takes a certain amount of money (depending on the number of players), in $2 and $1 chips. A deck of property cards is then shuffled (thirty cards, numbered one to thirty, with houses of different sorts on them. The "1" card is a cardboard box, while the "29" card is a penthouse suite, etc.) A pile of check cards is placed nearby; they won't be used until the second half of the game. The player who lives in the largest house is the first player, and the first round is ready to begin.
In each round, a number of property cards are turned face-up equal to the number of players in the game. The first player bids any amount of money that they wish with play passing clockwise around the table. Each player, in turn, must either raise the bid or pass. When a player passes, they discard half of the money they bid (if any, rounding up) and take the lowest valued property card on the table, placing it face-down in front of them. The last player remaining in each round must pay all of their money to the bank but get the highest valued property card on the table. This player also goes first in the next round. Rounds continue until all the property cards have been distributed.
The check cards are then shuffled and placed in a face-down deck. There are thirty checks, valued between $0 and $15,000. In each round of this phase, one check is turned face-up for each player in the game. Players then choose one of their property cards and place them face down on the table. Properties are revealed simultaneously and "sold" (discarded) for checks in the middle. The player who played the highest valued property takes the highest check, etc. This continues until all the property cards have been discarded and check cards distributed. At this point, the game is over. Players add up the totals on their checks, along with any remaining money they might have. The player with the highest sum is the winner!
Some comments on the game...
- Components: Alvin Madden does some incredible artwork -- he's one of my favorite game artists. All he did in this game was the box cover and the deck of property card, but I just adore his illustrations. The cards could have simply been numbered from one to thirty, but having the residences pictured on each one with each property getting a little more livable with higher number really helps add some thematic flavor to the game. In our games, we always mock the person who ends up living in the cardboard box, and always "ooo" when that same person manages to make some money from it. The money chips are two-sided cardboard tokens, in two different colors, are a good size, and are easy to handle. The checks look fairly close to the real thing, and both checks and property cards are of high quality - they can take a good deal of wear and tear. Everything fits inside a smallish box that looks bright and cheerful on the shelf.
- Rules: The rulebook is seven pages of large, nicely formatted rules. They're very easy to read with color illustrations and examples. It's one of the nicest rule booklets I've seen; and while some might consider the amount of space unnecessary, it makes reading it a whole lot easier. The game is very easy to teach people -- one of the easiest I've ever taught. I merely explain both rounds in about thirty seconds each, and the game takes off. People catch on quickly, both to the rules and the strategy.
- Strategy: "Fillers" are not often known for their strategy. I mean, how can you have much strategy in a fifteen minute game that involves six people, right? For Sale bucks the trend, however, because the canniest auction players will win the game. The way the two different rounds fit seamlessly together is impressive. All during the first round, players can be planning for the second, trying to get the properties they need, while conserving some money (the coins often decide the winner). But even if they have a great hand of properties, a player must be careful to play the right card at the right time during the second round. It's not rocket science, but the choices are meaningful -- while fortunately being able to be made quickly.
- Auctions: I really like how the two auctions are different, yet work together. The first round, players go head to head, playing a little game of chicken, seeing who will "pass" first. In the second round, it's all about bluffing and trying to read your opponents. Because of this, I greatly prefer playing with five or six players, since some property and check cards are removed in a three or four player game -- and that throws one's "perfect" knowledge off a bit. Not enough to be annoying, but I like knowing that every property number is in play in the game.
- Fun Factor: While I have stated that For Sale is best known as a "filler", it's one of those games that often takes longer than you think. And that's simply because people wish to play it over and over again. Scores are close, but strategy (excellent bidding) will win the game. I think the popularity of the game results from the fact that while "die-hard" gamers are satisfied with the level of tactics the game presents, the game is not unnecessarily unkind to new players. It's not difficult to estimate the value of each thing up for auction, like in other games. Players simply push their luck a little and hope to win.
If you don't own For Sale, you should pick it up. I can't think of any reason that a person wouldn't want it in their collection, unless they despised any and all auction games. The speed at which the game plays, the way that the theme actually makes sense to pretty much anybody, and the number of players are all contributing factors to why For Sale is a clever, great game. The very slight "blind-bidding" at the end might turn some people off; but those people are few and far between, and you will entertain scores of others with this magnificent little game.
"Real men play board games."
This is my favorite new game that I have found recently. I know that it is a remake of an older game (I can't remember the name of the older game), but it was a wholly new experience for me.
The basic idea is to bid on which property card you get, then use those property cards to bid on which check you receive. Your score it the total of the checks you recieve and the money that you have left over from bidding. It could not be more simple and yet there is a lot of interesting stuff taking place in the game. You can't find a better bang for your buck when it comes to a 25 minutes game!
If you are looking for a quick and fun game that only takes about 10 minutes then this is it.
Uberplay did a super job of redoing this fun little card/bidding game. It seems like everytime we play this game we end up playing it several times. You will enjoy this light, quick fun game.
Okay, I've played and reviewed enough games by now to know that the saying 'This is the best game ever!' usually only holds true for 6 months at the most. So I really whittled this proclamation down: it is the best 10-minute card game that I have played so far.
One great quality about the game is that it really could appeal to gamers 8 years old to 88 years old. It is easy to learn, plays quickly, and it plays in such a way so that you always feel like you would have won the game if you'd played just one card different (always a good quality in a game.)
It's fun to take chips to try and bid in such a way as to pick up bargains on the buildings (nicely drawn), but even if you do so-so in the first (buying) round, in the second half of the game, you are selling your houses, and can often play cleverly to pick up some good money to pull out the victory.
This game is a bit like 6 Nimmt! in that it has blind bidding revealed simultaneously, but it has a bit more theme, nice card art, and slightly more involved decisions than 6 Nimmt! As such, this game wins 5 stars for being in a game category that doesn't have enough contestants: fun, challenging games that finish in ten minutes. This game is a real gem, and groups could find themselves playing 3 games in a row in 25 minutes. A really neat game to pull out after a holiday meal to play with relatives too, because of its accessibility and quick play time.
It's worth mentioning another comparison (since I always used to get these games mixed up when I read about them), this game is similarly themed and durated (durationed? =) to Reiner Knizia's High Society, which I feel is one of the driest, most mathematically boring games ever made. For Sale just has a fun lightness to it that High Society seems to lack for me. Both games are fairly abstract, but For Sale is definitely an approachable game for families and non-gamers.
Ravensburger PLEASE reprint this one!
For Sale is about as simple a game as one can think up and it is about as fun and interesting as any other game I've seen too. This is the type of game that make me think I could design my own and be a success. It's just two stacks of 30 cards, a pile of money chips and 5-10 minutes per round.
Everyone I play with anguishes over each play and we all enjoy the game win or lose. It's an open auction and a blind auction and see who can make the most money. For Sale is simple and it's good!
For Sale is an auction card game that is played in two phases. In the first part of the game, several property cards (equal to the number of players) are displayed. Each player bids on these properties, which range in value from 1-30. As each player drops out of the bidding, he takes the lowest value property card and pays half of his bid. The last remaining person who wins the round of bidding gets the highest value property, but he pays his entire bid. This process repeats until all properties (except a couple that are taken out of the game) are auctioned off.
In the second part of the game, players use the property cards they already won to bid on checks, which range in value from $0-$15,000. Several checks are displayed (again equal to the number of players). This time, players bid by simultaneously revealing one of their property cards. Checks are awarded according to the ranking of the properties that were bid. This process repeats until all checks (except a couple that are taken out of the game) are auctioned off. Add up your checks and leftover money from the first phase to determine the winner.
This is a great game that can be taught in 5 minutes. The second part of the game is like Beat the Buzzard, which creates a lot of excitement with hidden simultaneous bidding, especially when you win a big check with a low value property! The cards also have great illustrations!
I have been looking for For Sale and I found it for sale as a pre order at FRED distribution. Apparently, they are in control of the reissue. I will be waiting to get this new edition with anticipation as I loved the older version. I put a game on pre-order and it will be available soon.
I'd give this a 4 and a half star if it was possible but sadly I can't and it takes a pretty darn good game for me to give it a 5 star recommendation. For Sale is a good easy game for what it is.
....and I respect Jy Avery's opinion on most things, but I happen to love High Society, and even I enjoy For Sale very much. Therefore, the game actually stands on its own without requiring any negative comparisons to sell it! Yea!! Don't assume that if you like High Society you'll dislike For Sale, or vice versa--but you wouldn't do that, or you wouldn't be the conspicuous consumers that I know you all are!
This nifty little game has a lot (bad pun, sorry) going for it.
The rules are simple and the game play is straightforward, so it is easy to get into the game right out of the (small) box. The interplay fits the theme seamlessly, and the tension as the bids are revealed builds (sorry again) in a hurry.
Its been well received by the range of people and ages Ive played it with. I even got my 60-something dad--who hardly ever plays games--to play this, and hes played it more than once, equally amazing! And my then-9-year-old liked it, too, not to mention my 15- to 22-year-old nephews.
Any deeper, and it probably wouldnt be as approachable. Although it may be a bit dry, its good for what it is.
May as well get it, its hard to find a better value in light but enjoyable gameplay than For Sale.
I won't go into detail into how to play this game as one of the other gamers has given a pretty good description. I'll just tell you that I really enjoyed this game. At first glance I thought the rules were complicated; I guess I was looking for more rules, twists etc than there really are. In fact, it's amazingly simple, possibly too simple for some folks but as I like playing card & board games with my kids 11 and under it is perfect. It plays in about 15-20 mins and will have you shouting 'I knew I should have played this card instead!'
I like it, my kids like it; therefore, it passes the test.
This is a great game to introduce non-gamers to German games. It's fast, light, easy to understand, and takes about two minutes to explain. It's also easy to win the first time you play, even against people who have played many times. At the end of a game night, it's a great game to play when you don't want to start a longer heavier game. An interesting note, you never want to raise a bid unless you led it. This little quirk is the price for the game's simplicity. A small price indeed.
Game components consist of two decks of cards and bidding chips. One deck of cards contains twenty houses, numbered 1 through 20. The second deck contains twenty money cards, numbered from 0 through 20 (some numbers, like 0, appear on two cards - other numbers, like 19, aren't represented). Each player is given 15 chips to start the game.
The game consists of two rounds. For the first round, all players are bidding for the house cards. For a four player game, 4 house cards are turned face up. Players bid with their chips in an attempt to get the higher cards. Be careful not to bid too many chips - once you use them up, you don't get any more! Each player will get one of the cards - as bidders pass, they pay half of their chips and take the lowest card that is left. Finally, when only one bidder remains, he pays his entire bid and gets the highest card. Then the next 4 cards are turned up and the bidding procedure is continued. This is repeated 5 times - until all of the house cards are gone.
At this point, each player has five house cards. Players now use the house cards to bid for the money cards. Four money cards are turned face up and a blind bidding procedure is used. The highest house card takes the highest money card, lowest takes lowest, etc. This is repeated 5 times until each player has 5 money cards. Players total the value of their money cards and the highest value is the winner.
I like this game because it has some interesting strategy (and a little luck too). Bidding strategies vary based upon the values of the 4 cards that are turned up. If they are all high cards, it might be best to bid low (since all players will get a good card anyway). If the cards turned up range from low cards to high, it might be worth it to bid higher (but exactly how high?) The text from Funagain that appears above says that this game takes about an hour, but that is not true - it really only takes about 15 or 20 minutes. It is such a fun and quick game, you might find yourself playing again. Recommended!
For Sale was originally published in 1997 by FX Schmid, a firm that has since discontinued its board game line. Since discovering the game, it has remained one of my favorite fillers. It is easy to learn, fast and fun to play, and packed with angst-inducing, quick bidding rounds. I’ve played dozens of times, and it never fails to satisfy. The game has been in-and-out of print over the past dozen years, and has recently found new life with the Gryphon Games edition.
Players represent real estate investors, hoping to purchase various dwellings – from the lowly cardboard box to the mega-modern space station – then sell them for a handsome profit. Players begin the game with a meager sum of 14 coins and must wisely spend these to acquire properties. Properties range in value from 1 – 30, with less being used depending upon the number of players.
Each turn, a number of properties equal to the number of players are revealed. Players bid coins in a clockwise fashion, either raising the bid or folding. The actual coins bid must be placed on the table, visible to all. When a player withdraws from the bidding, he acquires the lowest- valued property still available, and retrieves ½ of the coins he bid, rounded down. Take note: this is ½ the value bid, which is a reversion to the original FX Schmid version. The UberPlay version of the game changed this rule, having players retrieve one-half the NUMBER of coins they bid.
The high bidder gets rewarded with the highest valued property, but must surrender the entire amount bid to the bank. So, the cost for remaining in a bidding round steadily escalates, and for the victor can be quite costly. It is important to consider the spread of properties available, as sometimes it is worth withdrawing early if the low properties still carry a decent value. Additionally, low-valued properties can sometimes be sold for handsome profits if the value of checks available later in the game is appreciable.
Several rounds of bidding are conducted, with new properties revealed each round, until all properties are purchased by the players. At this point, the second phase of the game ensues, wherein players will sell their acquired properties, hopefully for significant profits.
A number of checks equal to the number of players are revealed each round. Checks range in value from 2 – 15, with two blank checks included. There are two of each value, so the spread can be quite large.
Players then play one of their acquired property cards face-down, and simultaneously reveal them. Checks are then distributed to the players based on the value of the property they are selling. The player who played the most valuable property is rewarded with the highest valued check, and so-on down the line, with the player offering the lowest- valued property receiving the most meager check. The same type of decision-making goes into this round as when bidding on properties. This procedure continues until all properties have been sold.
At that point, everyone totals the value of his checks and remaining coins. The player with the greatest total claims the victory and title of 'Real Estate Tycoon'. Players desiring a longer game can play several rounds, with the player having the greatest cumulative total over these rounds emerging victorious.
This new version has maintained some of the controversial changes that were made in the previous UberPlay edition, but reverts back to the original FX Schmid rules on other issues. As mentioned, this new edition reverts back to the original rule rules wherein a player must pay one-half of the dollar amount bid – rounded UP – when dropping out of an auction. Some of the changes in the UberPlay edition that were maintained include the increased card mix, and the requirement that players increase the amount bid, not simply match the previous bid.
These are important changes, and in the past, their merits have been the source of heated debates on various internet discussion forums. Some folks steadfastly maintained that the original version was better, while others championed the changes. I honestly enjoyed both versions, and wouldn’t hesitate playing either of those or the new Gryphon Games version.
As mentioned, I consider For Sale to be one of the best fillers on the market, and I am happy to see it once again available. The bidding rounds are usually swift, yet present the players with tough choices. Players must assess the spread of properties or checks available, and then make judgments as to how much they are willing to bid or offer to secure the one desired. Bidding can escalate quickly, and often force players to pay more than planned, or settle for a lower-valued property. For Sale is a game with simple rules, easy to learn, yet filled with a continuous stream of tough choices. All of this is packed into an exciting 10 – 15 minutes. What a value!