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Sunday, May 29, 2016

For Sale By Owner

One man’s castle is another man’s doghouse, or perhaps an RV, tent, or skyscraper.  Today we return to Mama Bear’s Bakery & Cafe in Fishers to play the property management game known as For Sale.  For Sale is a fast-paced bidding & bluffing card game for 3 - 6 players that can be played in 20 - 30 minutes.
The idea in this game is to obtain the highest ranking properties, and then sell them for the best price possible for your profit.  All players try to purchase the most valuable properties with the least amount of money, and then turn around and sell those properties for the highest-valued currency cards.  The first phase consists of buying the properties.  This is done by turning face up the number of property cards equal to the number of players.  All of the face up cards will now be auctioned so that no player goes empty-handed.  Each player may either bid or pass. 
For bidding, the active player lays down any number of his or her coins onto the table.  Play continues clockwise around the table.  The next player must decide if they want to bid or pass.  If they bid, it must be higher than the previous bid.  If a player wishes to pass, he or she takes the property that remains on the table with the lowest value.  He or she will also take back half of their bid (rounded down).  It’s important to keep your money secret.  Purchased properties are placed face down in front of the player who purchased them.  You must manage your money wisely during the bidding and property acquisition phase, then outsmart (or just guess) your rival tycoons during the selling phase.  Whoever is the richest real estate mogul by the end of the game wins.

This is a fun little card game with cute, cartoon-style artwork.  However, there are a few aspects that while intended to be harmless humor, are more problematic.  The lowest card that you can attain in the game is the #1 card which is a homeless persons cardboard box.  The picture depicts a dripping pipe directly above the box making it wet, warped, and moldy, along with a crushed can and a clearly displayed wine bottle laying on it’s side.  Neither Claire nor I find this card funny and are pretty confident that it didn’t have to be used and definitely not displayed the way it is.  The #6 card is a Native American teepee and the #8 card is an igloo, both of which are racially insensitive.  It’s worth noting that this is not an American game.  Unfortunately, we have noted some European game designers are prone to using troubling stereotypes that are unnecessary and mar what could otherwise be completely harmless games.  The other aspect to the gameplay, is that there is not a lot of reply-ability in this game.  Once you’ve played it, you’ve essentially experienced what it has to offer.  Other than that, it has good mechanics, it’s easy to teach, the portability of the original box and the travel version are excellent for transporting!  The game is helpful at teaching money management and probability skills.  It can be taught and played very quickly and is an enjoyable filler game.

For Sale
Overall Meeple Rating: 6/10

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