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FOR SALE

Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Überplay, 3-6 players, ages 8 and up, 10-15 players; $19.99)

 

Two awkward circumstances often arise during a typical game night with friends: 1) what to do before the rest of the crew arrives AND 2) what to do when the night draws to a close and your brain is too fried to deal with the heavy lifting required by some of the games we enjoy. Überplay has come up with an excellent answer in their revised edition of a classic by Stefan Dorra: For Sale.

The revised For Sale comes small boxed (but in a larger box than the original) and contains 30 property cards, 30 check cards, money chips and rules. The game play is essentially the same (and you can check that out in our original review) but there are a few interesting differences.forsalegryphon

First of all, now the game can handle up to 6 players, a very welcome change. Secondly, the values of the property cards (1 through 30) remain the same but the values of the checks have been changed. Now there are two each of checks valued at $0 and $2000 through $15,000. The generic chips have been replaced by Money Chips in two denominations and you start with either more or less money depending on the number of players. A more significant change has been implemented in regard to bidding.

Previously, it was enough to bid an EQUAL amount when bidding for property cards to keep yourself in the auction. Now, however, a new bid must be GREATER than the previous bid. This makes a difference since, once you drop out of an auction, you cannot re-enter the bidding process for that particular card. But the rules are actually contradictory on one point. As before, when a player drops out of the bidding, he takes the lowest valued property remaining and loses HALF of his bid. (The last remaining bidder loses ALL of his bid.) But what if the bid is an odd number? The rules specifically state that the bidder “also takes back half of his Money Chips (rounded up).” So far, so good. But then, in the very next sentence offering an example, the rules state “For example, if a player had previously bid 3 Money Chips, but ultimately decides to pass, he takes back 1 Money Chip into his hand.) So the example shows the player taking half his chips rounded DOWN! We play it according to the rule (which is the same as in the original game) and NOT the example. It gives players a little more “muscle” in making bids – and that adds to the pleasure of the play.

We were a little concerned with the presence of a sixth player and the distribution of the money (since the higher valued 20 card no longer appeared) as this might cause unforeseen difficulties detrimental to play. Fortunately, our fears proved groundless. With six players, the game works fine and this distribution seemed to make the scoring tighter.

For Sale has always been a highly prized and highly sought after game. But its out of print status had made it difficult to find and expensive when you did. Thanks to Überplay, this situation has been corrected. With the new For Sale, in what is a rare occurrence in gaming, everybody wins!. – – – – – – – – – — Herb Levy


 

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Summer 2005 GA Report Articles

 

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