The Seller (DSiWare)

Game Review

The Seller Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jacob Crites

Sell it

Quick! What's the most convoluted and fun-deprived card game on the DSiWare service?

Wrong: it's The Seller, an unnecessarily complicated and almost completely unstimulating card game that probably won't even keep you awake long enough to irritate the Hell out of you.

Now, let's get one thing clear: The Seller isn't broken. It's (almost) a perfectly functional game, and we're sure that if you decide to dig deep enough and play long enough there's actually at least some enjoyment to be had with it. But you're going to have to do a lot of digging, and in the end, it just isn't worth it.

The description on the DSi Shop Channel would have you believe there's some engrossing story about betrayal and revenge here, but this all just boils down to a single three-second, one-frame introductory cutscene that shows an anime boy and girl standing in the street while it's raining. Corporate espionage: it's never been so vague.

But you're not downloading this game for the story, of course; you're downloading it for the gameplay. Well, sorry kids, but the developers were lying when they promised “a witty card game with a few simple rules to test your intelligence,” too.

Seeing as there's zero dialogue, exposition, character interaction or really, character animations of any kind, we promise you that there is absolutely no wit to be found here; and, after a read-through of the game's poorly worded and thoroughly lacklustre tutorial, you'll quickly realise that calling the game “simple” was more than slight embellishment as well.

The concept itself is simple enough: you're given 12 regular cards, and 8-12 “resource” cards at the beginning of the game, and your goal is to be the first player to sell all of his/her resources. The resources in question are, as best we can tell, oil, cows, electricity, water, handshakes, angry snake-creatures and boxes full of question marks. This is where things start to get shaky in The Seller: it's really hard to tell what things are, exactly.

For example, like in UNO, there's a lot of “action cards” that can shake things up, like reversing the player order, undoing someone's last move, and some other stuff that's impossible to make out. The cards themselves have nothing but a letter (to indicate what kind of card it is) and a symbol (to signify the action/amount of dollars you'll receive for playing it). The thing is, there's a lot of cards – 17 types, to be exact, and several of them have varying types of their own. Have fun memorising what all of them do, because you can't tell what they do just by looking at them, and the tutorial and help pages can only be accessed from the main menu. Want to refresh your memory on what the heck that card with the chair on it does? Sorry bud, you just lost your progress.

And trust us, you're not going to suspend your game once you've started, because these games can last a really long time. Also like UNO, this is one of those games that can go on forever. When you finally get down to one resource card, your opponent will lay some card down that magically adds 10 more resources to your deck. At least it'll seem like magic, because the computer players complete their turn so quickly that it's hard to tell what exactly they did to completely screw you over, leading to frustration, rage and violent touchscreen-stabbings.

These problems would actually be greatly alleviated if there was some kind of local multiplayer mode, because for one thing it would have justified the 500 Point price tag, but it also would allow you and a buddy to play the game at your own pace, and maybe help each other out with remembering which cards do what. File that one in the “it's nice to want things” bin, because there isn't any multiplayer to be found here. You've got a career mode, a free play mode (which is just career mode but with adjustable difficulty settings) and a tutorial. That's it.


500 Points is a ludicrous asking price for such a poor game, especially considering that for the same price you could get one of the wonderful Art Style games, or a ham sandwich or really, anything else. The Seller isn't broken, it's just an example of poor execution of an idea that, quite frankly, wasn't that great to begin with. Save your money, because you can't sell this one back.

From the web

User Comments (29)



Cia said:

Why would anyone waste money for something like this?



Kyloctopus said:

This game may be fun to other people's eyes than the reviewer, the reviewer is only one person



Philip_J_Reed said:

Great review, Jacob. You really sold me on that ham sandwich! Can I get it with a side of handshakes?



Froggievilleus said:

The game has potential. If it had a REAL tutorial and the game's play was not so vague. I did actually win a game last night. Yay for me.



jdarrell said:

Is the gameplay like Crazy 8s or UNO or a resource game such as ? I'm mainly just wondering how original it is, I think I'd need a video so shall probably get it to see it for myself this week.



Kid_A said:

It's mostly like uno. The one thing that I didn't mention in the review (I thought the tone was probably negative enough as it was) was that in order to sell your resource card, you need to have a matching action card to pair it with. So you could be down to one resource, but if you don't have the right action card to sell it with, you might be waiting for 10+ minutes just to lie it down. But of course by that time, the computer has probably laid down a few magical "screw you" cards to bump your resources back up to 12. Silliness.

Like Froggievilleus said, this game didn't have to be bad. It could have been at least so-so if they would have done an adequate job of explaining the actual game to you, given you more access to helpful hints and reminders and added in some multiplayer. As it is, it's just sort of one big "wait, what just happened?!" mess of a game.



Philip_J_Reed said:

you might be waiting for 10+ minutes just to lie it down. But of course by that time, the computer has probably laid down a few magical "screw you" cards to bump your resources back up to 12.

What a witty game!



chainfire said:

2 Points is too generous...it's really not worth one. One of the only really disappointing games I jumped on before the review and boy did I regret it.



LunarJade said:

For a dollar I can go buy a pack of cards at the dollar store and find four people to play with.
I understand they use different cards than a regular deck but quite honestly I think card games are more fun with real cards.... but if it has to be a digital set I don't see why multiplayer wouldn't be a function.
Only solitaire is really meant to be played alone.



Kid_A said:

@Chicken Brutus
You're right! It actually is kind of funny in that, "Oh, hee-hee, those clever devils at CIRCLE entertainment tricked me out of $5!" kind of way.



LuWiiGi said:

Sorry you had to review such an awful game, Kid-A. Great review though, you have actually made me hungry for a ham sandwich.



Kid_A said:

Hey it all worked out because this week I got a surprisingly awesome one to review! (which should be up soon).



Bankai said:

So a Magic the Gathering game on DSiWare would get a 1/10 because it's even more complicated? Or Catan would get 3/10 because Monopoly is easier?

I think it's a little unfair to criticise a card game for being complex when Uno is what you're comparing it to. UNO is a ridiculously simple and childish game that relies entirely on luck. There is a world of card and board games (look up 'Eurogame') that dont go down the same path.

It'd be fair to mark down a game like this for a poor tutorial, but 2/10? that sounds like the game is broken or unplayable, but from your review it sounds like... Well, it's just more complex than Uno. Which would be justification for marking it higher than Uno, BTW.

Well written review! But it's clear from the review that the reviewer doesn't play many board games or card games, aside from the basic ones everyone has.



Kid_A said:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I definitely didn't want it to sound like I gave the game a 2/10 because it's more complicated than UNO. As you said, that's not saying much. I simply used Uno as a comparison because it was a good point of reference. The game got a bad score because it's a bad game, and that's that. It does an abysmal job at telling the player how to actually play the game, and the game itself requires more random chance than strategy to win. Cap it off with no multiplayer, and you've got yourself a 2/10 game.



theblackdragon said:

@WaltzElf: Forgive me, but I'm not seeing where the reviewer said that UNO was so much better than this game due to its lack of complexity -- he was just using elements of the game as a reference point to which many people here would be able to relate, as this 'The Seller' sounds like a brand new game the devs whipped up out of thin air. It has action cards (like UNO) and hands can go on forever (like UNO). How in any way do those two statements put him in a position for you to go off on him like that?
bah, that's what i get for leaving a tab open too long before doing anything, but the point stands :/



Colors said:

I would've given it a 10/10, better then super mario galaxy or kirby's epic yarn!

just kidding

You can tell this is going to be a bad game once you see the drunken redhead, the fat guy playing poker, the crying woman, and the little pink-haired girl with them. peer pressure anyone?



akacesfan said:

A little harsh. I'd have given it a 5/10 because even though its complicated, once you figure it out, it can be fun.



Kid_A said:

@Colors of Sonic
haha, and you know what's weird is that only two of those characters actually appear in the game!



loveismonkey said:

I wish I'd read this before I downloaded it. I actually looked for reviews, but there weren't any at the time. It looked so good! I got pissed off at the instructions and then I thought "well, maybe it will make sense when I actually play" but it was just too frustrating. I may give it another try, though.



jdarrell said:

Downloaded it yesterday, might try to post a video of gameplay in a couple days. For now I'll call it below average due to lack of strategic decisions, but possibly fun enough to play to have excellent replay value. Personally it's been worth it for me so far, but not completely certain that it'll hold up yet. It actually reminds me of if the developers of BlayzBloo made a card game, except there's slightly more variety.

"The resources in question are, as best we can tell,"
There's a better description in the tutorial... Four of them are oil and other utilities, and the more expensive three are different types of plans. And the chair card has an F on it for function, the functions are pretty easy to remember because there's not many of them (chair changes players seats). The main strategy to the game is to draw 13-15 cards, then play and/or discard 5 cards at a time. There isn't much memorization required to play, it's way too simple instead of complex in my opinion. "Difficult to learn, easy to master."

The scenario where you had one resource and then magically received ten more isn't likely to happen for many reasons. (1) You can use up five at a time. (2) Reset cards and the Sell ANY card make it even easier to get rid of your last resource (3) There are two defense cards to nullify opponent attacks... have to check if the half card also reduces quantities received (4) To get ten resources, your opponent must've sent three plus seven because only one SAME card can be used per turn. The only possible confusion is if you have no defense cards then there's no pop-up when you get attacked so it happens fast if you're not watching the top screen, but I like the pace.

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