UNO review

Who doesn’t know of UNO?

If you haven’t played or even heard of UNO, the card game, you’ve been living in a cave for many, many years.

While you can play the game with house rules – and this is probably what you have been doing for all those years at the table with friends and family at game nights, as you rarely have been reading the rules enclosed with the cards, but learned from playing it, the official rules is a little more distinguished.

I’ll elaborate and lay out the rules, mostly for the very few people in the world that doesn’t know UNO. The first to get a set number of points, win. To gain points, you need to be the first to get rid of all your cards, and the points you get are based on what the opposing players’ have left in their hands – each card and type gives different points.

uno-colour

UNO has four colours: blue, red, green and yellow. Just match the number or the colour to get rid of a card. As standard you can only put one card down at a time, and you can not pass on the pick up two cards by stacking it with your own +2 card.

Numbers goes from 0 to 9, with 6 and 9 underlined to show the difference between the two cards. There’s a few special cards too: +2 which will force the next player to pick up two cards and skip their turn, change colour will make you able to change the colour and the next player will have to lay a card down in that colour, change direction which will change the direction of players turns and the worst one, +4 which has both the change colour ability and the next player will have to draw 4 cards. This is the standard set.

In addition to the standard set, Ubisoft has introduced Raving Rabbids to the game (there’s barely any Ubisoft titles without the rabbids nowadays) and the addition is pretty fun. It basically just adds a themed card back and 4 cards to the playset, of which you can add or remove individual cards in case there’s some you don’t want to play. One card spawns a rabbid that will place a dynamite on the draw cards, and the first player to draw will get an additional 3 cards. Another card spawns a rabbid that will random toss 5 cards to the opposing players, then another 5 cards to all 4 players, and one rabbid card can deflect a +2 or a +4 card or act as change colour card, and the last rabbid card spawns a rabbid that only gives players 3 seconds to take their turn.

uno-rabbidsplay

There’s a bunch of house rules you can add to the game, and many of them fun, too. I think the Rabbids cards and the house rules are the biggest change from the UNO game on X360 as there was regular play with only the standard rule set and then there was private lobbies with house rules. I’ll list the house rules and their descriptions below:

  • Stacking: if the player before you lays down a +2 card and you have a +2 card, you can “stack” to pass on the bullet to the next player, which in turn has to draw 4 cards.
  • 7-0: This one is really good at messing up the game for everyone. If you put down a 7, you can exchange cards/hands with another play of your choosing. However, if you put down a 0, all hands exchange owners in the direction of current playing direction.
  • Jump-in: If someone is putting a card down identical to one in your hand, you can “jump in” and put down your card.
  • Force play: Automatically plays the card you just draw if it’s playable.
  • No bluffing: Can’t play the +4 card while in a bluff.
  • Draw-to-match; Draw until you can play a card.
  • Score limit: choose between one round, 200, 300 and 500 points.

If you have a +4 card, you can bluff your opponents by playing this card even when you have a card in the colour that is on the table. In turn the next player in line can challenge the card. If they catch you in the bluff, you pick up the 4 cards – however if you did not bluff, the player who challenged you draws 6 cards.

Certain sets of the house rules can make the game go on for a really long time. As an example, if you set 500 points as goal, the 7-0 so players can not play strategically, add draw to match and stacks as well as the Rabbid cards, players will keep getting cards and thus prolong the match. Such a match can easily last for a couple of hours. However, if you set the rules to standard, no stacks, no 7-0, no Rabbids cards, one round, the game is most likely over within 10 minutes.

uno-challenge

With that said, set the rules to what you think will be fun to play – there is an easy drop in and out function for the game, CPU takes over seamlessly when a player leaves the match – and the game has no penalties for leaving a game. The game only ends if everyone but one player has left.

The ending result: this is UNO. While it may have a fun paint in form of the Rabbids, it is what it is. Good ol’ UNO. It’s fun. It’s home. It’s easy to learn and everyone can play it. Because of the nature of the game, I’ve decided to not give it a score, because I can not really give it one. I can’t really talk about the look of the game, and much less talk about how the game plays as the mechanics is non existent. It’s a card game.

uno-rabbidstheme

I can recommend this game to everyone and anyone, even if you’re just a little interested in learning the rules of the game, possibly to go down to the store and buy a card deck for the next family gathering and learn the friends and family the real rules of UNO. This game has no age-rating. Kids down to the age of 4 can play it, however might not understand a few things, such as bluffing, and your grandpa at the age of 80 can play it too and find it fun.

Having the game digitally so you don’t have to drag and pursue family or friends to play with you has its perks, however it’s much less fun than the real deal as you can’t gloat within your opponents arm reach length.

Written by

Getting sucked into games by Super Mario as a kid, gaming got on hold during her teens. Lured into gaming with the 7th generation by GTA IV, and a few years later intrigued by reviewing games, and now she's running gamingirl since 2009.
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