Uno Review

By Megan Walton, 4 months ago
The card game Uno has been around for years and has already made multiple appearances on the Xbox platforms in electronic form. This includes UNO (Xbox 360) and UNO Rush on the Xbox 360, and UNO & Friends (WP) on Windows Phone. Now the beloved card game has made the jump to Xbox One with the recent release of the newest version of Uno. How does it fare this time around?

Time to play Uno, everybody!Time to play Uno, everybody!

The art of playing Uno is fairly simple to pick up but hard to master, mainly because a large chunk of it is based on luck. The basic idea behind the card game is that you want to get rid of all of the cards in your hand by playing a card the same number or colour as the one played before you. If you don't have one of these, you can either play a wild card if you have one (each of which do different things) or you have to pick a card from the deck. Once you get rid of all of the cards in your hand, then you win the round and gain points from everyone else's left over cards. The rounds continue on until someone gets 500 points, and then that person wins the game. It's a four player card game that can be either played on your own or in co-op as a 2v2 game. This is all that you need to know to play Uno.

If you have never played the game before in any form, there's a handy tutorial to introduce you to the cards and to give you a quick overview of the rules. While this tutorial is a good starting point for new players, it doesn't actually explain all of the ins and outs of the game, and even a couple of the cards aren't explained. This can lead to a few issues once you start a game, but the purpose of each card is made more than obvious once you are a few turns in, so there's no need to worry too much about not understanding what's going on.

Unfortunately, if different people keep winning the rounds then this can lead to games going on and on for longer than you are willing to pay attention. In order to fix this, there are various house rules with which you can play about in order to make game longer, shorter or potentially more interesting. These rule changes help to keep the game interesting and mix things up a bit once the game starts to get that little bit stale. On the solo and 2v2 games, you can set which of these rules you want.

Play your cards right, and you could be the Uno King/QueenPlay your cards right, and you could be the Uno King/Queen

Once you have a grasp of the deck and the basic gameplay, and you've used the solo modes to get your head around how to play the game, there's the option of the online mode. This mode works in a drop in/drop out way, with empty slots being replaced with AI until someone else joins. This is a good way of keeping the game constantly moving even though people might be leaving, but if you are left with no other human players then the game ends, no matter what. The online mode can also be played solo or 2v2, as well as having voice and video support in game. Whilst jumping into a match seems fairly simple, keeping players in the match and actually playing the game is harder. The game can get temporarily stuck on player's turns, even after a card has been played, and it won't move onto the next person. Sometimes it gets stuck altogether and won't let anyone have a turn, which leaves you with no choice but to leave the match completely.

If the game does decide to let you play then your next obstacle to overcome is other players. It's hard to tell whether the players themselves are taking their time to play cards, or whether the game itself is lagging for certain people, but it can make the games awkward to play. On top of that, if you stick with the usual 500 point to win rule then the chances are that players will constantly be leaving and joining before the end of the match. This gets very annoying very quickly, especially if everyone leaves before the end and then you can't finish the match, but be prepared to put the time in if you do want to get to the end.

The game itself has a bright, colourful and cartoony feel, which makes it fun to watch whilst you play. An equally fun and upbeat soundtrack will accompany your card playing and means that you'll probably be playing the whole thing with a smile on your face. There's also the choice of Uno decks, which just consists of the classic cards and a Rabbids deck (of Rayman Raving Rabbids fame) at the minute. This adds new and interesting cards, including a timed bomb and a defense card to swat away incoming +2 and +4 cards. This also helps to switch up the gameplay a bit, with the Rabbids deck also having a lot more interaction on the actual screen due to the addition of the rabbids jumping around the cards and the deck.

The Raving Rabbids add some fun to the usual Uno card gameThe Raving Rabbids add some fun to the usual Uno card game

There's no story mode here and no particular challenges for you to hit; all that is on offer here is simply to play Uno. While you're getting exactly what is written on the tin, it gets tedious after a while. There's fun to be had here with or without friends, and even though there is a large amount of luck based gameplay with Uno, the longer that you play then the more likely you are to grasp the best way to win. For the price of £7.99, or regional equivalent, you don't get a massive amount of content but you do get a reasonable amount for the price.

The game offers 12 achievements during your card playing and there's nothing too difficult on offer here. You'll be offered your first achievement for simply completing the first round. After that, you'll be wanting to win at least one Uno match, which shouldn't prove too difficult for you. Things get a little harder when you have to win 10 online games, and then win a game by at least 700 points. There is opportunity for these harder achievements to be boosted though, for those that want the completion quickly; otherwise, hard work and a bit of luck should earn you the 100% anyway.

Summary

If you enjoy playing Uno then no doubt you'll have fun here. If you have never played before, the game is mostly kind to you but does leave you to figure out a couple of things on your own. A mixture of offline and online modes means you can play alone or with friends, and have a lot of fun. Unfortunately the game isn't without its problems and the online is mostly where they lie. There's problems with games being abandoned, players not playing and the game not actually letting you play. On top of that, games can simply just go on for too long and they eventually just become tedious rather than fun. If you are just looking to play Uno then this offering will fulfil your desire, but with a game that is simply called Uno, what else would you expect?
3 / 5
Positives
  • Easy to jump in and play
  • Both offline and online modes, solo and co-op
Negatives
  • Some bugs with the online play
  • Games can go on for too long
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent approximately 6 hours playing Uno online and offline, playing cards and winning rounds and unlocking 9 of the game's 12 achievements. An Xbox One download code was provided for the purpose of this review.
Megan Walton
Written by Megan Walton
Megan is a TA newshound and reviewer who has been writing for the site since early 2014. Currently working in catering, she enjoys cooking extravagant dishes, baking birthdays cakes for friends and family in peculiar shapes, writing depressing poetry about life and death, and unlocking every achievement possible.