Uno has been a bit of a revelation when it comes to video games, with the first being released back in 2006 for the Xbox 360 – it was a bit of abnormality in that it was one of the first (and most controversial) games to take advantage of the Xbox camera quite early in the life cycle of the console. That game was developed and published by Microsoft and Gameloft to great overall success but this time round, Ubisoft have decided to take up the mantle as they have recently with other table-top games such as Risk and Battleship.
To no-one’s surprise Uno plays similarly to the original, as it should considering that it’s… well… Uno. Just to quickly recap if you haven’t played the card game before though, Uno is quite a simple yet strategic game where it’s a race between two or more players to exhaust their hand of cards. You do this in a manner not too unlike the card game snap, where each player takes turns in being able to play a card whilst trying to match certain numbers as well as colours. Red number three already played? Then you can play any red card or any colour with the same number. Along the way you have defence cards such as skipping turns, plus 4’s or plus 2’s to add to your opposition’s hand and the like. In fact, you’ll need to utilise these if you want to stop your opponents winning. Don’t forget to shout out Uno when you’re down to your last card though otherwise you’ll have to pick up two cards from the stack.
The first thing Ubisoft did with this game is give the player the option on what kind of Uno game they want to play, with several options available and the ability to stack plus 2’s, force plays, and points limit etc. It’s a nice touch having so many options available to you considering people all play Uno differently. When it came to the actual game and how it is executed, I don’t think Ubisoft could really have made the mechanics anymore user friendly, with placing cards using the A button or going through your cards with the D-Pad. What is of note however is the way you actually call Uno – you do this by pressing the X button which essentially ‘readies’ your Uno when you’re about to play your second from last card. However, the game doesn’t overtly remind you to say Uno therefore leaving you open to forgetting and an opponent calling you out on it and seeing you receive two cards from the stack. What I’ve honestly found here was that the computer controlled opponents rarely called me out on missing it, while also forgetting themselves to say it several times during a match.
Not only that but the game also lets you team up with a another player, be it an actual person or the AI, and even though you can’t really react with each other considering your turns are not together, you do get to see your partners cards allowing you to affect the game by changing the suit colour or a defence card in aid of your partner. Winning is still the same in this mode though…it’s the first person to run out of cards.
The other main mode that can be found here is the online play which works more or less how you’d expect. However I have noticed the ramp up in ‘difficulty’ when playing against human players which is expected; they’re more strategic than any form of AI is going to be. The game gives you the option to also play the 2 vs 2 online which works relatively okay but you do need to make sure you’re able to communicate otherwise it’s all a bit of a confusing mess with you not knowing your partner’s next move. At time of writing the online community is quite active and the only real issue I’ve had playing online is the fact that a lot of people all play different rules. If I wanted to play the way I know how to play Uno, I would have to get lucky, or I would have to host my own game.
Camera wise the game gives you the ability to share it only with friends which is probably the best outcome here considering all the fracas that the original game caused back on its Xbox 360 release. Not only that, but it also goes for voice chat as well.
Now it wouldn’t be an Ubisoft game without some form of reference to the Rabbids and Uno is no different giving you the option when you play to choose between the classic deck that everyone is used to, or a Rabbids themed deck. Although not that dramatically different overall, the deck does add a couple of Rabbids exclusive cards scattered and distributed randomly to a player’s hand. These are cards that give you the ability to distribute a set number of cards to your opponents, or even give you a turn timer where all players must finish their turn within a set number of seconds. These are nice little additions to an already quite frantic deck, but if you’re looking for something of a more substantial feel then unfortunately you’ll have to possibly wait for more DLC.
You can already see where the game could expand in terms of new content, offering you the chance to download other Ubisoft branded card decks and it is nice that Ubisoft have put in the Rabbids deck from the offset through their ‘Ubisoft Club’.
In the end no real review is going to persuade you to buy Uno or not. Only you really know whether you will like it or not. All I can say is this version is a good representation of the classic card game. Does it break the mould? No, not really, but it doesn’t have to, with the only real downside being that the AI could be a little smarter, whilst the different decks don’t mix things up an awful lot differently from the classic deck.