The game of UNO is banned in my house. Thinking about it, all card and board games are banned after the Monopoly incident of 2013. I won’t go into too much detail but let’s say there were tears, frightened cats and a small fire to deal with. Anyway, moving swiftly on… I was delighted to hear that Ubisoft has decided to revamp the virtual version of Uno. Previously, it was a breakout hit of the Xbox 360, it has now been updated and unleashed on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One & PC.
For those who’ve never played UNO before, the game is simple. Get rid of your cards before any of the other players. There are special cards that change the way the game is played. For instance, you can force the person next to you to skip their turn, or you can change the direction of play. I’ll admit it doesn’t sound like the most exhilarating game but you can create your own rules.
If you’ve ever played any kind of card game with friends, you’ll know there is always 30 minutes of bickering before you deal the first hand and woe betide anyone who doesn’t write down the rules.
It must come as no surprise that UNO the video game is the digital embodiment of the card game. Four players (either human or AI) sit around a virtual table and play UNO. There are several different ways to play, which includes using the most common rules of the game.
There are the normal local and online options. When you search for a table to join, you can specify what rules you want to play, or, if you’re feeling fruity, you could just show up and accept the game in front of you.
UNO shines if you’ve got friends willing to play with you. In this mode, you can chat and (provided you have a camera) stream your room while playing. My friends were undoubtedly nervous when I approached the idea of a video stream but it just descended into mocking and joking rather than insults and abuse.
These features aren’t available when you are playing strangers, which is understandable considering it could easily be abused. To pass the time, I found myself creating elaborate back-stories for my human counterparts. Imagining the possible reasons why they could be taking so long to make a move.
UNO is great at what it does. unfortunately, there isn’t much else to do. Sure, there are different packs to download (at cost) but they don’t drastically change how you play the game.
On paper, you’d think that UNO (the video game) wouldn’t work. However, I was surprised just how involved you get in the game. One quick round has turned into hours upon hours of lost time playing cards.
There are two major downsides when playing the game. Firstly, the AI doesn’t present much of a challenge – it’s too easy to call out the CPU for not calling UNO and beat them. Secondly, the lack of variation is a big problem.
For me, being given the chance to play UNO in a virtual setting is probably for the best. It stops the arguing and frustrations. The saying goes “You can never beat the real thing” but it’s probably a lot safer and easier for me to stick to the digital realm when UNO is involved.
UNO the video game is a good substitute for the real thing. After all, it’s about the same price as the real deck of cards. The upsides are that cards will never get lost. There won’t be any fights since you can turn the microphone off.
- No fighting or fires
- Absorbing gameplay
- Good rule variants
- Limited modes
- AI can be too easy