Review by horror_spooky
"Uno is the loneliest number that you'll ever do..."
Uno! is a widely popular and known card game that with very basic rules. Players are tasked with getting rid of all of their cards by placing cards of the same color or number of the top card of the discard pile, with special cards mixed into the deck to make the proceedings a bit more interesting. Uno isn't a stranger to the realm of video games by any means, so is an XBLA offering really necessary?
Back when the Xbox 360 was young and the Xbox Live Arcade service didn't have a very strong selection of titles to choose from, Uno was one of the most popular games for the service. Who didn't want to take a break from slicing locusts in half on the original Gears of War by playing virtual cards with friends and family? Regardless of the idea behind releasing the game, the concept obviously worked, and Uno quickly became one of the most popular Xbox Live Arcade games released.
While it's true that the same, and perhaps a better experience, could be had by simply playing the physical card game, Uno on XBLA was a great way to casually chat with friends while playing cards and working towards nicely paced achievements. It was even more fun to hop onto Xbox Live, joining a random game of Uno, and let the hilarity ensue. Uno was certainly one of the more social games on the platform, and really helped the Xbox Live service for the Xbox 360 in its infancy.
However, the operative word in the previous paragraph is was. Uno simply isn't active anymore. Trying to find a match online is nearly impossible, and people have moved on to bigger and better things. This is actually a common problem with the Xbox 360; since Microsoft charges for Xbox Live services, less people are likely to play. I have said this before and I will say it again, I have never, ever come across a PlayStation 3 game that had completely dead online multiplayer. It's just a shame that one of the features that is supposed to make the Xbox 360 superior to its competition actually is detrimental to the overall quality of gaming due to the unnecessary fee from Microsoft.
Regardless, the point is that the online for Uno is pretty much dead. So what really matters is if the game can stand up on its own. For the most part, Uno is a fun distraction, and playing against AI-controlled computers isn't so bad. I've always maintained that playing on Xbox Live can sometimes feel a lot like playing against bots, so it may be a suitable enough substitute.
Uno allows full customization of the rules, which is a great addition. This allows players to play the card game however they want, without having to follow the rules set up by the game. While the lack of a solid online community certainly hurts the ability to unlock all of the achievements in the game, there are still a decent amount of fun achievements that Uno has to boost replayability.
Uno is a fun card game and a neat distraction on the Xbox Live Marketplace. While it's a shame that Uno's golden days are certainly behind it as Xbox Live has moved on, Uno was still instrumental in the early stages of the Xbox 360's lifespan and the game can be fun. If you're looking for a much more rewarding experience, however, nothing can beat sitting around with a group of friends and family and skipping one person's turn a thousand times for laughs.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/10/11
Game Release: Uno (US, 05/09/06)
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