Review by JLP

"Simple, cheap, and addicting."

Uno, the card game, was created in 1971, and has undergone countless variations. Now, it arrives on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 400 Microsoft points. Is it worth buying?

The answer depends on how much you like real life Uno. For those uninitiated, Uno is an easy game to learn. The object of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. (When you have one card left, you call Uno!). The cards come in 4 different colors, red, blue, green, and yellow. In those 4 colors, you have numbered cards (from 1-9), and non-numbered cards. The non-numbered cards create an effect: Draw two forces the next player to draw two cards, reverse changes the playing order, and skip makes the next player lose their turn. A card can only be played when the card previously played matches its value (a blue 4 can be played on top of a red 4, a green reverse can be played on top of a yellow reverse, etc), or number. There are also special black wild, and wild draw four cards that can be played any time.

The Xbox game doesn't differ from those mechanics. Although you can download decks with modified rules, those fundamental mechanics are always in place. However, rule modification, by yourself, is available. Although you can't make all blue cards unplayable or something bizarre, you can change minor details, like scoring, which adds to the replayability. Uno has three main game types: Standard, which is your basic 4 player free for all, partner, which is 2 on 2, and elimination, where players with no cards to play lose. Tinkering with the game types and minor details can create a nice, custom experience if you're looking for it.

Uno can be played against the computers or on Xbox Live. The computers play adequately, not being super intelligent or completely moronic. I can't review Xbox Live Uno, because, it doesn't work. A fatal glitch is present (I've confirmed this on the Uno message board, so it isn't just my game), where matchmaking (sorting people into games) doesn't work, making it almost impossible to find a game. Although I'm sure it will be fixed, I can't ignore it in my review, being such a major problem.
Uno's graphics are what you would expect: Cards being shuffled around a screen. They definitely look good, for cards, but that's all they are. Don't expect to be wowed, but then again, Uno isn't amazing to watch in real life either. The music is a series or random, cheerful, instrumental, and highly grating songs that add a sort of bizarre warmth to the game, but I can't imagine anyone listening to them outside of the game.

To sum the game up, it's Uno. That's it. Uno. If you're content with that, by all means, by the game. It cost lest than a pack of cards. If you aren't content, stay away, as there's nothing here to entice you into buying it.

Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/08/06

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