Review by CmdClaus

"Fun card game without a lot of bells and whistles"

My friends and I used to play Uno regularly years ago and now we don't. I miss it for two reasons: the social aspect of just getting together with folks, and the fact that playing Uno was a lot of fun. When I heard that Uno was coming out for Game Boy Color, I thought back to the liquid crystal portable version of the game and thought, "Oh, sure. They're going to screw it up again." Well, I have to admit that I was wrong. They didn't screw it up.

First, let's get to the bad points just in case this enough to make you not want to buy the game. Every time you start a new game, you have to reinput your name. I can understand the reasoning behind this, but I'm the only person who plays my Game Boy, so it's not likely I'd have to change the name. Granted, once you've input it, it keeps the last name you inputted, so you can just hit start, so it's a workaround, but it's still annoying to keep going back to that screen.

Second, the little animations when you select a Wild Card are also obnoxious. You have to wait five seconds to finish watching this card dancing or turning flips before play resumes. Again, there's a workaround, you just turn them off before the game starts (there's a choice to do this), but still, you have to remember to do all this. It does retain the settings from game to game, though.

Now, onto the great gameplay. It's Uno, just as you remember it. Plus, the cards are easy to read on the screen, and the game even sorts your cards by color for you to make things just that much easier. They also provide a good manual that describes all the rules. The skill level of the players doesn't matter all that much I've found, but the higher the skill level of the computer opponents, the more likely they will be to catch you if you don't call "Uno!" when you get down to one card. I got caught several times before I started remembering to do that every single time. You can also increase the time between turns of the computer opponents, but I find that putting it on Speed 9 (the fastest with no delay between plays) works just fine for me. I can follow it, but I appreciate the ability to slow it down if you want to.

The extra types of cards, backgrounds and music are a nice addition. I liked Groovy and Space more than Western. However, none of the backgrounds are really anything special and don't really improve the game, they just break up the monotony. I also found that I didn't care to use the special cards all that much. Switch Hands is truly annoying to have happen to you, so I usually won't play with the special pack. There's also a link mode of play, but I couldn't find anybody else who had a copy of Uno who wanted to give it a whirl, so I can't give you any ideas here.

Still, I found myself going back to the cartridge when I was in the mood for a game. You won't find yourself rushing to play this game in an addictive frenzy, but it will entertain you when you play it. It's just a simple little card game that you can now take on the road with you and play if the mood strikes you.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/21/00, Updated 01/21/00

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