The last version of UNO to hit the video game front left a little something to be desired. Not because it wasn’t playable, mind you – in fact, the developers did a great job capturing the energy of the game, right down to the manic feeling of getting hit with a “Draw Four.” The problem was with the compatibility of Xbox 360 cameras, which, as a result, led to some users getting a little, ahem, “creative” with their genitalia. Not exactly the thrill some players were looking for.
But those days are long behind us, and Ubisoft has crafted a new UNO experience for a whole new generation to enjoy – without the web cams to really get in the way of the action. Instead, the game simply uses character Avatars to define who is who, and there’s hardly any risk of seeing a player represented by, well, a less than favorable image.
The general rules of Ubisoft’s UNO are the same for the most part, as you can play with two different game modes. One is the traditional four-player contest where the first one to run out of cards wins the round, and the first to 500 points wins the game. The second is a team-based effort, where teams of two can compete to win everything. Both are good fun, but if you’re looking for a cooperative game to play with young ones or friends, you simply cannot go wrong with 2 vs. 2.
There are also house rules that can be altered. These change little things about the game, and probably won’t be messed around with too much, but it’s interesting seeing what changes some players suggest from them. Heck, it might even save you from a “Draw Four” – or hit you with two of them when you least expect it.
Perhaps the biggest thing is the inclusion of a pack featuring the Rabbids characters. They pop up on occasion and change things around over the course of a match – sometimes in your favor, sometimes not. It can be annoying to hear them do stuff round over round, but they add some freshness to the core game. I only wish Ubisoft had planned to add more themed decks with random effects – imagine an Assassin’s Creed deck where Enzo pops up to “slam” someone with a “Draw Four.” (Hey, we’d dig that.)
As for the core game, it’s designed rather well for a board game. While it lacks the kind of flash that other Ubisoft titles like Risk and Battleship possess, it’s easy to navigate, and quite colorful. It’s also easier to navigate cards than it was in the Xbox 360 version, which is a plus. The music’s okay – nothing to write home about – but it blends in well with the on-screen action. Again, more themes would definitely mix things up, so here’s hoping Ubisoft considers some DLC for the future.
UNO won’t change the way you play board games, but it’s also made a fairly good transition to the video game front – at least, a better one than the version offered in the previous generation. The multiplayer action is fun, and the Rabbids pack offers a few good chuckles, even if those little buggers manage to cost you the match. If you’re a fan of this sort of game, or just want a good multiplayer romp that won’t hit you too hard in the wallet, this one’s well worth drawing.
And without the threat of unpredictable profile pics, at that.