Reviews// Uno

Posted 7 Dec 2017 10:15 by
I loved Uno on the Xbox 360. If I recall correctly, it was a free pack-in game with the console and I remember spending many nights following sessions on Rainbow Six: Black Arrow relaxing with a bunch of friends, chatting and playing Uno.

To be honest, though, I wasn't exactly excited to play the game on the Switch. Ubisoft's recent release of Monopoly on the system rather soured me to the idea of playing any more board games on the system. Aside from the loading problems that plagued Monopoly at launch, the game was rather overdesigned, slow and unintuitive. Uno is a game of extreme simplicity. Fortunately, the Switch version of Uno stays absolutely true to the spirit of the game and succeeds where Monopoly failed.

Set up in Uno is fast and although the game doesn't overwhelm with options the ones that are available are well considered. Players can play either a friend, AI or by linking more than one Switch together. In addition, online games are available and have so far proven easy to both set up and connect with.

The game comes with a number of Ubisoft-themed decks in addition to the default. Players can choose from Rabbids, Rayman and, perhaps a little strangely, a Just Dance themed deck. Each of these themes contain extra cards that provide additional options during each play session. For example, the Rabbids pack contains a 'hurry up' card that forces the next player to draw within a tighter time limit and the Rayman pack contains a 'Dragon' card that randomly reshuffles and redistributes all of the cards currently in play.

Although these options are certainly welcome, I still found myself mostly returning to the purity of the original Uno card deck. However, these other options are certainly a welcome extra.

In addition to choosing a themed deck, the game also allows customisation to restrict bluffing or change the way in which cards can be played. The music, a key component in creating atmosphere in a card game, is perfect and certainly avoids reaching the heights of irritation that Monopoly managed.

Whilst playing against the AI is fun in itself, the real challenge comes with playing online. Although it is possible to play with friends there's very little difference if playing with other random players. Communication is only possible by an emoji system which hardly allows for a great deal of expression.

This does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity. Nintendo seems to have abandoned its online app and it's a shame that third parties aren't filling the gap. Nevertheless, Uno online is still both relaxing and engaging.

Following the troubled release of Monopoly, Ubisoft has a far more likeable and engaging game in Uno. If you are looking for a quick game of cards, either alone or with friends this is the game to get on the Switch.

+ Themed decks add additional layers of play.
+ Brilliantly streamlined.
+ It's Uno.

- Limited online.
- Online play with friends is difficult.
- Themed decks are nice, but limited.

SPOnG Score: 8/10

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