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Uno on Xbox One review: It's a numbers game

It's all about getting to no cards at all.

Uno is possibly one of the best-known card games out there. Fun, quick, and full of shenanigans it's been capturing the hearts of people all over the world now for decades. Well now you can give it a shot in a digital format, because it's here on Xbox One.

Take a seat at the table

The graphics for Uno are fairly simple, and that's because this game is about as simple as it gets. When you jump into a game, you'll see the cards in your hand, along with what has been played, and an avatar for each player. Ubisoft didn't need to deliver top-of-the-line graphics — this is a classic card game, not a photo-realistic sci-fi combat co-op.

It works out really well too. Instead of having to pay attention to graphics, they kept it simple which ads to the air of nostalgia that may have you inclined to check it out. There really aren't any bells or whistles here, and for once, that's a really good thing. It lets you just sit down and play out as many hands as you want, either by yourself or competing with friends.

Tweak your gameplay

While the game in and of itself is as simple as ever, you can tweak things a fair bit. This shows up in the various options you have for how you want to play Uno, because not everybody plays the same way. You can also choose between two different decks of cards for your games, and even get your friends in on the action.

To begin with, you have the choice between playing by yourself against 3 AI players, or getting a friend to enjoy it with you by adding a second controller. If you're unfamiliar with Uno, or you just need a refresher course, you also have the option to play out a tutorial hand. From there, your next option is the deck you want to use.

You'll be able to choose between the classic Uno deck, or the Rabbids Uno deck which adds even more chaos to your gameplay. This chaos shows up in the form of 4 specific cards added to the deck which all add specific penalties, or defenses to the players in the game. These end up being things like guarding against a draw 4, or making everyone play their turn within 3 seconds or be forced to draw a card and skip their turn.

After that, you'll get to setup your match. There are 7 options for tweaking your gameplay and each can add, or subtract from how the game is played. This means that you can enable stacking of draw cards to make it a bigger penalty for the next player, or set a score limit that must be reached to truly win the game.

Take joy in the simple things

From there, it's time to enjoy yourself and play some Uno! The game is fun and quick paced, which makes it enjoyable for anyone who remembers the game from rainy days as a kid. At first it can be a bit slow while you remember how to play, and what special cards actually do, but once you remember it's as quick paced as ever.

Playing with AI means that you'll never have to sit and wait while somebody decides which card they actually want to play. Instead you'll get a fast-paced and enjoyable game of Uno. One of the few downsides is that after a few hands the game can start to get repetitive, like any card game is wont to.

Additionally, it can get frustrating when the AI seems to be throwing out a draw four every few cards, and you're stuck with nothing but straight up number cards. It's worth remembering that this happens plenty in the physical game as well though. For the most part this is a game based off of nostalgia.

Conclusion

Uno is a fun walk down memory lane, that soon becomes repetitive.

Pros:

  • Simple graphics
  • Easy to jump into
  • Fun in it's simplicity

Cons:

  • Gameplay becomes repetitive
  • Game lacks any DLC
  • Only being able to play with one friend takes away from the experience

Uno brings an old favorite to a new generation by releasing digitally. It's still as much fun as it ever was, but as you might guess it can easily become boring after a few hands. Even so this is a fun play, for a great price, since it's available now for just $9.99 on the Microsoft store. For those reasons we've given it a solid three stars.

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This review was conducted on Xbox One using a copy provided by the publisher.

Jen is a contributing writer for WindowsCentral. She's an avid gamer, especially when she gets to kill zombies, craft things, or use a bow. She can often be heard yelling about her chainsaw while playing Gears of War 4. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

7 Comments
  • How is a game lacking DLCs any time of negative remark?  every gamer has done nothing but complain about incomplete cames where you have to spend extra money after buying the game to get the whole experience, and now that we have a game that is fully functional it's a bad thing?
  • Test
  • Because people love paying for the same part of the game over and over. =P
  • If you played the UNO game from the previous generation and enjoyed it, I think you will find this version more frustrating than fun. Locally the differences are negligible, with only the slightly longer animations when playing special cards and overall AI play being somewhat annoying. However the online play totally misses the mark on what an online card game should be. There is no game chat to speak of, unless your all friends on live and if so why not be in party chat. UNO is not a difficult game as mentioned, but playing without any interaction is mind numbingly boring. Not to mention there are 2v2 modes online that become next to impossible without interaction. I understand the absence of video chat as the previous UNO had quite the reputation, but it is just sad that there is no interaction at all with this version. There is no search for online play based on game tweaks. If you land in a game with a number of them turned on you will find out why that is a big miscue. There will be rounds that last 30mins+ because of certain tweaks being turned on and that's not considering the points needed to win a game. I can go on and on about how much this game missed the mark, and it's just UNO.
  • "Game lacks any DLC"   Are you f*cking serious? REALLY? This is probably one of the most ridiculous things I've read on a game review ever. THIS IS HOW GAMES SHOULD BE. DLC's were meant as complimentary additions to games. Small perks to enhance it. Extra skins or designs or stuff like that. They were NOT meant as ways of milking money out of consumers to make them pay to actually access the complete game. But of course, because reviewers and some fans allow the likes of EA to get away with sh*t like releasing half a game and then the other half as DLC (*cough*BattlefrontandBattlefield1*cough*), this is where we're now. Reviewers thinking the absence of DLCs is a "con". Jesus f*cking Christ...
  • +1, especially with the EA comment.
  • How can you do a review of a game and not try the online modes?