Xbox Live Arcade Review: Uno

It's Uno, it's digital, and its only a meager 400 Microsoft Points. That line should be enough to get the point across that if you're fan of this classic card game, nothing should stop you from grabbing this downloadable edition. If you prefer that most of the strategy lies in being physically present to bluff and scream "Uno!," then this probably isn't for you.

Eventually, Uno will support the Xbox 360 camera. Since that's not out yet, you'll simply have to live with basic voice chat and Gamer Pictures to represent yourself. Online is obvious the way to play this, and the support for up to four players is excellent.

In a wise design move, when a player drops from a game for whatever reason, the AI takes over. If someone else jumps into the game, they'll take that spot for themselves. Even if all three people leave the session, you can still continue the game.

Chances are though if you don't like some of the other choices from the design team, you'll never play online, let alone by yourself. A critical component of Uno is calling "Uno!" when you're about to play your next to last card. Since this digital edition prompts you to press the proper button in every situation, it's impossible to screw up unless you've really lost interest. There's also the matter of bluffing, which won't become part of the game until the camera comes out.

Outside of that, Uno offers strong customization. A variety of house rules can be set in an easy to use menu. You can change how winning is determined for example. Of course, these features are all available in your personal sessions online, and when searching for a game, a brief rundown of the room is shown so you know what to expect before you make the decision to join.

Even with the annoyance of the button prompts, it doesn't even come close to the miserable music. Someone who hates humanity apparently composed this looping monstrosity, and mercifully you can turn off this off before going into a game. There's also an additional set of 35th Anniversary cards available to download for free, though why these don't come bundled with the game in the first place seems like a stupid move.

While the complaints are obvious, the 360 does handle a fine game of Uno. It's not a technological marvel by any means, but the ability to play online is a definite step up from the limited options of family and friends. The price is proper to go along with the ease of play too. It's Uno with the worst case of elevator music-itis. If that sounds appealing, then this is a must have Arcade title.

(*** out of *****)

Comments (1)

Just to be a total dick here -- because I can -- It is UNO, as in U-N-O.

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