Taking the magic online

A review of Uno, the classic card game a video format

By   |  Published: 14th Dec 2019  7:34 pm

Uno! Is as old school as it gets. From the ads on Cartoon Network growing up, to long journeys, from lazy summer afternoons riddled with power cuts to leisurely evenings of family gatherings, Uno had the unique distinction of being the ‘safe’ card game for children. Digitising a game like this can be tricky, as you are not just translating a game to a newer platform but hoping to re-create the old school charm as well.

With Uno, the need is to allow for the myriad ways in which the game is played across the world in a multitude of households with their unique set of rules. A classic player of Uno will realise the staple quandaries, do the draw cards stack up? Can 2 +2s be stacked up with a +4 and how does one stack up a +4, questions this game answers across the multitude of game modes it offers.

In the game’s classic mode, there is no stacking up and the play is standard. However, the magic of this game is truly unlocked by trying out the wild modes that it offers. With a variety of rules to differentiate, the wild mode can be played at a frenetic pace and with as much guile, subterfuge and strategy that one can muster.

At times, you almost forget that you aren’t playing this game on your bed with the closest of friends but with random strangers on the internet. Re-creation of the experience at times is top-notch here. However, there are flaws in the game as well. The coin system that regulates when you can enter a match is almost superfluous as there is no means to guarantee a win here. One can only play the cards dealt to him/her.


Similarly, there are issues with connectivity and there is, at times, too much effort to complicate a game that is in its essence very simple. Too many login bonuses, packs, rewards and so on while a staple with other ‘free to play’ games are just plain extraneous here. After all, it is simply just “everybody Uno, everybody play.” Why overcook the simple? We must wonder.

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