|a game by||HotGen Studios|
|Platforms:||PC, GameBoy Color|
|Editor Rating:||9/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 5 votes|
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|See also:||Relaxing Games|
Released in 1999, UNO for the Game Boy Color was Mattel’s first foray into converting the popular card game into a video game format. In hindsight, we can tell that the experiment was obviously a success, as there are now not only multiple versions of the standard game on different consoles, but also various spin-offs that incorporate other characters from pop culture into the popular game.
The general rules of UNO on the Game Boy are identical to those of the normal card game. This follows the general trend for board games that are converted into video games, with Monopoly (1985) coming most prominently to mind. Cards are divided into four colors: blue, red, yellow, and green and are numbered from 0 to 9. Players start with a full hand of cards and must discard into a shared pile, with the main rule being that you can only discard a card that matches the last one placed on the pile in either number or color. Players who discard their hand down to one card must quickly declare “Uno!” before discarding the final card and being allowed out of the game. If they do not, the other players are free to force them to draw an extra two cards.
In this video game version, players can choose between two modes of play to enjoy with up to three other friends (or AI companions): standard UNO and Challenge UNO. In the standard Uno game, the player who wins a round accumulates points based on the cards the other 3 players had left. The person with the most points at the end of the full game is declared the winner. Conversely, in Challenge UNO, the 3 players who do not win the round during a game accrue points based on cards they are holding and, once a player reaches a pre-set threshold of maximum points, they are removed from the game. This continues until only one player is left.
The standard card game also contains wild cards which allow a player to change the color of the most recent card in the discard pile, cards which change the rotation of play and cards which force the next player in the round to draw 2 or even 4 cards. The Game Boy version of UNO also utilizes these cards in both of its game modes but adds a fun twist. Whenever a special card is used by a player, a short animation pops up wherein an anthropomorphic UNO card performs a fun short action.
These games can provide the same sort of family or friendly fun as Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune, or any other console party game.
While perhaps not revolutionary nowadays, it is clear that there was substantial attention to detail in the development of the game at initial release. The simple card flipping and moving animations that take place throughout the game are smooth and pleasant to look at and the special card animations are dynamic and very endearing, even if they are un-skippable.
The cheery soundtrack paired with the sound effects that are heavily reminiscent of an arcade game help to create the cozy, nostalgic feeling of playing UNO as a child.
It is clear to see why this first version of the UNO videogame is beloved and why it was so successful. If you’re feeling nostalgic, and you have a few minutes to spare, UNO is definitely a worthwhile time sink.
- Faithful recreation of the beloved card game in a video game format
- Interesting, dynamic controls and animations
- No experimental game mode
- Animations cannot be skipped