At a recent car-boot sale I finally got round to picking up a copy of UNO. This game has been around for years and I've seen it numerous times and always bypassed it. This time however the games had been rather thin on the ground at the car-boot and so out of desperation I picked up UNO.
This is a vanilla version, that is it is not one of the 30,000 themed versions of the game but rather a plain set. It is copyrighted 1999 and produced by Matel.
It is a card game of 108 cards and comes in a small box about the size of two normal decks of cards pushed together.
The 108 cards inside come in four coloured suits that are numbered 0 to 9 with many duplicates. Each suit also has a number of special cards which I'll get to shortly.
In addition to the coloured suits there are a bunch of black or as they are described "wild" cards.
Objective : Get rid of all of the cards in your hand.
Play is simple and straight forward. The Player going first lays out a card, players have to follow suit or match the number on the card. If you cant play a suitable card, then you must take a card into your hand.
So far the game sounds rather dull, but wait ... it gets more interesting.
You can play a "Wild" card, it has no colour of its own and can follow any other card. When you play it, you declare the colour that must follow. Also, some of the wild cards, force th next player to take additional cards and miss thier turn.
Some of the coloured suit cards have special effects. These can force the next player to take two cards and miss a go, another changes the direction of play and another forces the next player to skip their turn.
Special Rule : When you play your second to last card, you must shout "UNO" before your card hits the discard deck. Sounds straight forwards, but often as you get caught up in the speedy game play you will forget, and if anyone notices you have to take two cards.
Scoring : As soon as someone empties their hand they win the hand and score points for the cards in everyone else hands. Suit cards are worth thier face value with special cards scoring much larger numbers.
The rules state that you should keep playing hands until someones score reaches 500. In my games, a single hand scores from 40 to 150 points.
In my family, playing is fast and furious with laughs and cheers which is a good thing because the game itself is abstract and rather bland. I suspect that a pasted on theme can make quite a difference.
The set I have here also included a number of blanks which I suppose are for use as replacements should any get damaged. Yet the Grognard in me wants to mark them up as "+2 to Charge" and "+1 Defensive Bonus"... :D