reviews\ Nov 14, 2000 at 7:00 pm

Uno - PC - Review

One of the problems with most card games that are converted to the computer is that it's just never as much fun as the real thing. Card games are great for getting together with other people, and often the most simple card games make the worse transition to the computer screen.

Uno is the classic colorful number game that has always had a huge following, mostly as a party game and not as a serious strategy game. Interestingly enough, there is a lot of strategy in Uno, but Mattel Interactive wisely chose to downplay this side of the game and focus on making the computerized version as graphical and fun as possible.

They succeeded. Uno on the PC is almost as much fun as Uno in real-life since the software version enhances the gameplay with some new cards, very crisp graphics, skill settings for new and young players, and an internet mode that is one of the best parts of the game.

You'll notice the bright colors and clean graphics in Uno right away. The developers obviously spent a lot of time getting the colors of the cards just perfect, and all of the animations are very pleasing to the eye. You can set the game environment to one of several locales, including a circus and a lunar landscape. While some of the Hasbro card game conversions are fairly bland graphically, Uno is a cut above most card games. You might be able to get Uno as shareware on the internet, but it won't be nearly this colorful or fun.

Gameplay = 8 Three new cards add to the gameplay in the classic Uno game. The Shark card can be used to pick one player at random who will get four cards. The Mutant card works just like the Wild card except that you don't get to pick the color. And, the Spy card can be used to hide how many cards you have from other players. All of these are made possible by playing the game on the computer and would be difficult in the real game. There's also a scoring mode and team play modes that add to the gameplay. Obviously, if you don't like Uno you won't be a bug fan of this game, but for those who do like Uno the new gameplay modes really enhance the game.

Graphics = 9 None of the graphics are on par with a fancy sports game or the latest arcade games. But what's important here is that the graphics always enhance the game and make it more enjoyable. Mattel Interactive spent a lot of time getting everything just right, from the opening animations and dancing cards, to the different playing environments. Hasbro could learn a few lessons on how to make card games more entertaining without slowing them down with overdone graphics.

Sound = 8 All of the sounds in Uno add to the gameplay. You might think some of the sounds are a bit childish, but the game is intended for kids.

Difficulty = 8 Because you can set different skill levels, the difficulty in Uno is very relative to your own ability with the game. This makes it very enjoyable, since you can always bump the setting up if you find yourself winning too much.

Concept = 8 Most card games do not transfer well to the computer, but Uno is a huge exception. All the bright colors and sounds add to the basic game, and the internet component is solid and well-designed.

Multiplayer = 8 Supported through the Microsoft Gaming Zone, Uno multiplayer is very well-designed and addictive.

Overall = 9

Installation = No problems.

Buy the Game? If you buy any computer card games, consider Uno for its bright graphics, variable skill setting, new cards, and great multiplayer mode. It's graphically superior to any of the Hasbro games, and wins extra points for being almost as much fun as the real thing.


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