UNO (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 02.12.2017

Review for UNO on Nintendo Switch

There's a good reason most video game adaptations of card games are strictly online: they wouldn't make sense otherwise. Any game with elements of secrecy would be impossible to play split-screen or locally. There's simply no realistic way to keep hands a secret if all the information needs to be on one screen. It goes without saying that it's simply not possible to play a traditional game of UNO in UNO because of this limitation. That doesn't mean, however, that Ubisoft's interpretation of the classic card game for the Switch is any less self-aware of what it is, and isn't, capable of.

Translating UNO to the video game format was always going to be difficult. It's a relatively cheap party game that can be found in any corner or toy store, and its mere existence as a card game means it can't be played multiplayer locally since everyone would be able to see each others' cards. The format simply doesn't lend itself to UNO. Of course, this is also a generation where online is a staple, and not just a feature, so it comes as no surprise that UNO for the Switch offers the traditional experience in some capacity. It's also worth noting that thanks to the Switch's portability, it is possible to gather a group of friends together for a classic round of UNO, albeit digitally.

While it isn't possible to play UNO multiplayer with just one Switch, solo play does offer the option to play with CPUs. Solo matches begin by selecting one of five decks: the standard UNO deck, a Rabbids deck, a Rayman deck, a Just Dance 2017 deck, and a Winter variant on the standard UNO Deck. These decks aren't just cosmetic, however, three of them add in Active Theme Cards. These cards have special effects not found in the regular game such as randomly shuffling everyone's hands together or granting access to somebody's cards. In being completely optional, the Active Theme Cards add a new variable to UNO without compromising the game's original identity.

On the subject of optional content, no card game is complete without a few house rules. Following deck selection comes rule selection. Score limits can be changed from winning one round to needing to amass 500 points for victory. Force Play can be triggered to add a sense of urgency at the expense of strategy, and 7-0 can be triggered so that decks are constantly shuffling whenever someone plays a 7 or a 0. Unlike the Active Theme Cards, rules are a controlled element which only need to be toggled during the setup before they can be forgotten. They're entirely hassle-free and add a level of customization to each match.

Screenshot for UNO on Nintendo Switch

Since a lack of any local multiplayer would be completely disheartening, Ubisoft has cleverly gotten around the secrecy involved in UNO by including a cooperative mode where players can team up against the AI. 2v2 is more than just teaming up with someone-it adds a new level of strategy as Draw Fours and Wilds can't just be thrown in the moment they're obtained. Handing a Draw Four to a teammate is disaster waiting to happen, so 2v2 naturally encourages a more involved degree of critical thought.

As great as it is that an online mode is included, random matches are already all but dead. Anyone expecting to jump right in and find a match will be sorely disappointed. That said, it is better that online is included and dead instead of not being included at all. As long as a friend owns their own copy, it's entirely possible to get the online UNO experience.

Aesthetically, the presentation is phenomenal. The main menu is easy to navigate, selecting a deck and subsequent rules are streamlined in the best way possible, and the visual look of each match is appropriately colourful without being distracting. Each deck's theme captures a tone unique to themselves, giving reason to play around with other sets of cards.

It makes sense why someone would feel apprehensive in regards to purchasing UNO for the Switch when a physical deck is both accessible and inexpensive, but Ubisoft's new features should be taken into consideration because they do add quite a lot. Active Theme Cards spice up the gameplay, the decks all have their own visual flairs, and the cooperative mode is a great alternative to the regular UNO free-for-all. Adapting UNO into a video game was always going to be difficult, but Ubisoft has done a great job in making the transition nearly seamless.

Screenshot for UNO on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

UNO for the Nintendo Switch is a mixed deck. On one hand, it offers online play and a new cooperative mode which are more than enough to add a modern spin to the classic card game. On the other hand, there's no way to play a regular match of UNO with just one Switch and buying a deck at any corner store would be more affordable. This isn't to say the Switch interaction and the physical card game are totally equal, however. UNO's presentation is top notch and it is fairly priced when compared to other Switch games. On top of adding in a host of rules and decks, fans of the card game will be sure to find plenty to appreciate in 2v2, the online, and the slick UI.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Table Games

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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