Jun 12, 2013
UNO & Friends is a re-polished take on the classic shedding-type card game that tosses in some interesting new features and multiplayer functionality.
The standard gameplay applies. Play commences against three other players, each player being dealt seven shuffled and random cards from a deck of four colors (yellow, green, blue and red). The rest of the cards, face down for surprise chance effect, make up the deck and the topmost deck card is turned over and becomes the starter card. The first player then places a card that matches the color or rank of the starter card; each succeeding player then takes a turn in clockwise fashion, also trying to play a card that matches the last card played. If a player does not have a card to play can take it from the bank; if it is playable, it has to be played immediately. The first player to play all his/her cards wins.
What this game does well is to present the cool parts of the game (the wild and action cards) in an enhanced state. In “real” UNO, there a special cards which can alter the gameplay significantly. They can force detrimental actions from other players, like drawing extra cards or reversing direction of the play. In this game, it is possible to enhance these actions with power-ups.
The feature I liked the most was the multiplayer functionality. Linking was a bit temperamental, but when it was connected, it was a lot of fun, even though I was not a fan of the linking to Facebook that is required to play mulitplayer. It is possible to jump into a random game, or invite friends to table or join one that has been extended. I did think this part of the game was a bit clunky.
The colors are very reminiscent of the original game; I like that that was not tinkered with, but I am not blown away; blame Gameloft itself for creating high expectations. The pre-game music takes some getting used to as well. A lot of stuff is customizable… for a prize (game coins or real).
All in all, I think the game has a lot of potential. It could be much more with a few tweaks (again, “independent” multiplayer), and I hope Gameloft soups up more with updates.