Game Reviews

UNO HD

Star onStar onStar onStar offStar off
|
| Uno HD
Get
UNO HD
|
| Uno HD

Evolve or die. That's the recent challenge faced by board and card games.

When video games made their move on the 'casuals', as I like to call them, family favourites had to up their game in order to survive.

UNO, appearing here in mobile form for the umpteenth time, was one of the wise ones, taking its own particular brand of multiplayer mayhem and dropping it straight into the lap of its new found home on the smartphone.

Online offline

At least, it was until Windows Phone 7 popped up.

UNO HD may be, to all intents and purposes, a direct copy of the version that hit iPhone and iPad more than two years ago, but it's missing one crucial element: the ability to play other people.

In truth, the omission isn't really Gameloft's fault, with online play – though oft promised by Microsoft in the run up to the platform's launch – still seemingly absent from Windows Phone 7's roster.

Leaving it out on purpose would have been a rather odd decision, given in all other respects, UNO HD ticks all the boxes.

Step by step

It's the ability for Gameloft to so quickly and easily play around with the rules that constantly keeps a fairly straightforward game feeling so fresh.

For those unfamiliar with UNO altogether, the game plays like like a hyped up, slightly spicy take on snap. The idea is to clear your hand as quickly as possible, either by matching your cards with those at the top of the pack by number or colour.

When taken on in tournament mode, UNO HD gradually ups the ante, dropping in different rules round by round to keep you on your toes.

While you're never completely lost, by shifting the goalposts a touch the game never turns stale.

There's also the ability to play the game at your own pace, piecing together a rule set that suits your own talents in Custom mode so even the most hapless players can clear their decks once or twice a session.

Elephant in the room

But all this – and more – was the case when UNO rolled out on iPhone.

Indeed, the very fact that this isn't the game's first appearance on smartphones and has, more than likely, popped up on Windows Phone 7 as a port rather than a standalone version is evident from start to finish.

Though far from a game breaker, the odd glitch while loading and a touch of slowdown when attempting to play your cards does grate with repeated play. More importantly, it cheapens what is, when compared to the competition, something of an expensive purchase.

However, what UNO HD really lacks is the ability to take on real players.

Though the game's name hints at a certain solo savvy and its AI makes an admirable attempt to paper over the cracks, UNO is sadly only half a game it was when taken on alone.

UNO HD

Ultimately as addictive and plain fun as UNO has been on any format ever, the lack of a multiplayer mode hits this new take hard
Score