This DSiWare release of UNO marks the card game's second appearance on Nintendo platforms within a few weeks, but does it hold up better in pocket format than its recent WiiWare release?
As you'd expect, your cards appear on the bottom screen with the top screen showing the play area. Playing your cards is a simple matter of tapping them or dragging them towards the top screen, although there are traditional button controls available if you don't fancy gripping your stylus. For an introduction to the rules of the game, you can check out our review of the WiiWare version, but in all honesty even if you've no idea of what UNO entails you'll pick it up within about two minutes, such is its initial simplicity.
Like the WiiWare version before it, DSiWare UNO features Quick Play and Tournament modes, both of which rely on amassing points to succeed. Quick Play is good for learning the rules at first, but Tournament mode offers up more variety by offering fifteen stages, each with different rules and win conditions: penalties, UNO 7-0 and more all feature to initiate you into the world of UNO. To clear a stage in Tournament mode, you have to reach the top of the points charts within five rounds, rather than simply win three out of five hands. This means you could pass the stage by winning the first hand or play all five rounds, win three and still not proceed if your opponents out-scored you. It's frustrating to lose the first hand, play four more and then succeed with your first try after the continue, and feels like a waste of time.
Along the Tournament road you'll unlock achievements, eight card designs and twelve backgrounds, each with its own change of music too. You can swap these designs in and out at any time during a single-player match or Tournament - perfect if you fancy a change mid-game. There's precious little else to unlock, although in a game like this there's not really much call for it, so at least the decks and backgrounds bring a little variety to proceedings.
If you tire of playing against the CPU, you'll be pleased to know that UNO supports Nintendo WiFi Connection for some reasonably speedy online play. You can create a room with a custom ruleset or join an existing room, either with a quick search or by looking for certain rules, with the search over in sixty seconds. There's also the ever-present Friend Codes that let you match against friends - without voice chat, sadly - but whichever way you slice it, you'll be playing UNO online in no time. If you find a decent bunch to play with you can even choose to play with them again after the match, ensuring some steady competition if you're that way inclined. Of course, there's also full local multiplayer if you and a friend fancy some UNO-based fun, but there's no DS Download Play, so it's copies of UNO all-round. Thanks to the online leaderboards you can also see how you stack up against other UNO DSiWare players around the world and your friends, but unless you're extremely patient and capable you'll be lucky to see the top fifty!
Using the DSi's cameras, you can change your player icon to anything you can photograph, though understandably this won't show up when playing against strangers. The ability to use custom backgrounds or decks would have been nice additions, but sadly you're limited to plastering your tiny contorted faces onto coloured balls. There's no cutesy Mii-style characters, with each player represented by an icon, but it keeps the screen nice and clear so it's no bad thing.
On the whole, UNO fares far better on DSi than the Wii - the interface works nicely, the online player is smooth and enjoyable and you have the added benefit of pick-up-and-play whenever you like. There isn't a huge amount of solo content here, and if you're after local multiplayer you may as well grab a deck of the cards, but the online multiplayer is worth a pop at 500 Points, and it's enjoyable enough to play when you have a spare few minutes.
Must get a packet of actual cards to play at Christmas.
I might actually get this one. It sounds a lot better than the Wiiware release.
No voice chat; thats too bad. Meh oh well.
I love UNO, but i usually just play with nearby family... Ah well sounds fun anyway..
Has any other game beside Pokemon Diamond/Pear/Platinum had voice chat on the DS?! Seems like a lot to ask for five bucks (yes, I get why you bring it up at all; the WiiWare version has it).
Yes! Great to hear. So worth the points. Can't wait to see it here in NA (hopefully on Monday). Does it feature Download Play?
Good, I'l get this sometime. Of, @Od I think MPH supported voice chat.
@X Hmm... I never saw it in that game. Maybe because I never played with "friends" (using friendcodes)?
I have made my decision for Christmas. Getting two Nintendo Point Cards for sure and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
@Odnetnin I think Advance Wars: Days of Ruin and Metroid Prime: Hunters utilized voice chat (though you could only talk with friends).
If it features DS Download play I will get it.
I can't wait to get this, especially for the wifi. I love UNO, but no one ever wants to play with me. This will be perfect for me!
This is AWESOME!!!
Nice. I have the retail game [not made by Gameloft, some other company called DSI Games (coincidence?)] which is a three-in-one game [UNO, Skip-Bo and UNO Freefall] minus Nintendo WFC play but this is a nice way to spend five bucks.
I'll stick to my retail and futhermore, the deck my friend has when his family (along with special-guest, me) have a monthly game-night (which will changed to weekly when the holidays begin).
Custom Robo Arena has voice chat.
Going to get real cards .
uno was made for portability
I'm also wondering if it has DS download play. Someone please tell us!!
There is no download play that I can see. Sorry, you guys...
Thought the portable dsiware version would be better than the wiiware version.
I hope this comes out in the states soon. I need me some uno!
hmm..... I have Spider-Man Uno.
might come out the week after dec 7th becuase we already got alot of anouncements for games coming on monday.....
MUST GET THIS:)
i have to get this!
need more points!
Just got it, love it as much as the apple app store version.
sounds really good! gotta get it!
I love this game! And I love playing online!!
Let me know if you add me so I can add you
OMG! I WILL DOWNLOAD THIS THING! I LOOOOOVE UNO!
FUN FUN FUN!
LOVE LOVE LOVE!
ill get it.... look forward to watch me crush u online !!!!!
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