Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Found the above named game for sale on a kid's garage stall in my road a couple of months ago, and figured it was worth a squid to try it out for an evening with long time gaming buddies Herschel and Elmo.

After the Matrixy classic Uno (we play in bullet-time a lot at pivotal moments), and the Matrix-sequelly Uno Over Hotmail (aka Uno Reloaded), Uno Spin seemed like the next logical step, gagging as it was to get dubbed Uno Revolutions.

Which begged the inevitable question - would this turn out to be the best version of the three games, or just one mind-numbingly long and drawn-out battle sequence?

On Saturday 4th September, we still weren't certain, as the instructions were missing. Hey, that's the rag-tag world of garage sales for you, kid. Now buzz off. (I'm not quoting Herschel at all here)

Uno Spin appears to be basically the same game as traditional Uno, but with several of the number cards adapted to double as 'spin' cards. Playing one of these requires the next person to spin the wheel of Uno and then perform whichever task the arrow points to. Sort like Uno meets Twister. Or Uno meets Russian Roulette. Hmm, this game could take a long time to clear up afterwards.

The yellow spin cards are a bit tricky to differentiate from their normal counterparts.

The nine tasks are:

Discard Number - Discard all cards of the same number.

Discard Color - Discard all cards of the same colour. Yes, we Anglicized it. Anglicised. Go 'way.

Almost Uno - Discard all but two cards. These were without doubt the longest decisions.

Draw Red - Draw until you get a red card or a Wild card. A bit left-field, probably influenced by Pictionary.

Draw Blue - Draw until… oh, you've got it.

Show Hand - Show your hand to all other players. Maybe Mattel marketed this game to nail-painted teenage girls? Herschel refused to remove his gloves. Elmo kept counting his digits. And laughing. He's still unnerving.

Trade Hands - All players trade hands to the left. That'll be that messy Russian Roulette influence coming through. As will…

War - All players reveal their highest number card at the same time. The player with the highest card gets to discard it; all other players keep theirs. Tied players face-off with their next highest card, and the winner discards their cards.

We renamed this development "It's War!" in the style of The Day Today's Chris Morris, and frantically babbled the Star Wars incidental music each time it occurred, but mainly because we do this all the while when playing regular Uno anyway.

And finally…

UNO Spin - The first player to say "UNO Spin" discards one card. We started to shout "UNO SPIN!" every time the spinner was used, just in case, and so presently imposed a penalty of one card for saying it when it wasn't warranted.

Ultimately, Herschel and I decided that we actually preferred to play regular Uno. The consequences of the spinner seemed just a bit too random for us, and it was quite frustrating to be winning a game only to suddenly have to swap one's hand with another player.

Tonight, we therefore gave the game a second chance, but with our own made-up rules for the spinner:

Discard one card
Discard all cards of the current colour
Discard all cards of the current number
Change number
Change colour
Pick up one card
Show hand
(retained from original rules)
Trade one card blind
Trade one card sighted

Previously the tasks had been divided equally between 3 benefits, 3 forfeits, and 3 that could go either way, however I reckoned that this significantly reduced the amount of strategy involved in choosing to play a spin card. Unlike the rest of the game, the equal chance of a good or bad outcome from forcing a spin meant that there was little probability to wrestle with.

We therefore redistributed these consequences to benefit the player doing the spinning, thus making the playing of a spin card something to be avoided.

Uno Spin has been fun for a couple of evenings, but ultimately I'm giving this game to my mum to sell on one of her charity stalls.

This opinion has nothing whatsoever to do with Elmo creaming us both.

Available here.

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4 comment(s):

At 2:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was planning to buy this game since i have the game in my cellphone and i was quite entertaining and also i'm fan of the card games but i've never played UNO Spin with other people.

But now that i've read your critic i'm not so sure about buying it :P maybe in the summer i will make it with a friend, i've done other games by myself and they went very well ^^ thanks for your post

At 2:42 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Well, thanks for reading! :)

At 7:28 am, Blogger Chad said...

hey there I googled uno spin for the same reason you did, couldnt tell the diff between a spin card and normal. THis was very helpful! Now I realize, her this guy sounds like a great guy! May come by to see what else you wrote! Here is my blog on running, God, my thoughts etc.

At 10:17 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Hey Chad - thanks for reading. That's a very encouraging blog you have there. Go you!



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