The weather is starting to get nice, and that means that the yard sales are coming into season. My yard sale buddy and I always keep an eye out for anything worth scooping up, and this week we ran across two different Uno variants that I didn’t even know existed.
For any of you who may live under a rock, Uno is a game where you play cards of a matching color or number onto a stack of cards, with the goal of getting all your cards out of your hand. There are also special cards like skip and reverse and draw.
I ran across Uno Flash first, ultimately I wasn’t sure what to do with the giant hunk of plastic. Its a large card tray with lights and buttons on it. Given we found this laying on someones front lawn, we were also lacking instructions, but BoardGameGeek.com came to the rescue and hooked us up with the know-how we needed.
Turns out all of the buttons and lights did some interesting things. First off, it randomized the turn order. Instead of going around clockwise and counterclockwise, little lights spin around on the board and stop on a given player. By this process of selection, the cards that you play could be very dangerous. Unlike regular Uno, where you could simply play a “Draw 4” card on your opponent, you now play that card on the next person chosen, which could be you.
Another interesting element to this version is speed. Each player has a given amount of time (4 seconds, 6 seconds, or a kid friendly no timer option) in which they must lay down a card and hit their button. Failure to do this results in a buzzer going off and that player having to draw two cards. The game does have a pause button in case you need to draw a bunch of cards, or get up from the table.
Lastly, this game has a “spoons” element. A new card exists in the deck. It has a large hand on it and the player that plays it hits a different button on the board. Everyone else must then buzz in as fast as possible. Loser of this speed round is forced to draw two cards. This keeps everyone on their toes.
Later on in our garage selling adventures we ran across another Uno variant: Uno Tippo. I was dumbfounded. I like to think I know my games pretty well, and I hadn’t heard of either of these.
Uno Tippo is an Uno variant that uses a scale, kinda like the “justice” scales. The scales tip one direction or the other. Players play cards out of their hands onto either tray in the scale. When it gets too off balance, the cards spill and the player who placed the last card has to draw.
There are some rules about which side you can play into each turn, but I won’t bore you with those details, especially when it hardly seemed to matter. We played a few hands of this, and not once did the scale tip. Instead it was just regular Uno, but on an unusual card tray. We finally said “Fine! What will it take to get this darn thing to tip!” and started just piling on cards. With no cards on the other side, it took about an inch of cards to do the trick. Personally I was disappointed.
I admit that I’m not a big Uno fan. With so many other great games on the market, how can you settle for one that is so mainstream? But I must say that I had a lot of fun with Uno Flash, I just wish I could say the same for Uno Tippo. Apparently not all Uno variants are created equal.
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