Uno is one of those games whose rules are known nearly universally. Between the simplicity of learning the rules and strategy, and the flexibility of the game to handle small groups or large, Uno is one of the most popular games of all time. Card games translate extremely well to the small screen; the user interface is easy to replicate, and the graphics required for a game like Uno HD don’t even begin to tax the phone’s hardware.
To see how Uno HD stacks up against some of the other Xbox Live games in the Marketplace, see the full review after the break.
There are a number of things about Uno HD that make it one of the more successful digital representations of a gaming classic that I’ve come across, most notably the interface. Gameloft has done an admirable job in reproducing Uno on the smart-phone screen. Your hand is displayed across the bottom of the screen. A finger swipe across the bottom of the screen will scroll through your cards; once a card is selected an upward swipe will play your card.
The best indication of an effective user interface is how quickly it becomes transparent. After a few minutes Uno HD begins to feel like you’re sitting at a table tossing cards around. The flow of the game is smooth and intuitive. The only instance where the interface becomes less than intuitive is when calling “Uno” for your last card and a couple of similar situations.
Uno HD provides much more than just the standard rule set and game-play. When played through tournament mode, there are a number of different variations on the game that make the strategy and the flow of the game very different. I would’ve liked to see a little more work put into more creative Xbox Live achievements; the majority of the achievements are for reaching various rounds in tournament mode.
Uno HD features a winning combination between the interface, features, and game-play experience. My biggest complaint about Uno HD is that the $4.99 price tag is pretty steep for a Windows Phone 7 game. I would definitely recommend downloading the trial and taking it for a spin. Uno HD is available from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace (opens Zune client).