Welcome to a post where I lose all hope of corporate sponsorship by the makers of Uno.
I must start by telling you that Uno was and is one of may favorite games. It is a huge part of family memories from my childhood. (Along with Mr. Mouth. I miss him. He doesn’t write. He doesn’t call. I don’t see him anywhere!) Our family games of Uno were fun and, to be honest, competitive as hell. It’s the game I first learned that it’s as much fun to screw over a fellow player as it is to win it all.
So, when I saw this game:
I knew we had to have it. It practically jumped itself into my cart. Also, angels sang. And the fairy dust rained down upon me it seems.
I was excited because I had been eagerly awaiting the age where I could play games with my twins. I love playing games! I knew it would be rough though. The art of game play is not perfected overnight–not for stubborn, highly-distractable preschoolers.. Plus, in order to teach your kids to play board and card games as blood sports, you have to kind of teach them to be assholes. (I am going to have to do that part without their daddy noticing.)
The object of Uno Moo! is to be the first one to get rid of all your cute little farm animals and of course to yell “Uno!” when you are down to one animal. Each animal has a color and a face that tells you what animal it is. So, just like real Uno, you can match the color or, in this case, the face. There is a skunk that is a draw 2 ‘card’ and a farmer piece that acts as a wild ‘card’.
Here’s where the suck part comes in. First, everyone starts with 5 animals. Great. But, to pick your five animals you just reach into the open barn. Like this:
As you can see, there is not much randomness built in. My boys like to grab one of every color. (Clearly they have not learned how to cheat yet.) I can get them to close their eyes and pick, but I can’t really keep them from seeing what everyone else picks unless I make each kid pick in a room by themselves.
So, let’s just say I was super committed to the integrity of picking blindly and did in fact make my kids exit the room so that one person picks at a time? Well, then you run into the next item of suck:
You ‘hide’ your animals behind these adorable little hay stacks. Hay stacks that are just about 2 centimeters taller than the animals. My kids are only 3 and a half, but even they can see over them. This goes back to effectively screwing over the other players. Let’s just say I have a wild, and I want it to benefit only me and possibly send a fellow player to the bottom of the heap in a heartbeat? Well, how much easier can it be? I just pick a color they don’t have because I can see them all.
Needless to say, this game is not fun. It really isn’t a game. It’s more like take your turn popping animals into the barn. We play basic rules. (The skunk is not draw 2, and you do not have to say Uno, because, duh, we can see when you only have one animal left.) Jack has finally learned that you have to match the animal sitting on the barn door instead of just pushing in the animal of your choosing. I do make them draw if they don’t have the right animal to play. Which calls back into play the drawing from an open container issue. Again, closing their eyes is the best we can do. But THEN we get another sucky thing:
The animal that was just pushed into the barn? Yeah, it’s on top now. So, it almost always gets picked. Then we have a vicious cycle of drawing and not ending the damn game.
This game is okay for now, but I am super disappointed. It is not at all a vehicle for learning cutthroat gaming. And that, my friends, is what it’s all about.