There’s a bevy of new games coming out around the corner, and just in time for the holidays. You may not get the game you wanted, so you mope around, and eventually return/exchange the game. Instead of another game, you decide you want something else, but not sure of what. Then, a sexy soft orange Microsoft Points card flirts with your eyes, and starts whispering for you to pick it up and take it home…now! You awkwardly yet impatiently ask the cashier to gently hand you the flirtatious combination of red and yellow card. All 800 points of her is yours and you can wait to put her to use. You get home, unveiled her code, and used her code immediately. But wait, you’re confused what to do next. What to do with those points? Normally you know what to do with the points, but with so many options now available, you don’t know where to start. All the fun options are flashing before your eyes. You can deck out your avatar with a shiny new costume or ninja moves, rent the latest gory horror flick from Zune, purchase a new map pack or season pass for the triggertastic shooter game that has made its permanent home in your disk drive, purchase a funny Indie game, or purchase that one XBL arcade game. Hmm, your eyebrow perches up and you’re thinking maybe an arcade game is what your hard drive is yearning for. If your avatar is up for a semi-competitive local and online co-op card game, try UNO Rush, and start slamming out those colorful cards.
UNO Rush is not your granny’s UNO. The game puts a new twist on the traditional UNO game. You need to stay alert, think fast, strategize, and coordinate by color and/or number. UNO Rush is similar to traditional UNO where similar numbers, colors, and action cards can be placed on top of each other. You can place a 9 on top of a 9, a blue on another blue, a reverse on a reverse, etc. To win the game, you need to get rid of all your cards, and you still need to call UNO as the last card. Be careful, if you forget to call out UNO (pressing ‘X’), another player has the opportunity to challenge you, and you are gifted 2 extra cards. Keeping up with the speed on UNO Rush can be tricky, so you can program the game mode to call out UNO for you, if you don’t have the time to press “X.”
Unlike its predecessor, UNO Rush is a show and tell game where everyone can see your cards. In all of the game modes for UNO Rush, there are 4 players, all cards shown, and one card in the middle of the screen that starts you off. The game randomly selects a person to start throwing their cards into the middle pile. You need organize the cards to create a chain, and get rid of as many cards as you can. Once your chain has ended the next player scrambles to discard as many colorful cards as they can. Think of it like stacking dominos - line up your cards correctly and you’ll create an achievement worthy domino effect. But if you don’t line them up right, you could cause a break in the chain, and the next player has a shot. To keep up with the speed, players can use a fast thumb on the left stick to move cards, or players can move the cards with their rapid trigger finger and use the right and left bumper buttons (RB & LB).
Players shouldn’t shy away from the speed of the game, as you can change the speed levels down to slow. Players are also able create games based on speed, number of cards, action cards, game modes, etc. The game modes available are:
- Single player ~ Your avatar battles three other opponents.
- Partners ~ You and an online buddy or your buddy on the same console go head to head against the other team.
- Elimination ~ If you do not have a matching color /number/ action card, you earn a strike. Earn 3 strikes and your out of the game.
UNO Rush allows 4 players to play on the console together and online. If you and your local buddy play online, your avatar will be copied, and their name will show up with a (1) or (2) etc. on the end of it. To help distinguish between the copy cats, a jersey is placed on the avatar, so you don’t mix up your avatar and your buddy’s avatar. Your full avatar is used, but the only thing you can move around is the head, which is you move the joystick fast enough - your avatar has just become a bobble head.
Sure the game may sound easy enough, but with a new card in UNO Rush, your domino effect could easily get blocked by the Scramble Card. When your opponent places the Scramble Card down, your beautiful “in your face greenie” epic game winning chain is scrambled around. All of your poor cards are mixed up, and you’ll have to take the time to organize them again. On top of that ridiculous move, your turn is skipped! (Insert Full House’s Michelle Tanner’s quote “How Rude!)
With moves like these, it’s no wonder why UNO Rush allows the Xbox video camera feed. You can watch other players cry as you Scramble them, or angrily glare at them when they slam a Wild Draw Four down. You can easily disable the video camera feed if you don’t want to see their smurky mugs.
Although there is no DLC available for the game, UNO Rush is still fun to play. The next time you power on the mighty Xbox, Rush to the game section for a demo. ::crickets chirping from the lame use of Rush:: Kidding aside, I’ve had the game and play it regularly since it came out in 2009. It’s a great party game and great for those with kids, siblings, or anyone who has visitors. Move over on the couch, power on the console, turn on the extra controllers, and have yourself a friendly competition with your friends, either online or locally. Rush home and use those points!