Developed by Carbonated Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios, the Xbox Live Arcade version of UNO was released on May 9, 2006 at a cost of 400 Microsoft Points ($5). It's considered to be one of the best casual, family friendly game on the platform due to it's simplicity and great pick up and play nature. It's also easy on the eyes by having bright colors (on cards and background) with simple yet smooth card and menu animations. Sound is composed by a looping tune of about 3-4 minutes long in which the saxo is predominantly present, very minimal card sound effects and end game bits round out the audio presentation. The game can also be found on the Xbox LIVE Arcade Compilation Disc found with Xbox 360 Arcade consoles.
The game offers the same fundamental gameplay as the classic UNO card game developed by Merle Robbins in the 1970s (now owned by Mattel) in which your basic goal is to get rid of your cards while preventing other players from so.
This version of UNO supports three modes:
- Standard - The default version of UNO. Score 250 points to win.
- Partner - Same as the Standard mode, only you are teamed with the person across from you. Score 250 points to win.
- House Rules - Custom rules.
The rules that can be modified in the House Rules mode are:
- Type of Deck - Standard Deck / Additional Decks
- Game Mode - Standard UNO / Partner UNO / Elimination UNO
- Scoring Type - Traditional / Running / No Scoring
- Game Score - 100 / 250 / 350 / 500 / 750 / 1000 / 2000 / 5000
- Penalties - Standard / Progressive
- Draw Type - Draw One and Play / Draw One Only / Draw until Play
- Forced Play - On / Off
- Bluffing - On / Off / Free Play
- Call UNO - On / Off
- Command Cards - On / Off
Xbox Live Support and Features
UNO has been one of the few XBLA games that has been heavily supported by Microsoft to take advantage of newly released hardware of software for the Xbox 360 via game updates. To date, it has support for the Xbox Vision Camera and Avatars, but they are optional, as you can still make use of your gamerpic when the game is first launched. One update gave the game support for Big Button Buzzers.
There are currently four themed decks that can be downloaded, each of which brings new sound effects, rules, and visuals to the game.
- Project Gotham Racing 3 Deck - 100 msp DLC featuring artwork of cars from the Project Gotham Racing series. Features a special Gotham Live Command Card that allows the player to see any of his opponents' hands.
- Kameo Deck - 100 msp DLC featuring artwork from Kameo: Elements of Power. Features a special Wizard Command Card that allows players to switch cards with another player.
- 35th Anniversary Deck - Free DLC commemorating the 35th anniversary of the original UNO game. Changes the background and music to a more festive setting and adds a new card backing. Features a special Command Card with the number 35 on it, forcing the next player to play a number 3 or number 5 card of any color.
- Street Fighter Deck - 280 msp DLC commemorating the release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, this deck adds character portraits to the card, Ryu or Ken performing a move for the special cards, new sound, music, and backgrounds, and a special Hadouken Command Card, which forces the player reverse of the person who plays the card to continuously draw card until that player gets a Skip or Reverse card.
Xbox Live Vision Camera
On September 19th 2006, the day the Xbox Live Vision Camera was released in North America, UNO was among the very first games to receive an update to utilize this device. During gameplay, the game would use the video captured by the camera instead of displaying the user's gamerpic in multiplayer matches. A host of options were set for security reasons, prompting players to set whether they wanted to allow video feeds from anybody, just friends or to disable this feature completely.
On November 19th 2008, the day when the public got access to the New Xbox Experience, UNO was patched to support avatars, making them visible in the menus and during gameplay. They also emote during turns, like celebrating when the player being represented calls "UNO!" and make a sad or angry gesture when the player being represented is on the receiving end of the "Draw 4" card. These features can be turned off in the Options menu.