Newest Review: ... to start by mentioning the container the game comes in. The cards are held in by a plastic mould inside Homer Simpson's head! It is a rea... more
Member Name: Luvlylana
Advantages: Great unique card in the deck to change game play
Disadvantages: Can take a while to finish a game
I then decided I needed to have a set of my own UNO cards, as it's a great game to play with my nieces and nephew. So I popped down to Toys R Us, and got myself this set of Simpsons UNO cards.
The object of the game in UNO is to get rid of all of your cards in each round, and score points for the cards your opponents are left holding. Points are totalled at the end of each round and the first player to reach 500 points wins.
I know that not everybody plays the game entirely to those rules - I often consider a "round" as one game, rather than adding up the points to 500, as it's one of those games that could go on forever, particularly if there are a few of you playing.
In order to prepare for play, you are supposed to each draw a card and the player with the highest number should deal. The dealer should then shuffled the pack and deal seven cards to each player, then place the remainder of the pack in the middle of the players as the draw pile. The top card is then turned over to start a discard pile.
When you are all set up and ready, the person to the left of the dealer starts the game. The idea is to match a card from your hand to the card on the discard pile, by either the number, the colour or the symbol. If you don't have a card that matches, you have to take a card from the draw pile - if this card can be played you can put it down, however if you still can't match it to the discard pile you have to keep it in your hand. Then play passes to the next person on the left so you go round in a clockwise motion.
You can actually choose not to play a playable card from your hand but you would still have to pick up a card from the draw pile and carry out the process as mentioned above.
When you have one card left, you need to call UNO, or if you are caught not saying this before the next person starts their turn you have to pick up two cards. If you can play that card on your next go then you can be out of the game, if not you have to continue to play as normal by picking up another card from the draw pile and playing it if possible - not forgetting to shout UNO if you are left with one again!
I shall talk about the action/symbol cards in the next section, as in Simpsons UNO they are specific to the Simpsons.
The Simpsons UNO
First off, you have to start by mentioning the container the game comes in. The cards are held in by a plastic mould inside Homer Simpson's head! It is a real novelty though, as although it looks good, the front of Homer's face comes off from his head very easily indeed, and that means the cards can fall out all over the place - not ideal in any situation really, let alone if you are in the car playing it or on holiday where the wind could blow them away and you'd lose them!
That aside though, the theming through the pack itself is great. The back of the cards are black and red with a yellow border, and they feature the UNO logo, the Simpsons logo, and a picture of Homer peaking over the edge of the card.
Here are the characters to cards, and if they are an action card, also their purpose:
0 - Represented by Homer staring at one of those famous pink donuts, as though he's never seen anything so wonderful in his life!
1 - Represented by Maggie with a big red football hand on her head that says "We're No. 1".
2 - Represented by Groundskeeper Wullie holding a tray of steaming haggis - just in case you needed an unsubtle reminder that he is Scottish...
3 - Represented by Otto the Bus Driver jamming to the tunes on his Walkman.
4 - Represented by Lisa kicking her leg out and doing what looks like "jazz hands".
5 - Represented by the dog, Santa's Little Helper.
6 - Represented by the cat, Snowball, coughing up a hairball.
7 - Represented by Bart looking suspicious and holding a spray paint can.
8 - Represented by Disco Stu in a Saturday Night Fever style pose.
9 - Represented by Marge carrying a tray of freshly baked cookies.
Draw Two Card - Represented by the twins Sherri and Terri, and also identifiable by the usual symbol of two white cards in the top and bottom corners. When you play this card the next player has to pick up two cards and miss their turn. This card can only be played on a matching colour or on another draw two card.
Reverse Card - Represented by a picture of Bart naked with a towel covering his bum, and also identifiable by the usual symbol of two arrows in the top and bottom corners. When you play this card the direction of play reverses, and again this can only be played on a matching colour or another reverse card.
Skip Card - Represented by a picture of Homer naked and either running or most likely skipping, also identifiable by the no entry style symbol in the top and bottom corners. When you play this card the next player is skipped and misses their turn, and it can only be played on a matching colour or another skip card.
Wild Card - This is actually wrongly printed in the instructions that come with the game, so I'm telling you the right card! Represented by a picture of either Kang or Kodos (the aliens), also identifiable by the colour wheel symbols in the top and bottom corners. When you play this card you can choose what colour is in play, rather than following the pile as you usually have to, though you can choose the last colour played if you wish. You can play this card even if you have a coloured card that would be able to be played.
Wild Draw 4 Card - Represented by a picture of Homer looking absolutely exhausted with the three kids hanging off of him and identifiable by the colour wheel and four card symbol in the top and bottom corners. When you play this card you can choose the next colour in play, and the next player has to pick up four cards from the draw pile and lose their turn. You may only play this card when you don't have another card that can be played.
Blinky Card - Again this is wrongly printed in the instructions as it is confused with the Wild Card, so I shall tell you the right card! Represented by a picture of the three eyed fish Blinky and identifiable by the four cards symbol in the top and bottom corners. When you play this card, you call out a colour of your choice, then each player has to take cards off the draw pile until they get one of that colour, and those cards are added to their hand. When everyone has done this, play continues with the colour that was chosen.
Myself and my family have found this enjoyable to play, because it encourages you to be together as a family, creates a bit of interest as it becomes more competitive, and the Simpsons characters help raise interest in other members of the family who would otherwise pass on playing.
I think the Blinky card also adds another dimension to the game play as it is unique to this version of the game as far as I'm aware, and it creates tension as you hope and pray the first card you get is the colour that was called, so you don't end up with tens of cards in your hand.
Perhaps the only downside is that if you are playing by the proper UNO rules and counting up the points, the game can go on for a long long time. It's ok for the first few rounds as you're all enjoying it, but later as people are dwindling behind while others are miles in the lead it starts to get a bit wearing, but it all depends on the players really.
Quality of the cards
I am very precious with my possessions, so my cards are all still in very pristine condition. I think the cards are pretty good in terms of flexibility, and would only really show signs of wear if you were to completely fold them over.
I'm not entirely sure how the cards would stand up to water or liquids like drinks, the cards have a shiny coating on them, but I think it would only be for minor spillages that it would survive - if you dropped them in a swimming pool they would probably be severely effected even when rescued and left to dry.
It is also likely that after being used over and over the corners may start to split from being shuffled, as is common with most card decks.
As I said before though, I am uber cautious in looking after my things so I'm not 100% sure what kind of poor treatment the cards can hold.
I really like these cards because it is a great game for us to play together as a family, and even the younger kids like to play it as they find it easy to match by colour or by character perhaps more than the numbers, and only need a little bit of help with the action cards, which is fair enough as even the adults forget what they all do!
I would recommend these for household and holiday play, but as I mentioned before about the casing, it comes loose so very easily, so it is definitely worth putting an elastic band around the case and perhaps even around the pile of cards to stop you losing them all and being unable to play in future because key cards are missing from the deck.
It is very handy to keep the instructions with the game as well as it tells you how to play, what the action cards do, and how to add up the cards' points if you are playing the game as UNO intended! The instructions are in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, which is another bonus because it is something you could do with exchange students while they are spending time with you and everybody will understand and be able to enjoy the game.
I bought my Simpsons UNO cards from Toys R Us in store, and I can't remember the price, but I doubt it was more than £5.99. You can't get this online, but you may still be able to get it in store.
The game is retailing on Amazon for over £30 which is ridiculous - don't buy it for that price because that is obscene, you can look for it elsewhere in places like eBay and pay far less!
Also published on Ciao.
Summary: A great game for all the family to play
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