While the social dynamics can be interesting, I wouldn’t call Uno the most exciting game in the world, and that naturally extends to its many video games. Someone didn’t get the memo when they were working on the intros for these Japan-exclusive adaptations, which seem like they belong to completely different genres until their titles actually appear.
Take 1993’s Super Uno for the Super Famicom, for instance. The intro, which was first brought to my attention by Capsule Force developer Eric Wenske on Twitter, is absolutely beautiful. Just look at that cityscape! It isn’t until the main character climbs into a hot air balloon labelled UNO that subsequently explodes into playing cards that you realise what’s actually going on.
But by then, it’s too late.
Uno DX, another Japanese exclusive released for the Sega Saturn in 1998, is similarly deceptive. The intro feels more like it was made for a long-running, slice-of-life anime series than a card game, or even some sort of visual novel or dating simulator.
Why does an Uno game need a cast of relatable and/or fanservice-y characters? Is there some sort of storyline about a rough-and-tumble street punk discovering the card game and challenging for a world championship? Who knows, because I have never and will never play this deceptive game. Nice try, Mattel!
Meatspace Uno is fun, and an Uno video game is responsible for one of the best online arguments of all time (which is also very not safe for work). But I don’t know if these intros make me more inclined to sit down for a match of either. It almost seems like the developers wanted to work on something else before being assigned a silly card game.
Let’s just appreciate the fact that so much work went into opening cinematics for a simple game about screwing your friends over.