UNO Showdown was originally released by Mattel in 2020. An Amazon exclusive version of the game was also released by the name of UNO Showdown Supercharged. The premise behind UNO Showdown is to add a quick trigger element to the original UNO gameplay. The main gameplay remains the same as the original game. Some of the cards in the game will initiate a showdown when they are played though. Two players will then compete to be the first to press their paddle once the light turns green. The player who fails the showdown will have to add some cards to their hand.
Objective of UNO Showdown
The objective of UNO Showdown is to try and get rid of all of your cards before the other players.
Setup for UNO Showdown
- Insert batteries into the game unit. Place it in an area where all of the players can reach it.
- Shuffle the cards.
- Deal 7 cards to each player.
- The rest of the cards form the Draw Pile. Take the top card from the Draw Pile and flip it over. This will form the Discard Pile.
- The player to the left of the dealer will start the game.
Playing UNO Showdown
On your turn you will try to play one of the cards from your hand to the Discard Pile. To play a card to the Discard Pile, it must match the top card on the Discard Pile in one of three ways:
You could also play one of the types of Wild cards as they match any other card.
If you do not have a card that you can play, you will take the top card from the Draw Pile. You will add this card to your hand.
Note: Most UNO games allow you to draw a card even if you have one that you can play. The rules for UNO Showdown do not specifically mention this. The rules also do not mention being able to immediately play the card that you just drew if it can be played. I don’t know if these were accidentally left out of the rules, or if the game specifically took these rules out of the game.
If the Draw Piles runs out of cards, shuffle the Discard Pile to form a new Draw Pile.
After playing your card or drawing a card, play will pass to the next player in turn order. Turn order will begin moving clockwise (left) to start each hand.
The Cards of UNO Showdown
Number cards are the standard cards in UNO Showdown. They have no special ability in the game. A number card can only be played if it matches the number or color of the top card on the Discard Pile.
When you play this card, the next player in turn order will take two cards from the Draw Pile. The next player will also lose their turn.
A Reverse card will change the current direction of play. If play was moving clockwise (left), it will now move counter clockwise (right). If play was moving counter clockwise (right), it will now move clockwise (left).
Each Showdown card will feature a number on it. This tells you how many cards will be used for the showdown. The player who plays the card will then compete in a showdown against the next player in turn order. See the Showdowns section below for more information on showdowns.
When you play a Skip card, the next player in turn order will lose their turn.
You can play a Wild card on any other card. When you play the card, you will choose what color to make the discard pile. You may play a Wild card on your turn even if you have another card that you can play.
Wild Draw 4
The Wild Draw 4 card allows you to choose the color for the Discard Pile. The next player in turn order must also take four cards from the Draw Pile, and they will lose their turn.
A Wild Draw 4 can be played on any other card. You may only play a Wild Draw 4 card though if you do not have any other cards in your hand that match the color of the Discard Pile.
If the player that is forced to draw cards thinks the Wild Draw 4 was played incorrectly, they can challenge them. The challenged player must show them all of the cards in their hand.
If they have no cards that match the current color, they played the card correctly. The player that challenged will have to draw six cards instead of four.
If the player could have played another card(s) though, they will have to draw the four cards instead of the challenging player.
When you play a Wild Showdown card you will get to choose who you will compete against in the showdown. You will also get to choose how many cards to add to the showdown. The card also gives you the ability to choose the color for the Discard Pile. You may play a Wild Showdown card on your turn even if you have other cards that you can play.
Check the Showdowns section below to see how showdowns are handled.
If a player plays a card that has the Showdown icon on it, two of the players will compete in a showdown. The player who played the card will normally face off against the next player in turn order. This can change if a Wild Showdown card is played.
Each Showdown card will indicate a number of cards that will be used for the showdown. Take the corresponding number of cards from the Draw Pile and place them face down in the game unit.
Each player in the showdown will control one of the two paddles on each side of the game unit. Someone will press the timer button on the game unit. A timer will count down. When the light flashes green each player in the showdown will try to press down on their paddle as quickly as possible.
Once at least one of the paddles are pressed down, the card(s) will be flung into the air. The player that the card(s) shoots towards will lose the showdown. They will have to pick up the card(s) and add them to their hand.
If it is unclear who won the showdown, you will reference the lines on the side of the game unit. The player with more cards on their side of the dividing line will lose the showdown. They will add all of the cards to their hand.
If a player presses the paddle before the light turns to green, the timer will stop. The game unit will use a red light to point towards the player that pressed their paddle too soon. This player loses the showdown, and will add all of the cards from the showdown to their hand.
When you only have one card left in your hand, you must call out UNO. If someone catches you not saying it before the next player takes their turn, you must draw two cards from the Draw Pile.
End of UNO Showdown Round
The current round ends when one of the players play the last card from their hand. This player has won the round. If this card features the Showdown icon though, the player must compete in another showdown before the round ends. Should the player who played the last card from their hand win the showdown, they will win the round. Should they lose, the round continues until someone gets rid of their last card.
The winner of the round will collect all of the cards left in the other players’ hands. If the last played card forces a player to draw cards, they will draw the cards before the player tallies their score. They will score points for each card left in the other players’ hands as follows:
- Number cards – face value
- Draw Two, Reverse, Skip – 20 points
- Wild, Wild Draw Four – 50 points
- Wild Showdown – 40 points
If none of the players’ have earned enough points to win the game, another round is played.
End of UNO Showdown
The first player to score 500 or more points between all of the played rounds will win the game.
Alternative Scoring for UNO Showdown
Players can choose to instead score points for the cards left in their own hand at the end of a round. Once one of the players has scored 500 points, the game ends. The player that has scored the least number of points wins the game.
To make the game more challenging you can implement a rule that tweaks the end of the round. When a player plays the last card from their hand, they must win a showdown no matter what card they play. One card will be added to the game unit, and the player will compete against the next player in turn order. If the player wins the showdown, they will win the round.
Year: 2020 | Publisher: Mattel | Designer: NA | Artist: NA
Genres: Card, Electronic, Family, Speed
Ages: 7+ | Number of Players: 2-10 | Length of Game: 30-45 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate
Components: 112 cards – (19 blue number cards, 19 green number cards, 19 red number cards, 19 yellow number cards, 8 Draw 2 cards, 8 Reverse cards, 8 Skip cards, 4 Wild cards, 4 Wild Draw 4 cards, 4 Wild Showdown cards), Showdown unit, instructions