A somewhat recent trend in the board game industry has been the introduction of “Legacy” games. For those not familiar with them, these games are designed where each time you play the game it will impact future playthroughs. Basically as you play the game you are creating a custom version of the game for your group. This has started to become popular in more “designer” games, but I was genuinely surprised when I saw that UNO attempted to create their own legacy game. I didn’t know how exactly it would work, but I was intrigued and that is why I decided to check out UNO Remix. In many ways UNO Remix is similar to the original game with some interesting tweaks that lead the players to creating their own custom UNO deck.
I honestly was a little surprised when I first heard about UNO Remix. The idea of creating a legacy style game based on a simple card game like UNO was not something that I really expected to see get made. Legacy games are generally much more popular with more complicated games as they are more equipped take advantage of the changing gameplay. After playing UNO Remix I am not entirely sure what to think of the game.
At its core UNO Remix is pretty much the same as normal UNO. The game takes out some of the typical action cards from the original game, but otherwise plays basically the same. You play cards trying to match either the color, number or symbol of the last played card. The ultimate goal of the game is to get rid of all of your cards before the other players.
If you would like to see the complete rules/instructions for how to play UNO Remix, check out our how to play guide.
As much of the game is similar to your typical UNO game, your opinion of the original game is likely to be very relevant to your opinion of UNO Remix. If you don’t generally like UNO, the few twists that UNO Remix has doesn’t change things enough to likely change your opinion in any significant way. For fans of the game though, the tweaks do create an interesting experience that changes it from the original game.
Where UNO Remix differentiates itself is in the introduction of the Remix cards. The Remix cards basically come into play before you start each round. These cards are designed where you can write a specific name on them. The name that is written on the card will impact how the card works in the game. For example with the Wild card, the player whose name is written on the card will get to decide what color it will be changed to when it is played. These cards are then added to the deck of cards that you play with each round. As you play more rounds, more of these specialized cards get added to the game basically creating a unique deck for the group of players that are playing the game.
I found this to be an interesting addition to the game that introduces some of its own issues.
Most of the Remix cards are similar to cards that should be known to anyone who has ever played UNO before. The only main change is that now a name will be written on them which impacts the effect of the card. The only new cards are the Giving Card, Shield and the Plus card. The Giving card just messes with the player whose name is written on it as the card automatically goes to them every game. The Plus cards are interesting as they start as simple draw one cards. Players will eventually add more tally marks to the cards though forcing players to draw more cards when they are played. If the players want to they could keep adding marks to the same card to create one that requires the player who it is played against to have to draw a bunch of cards. Finally there is the Shield card which basically protects you from cards played against you.
While I liked that the designer(s) tried to do something with the old UNO formula, I think they could have done more with it. The idea of creating custom cards is an interesting idea. While a lot of the UNO cards are tried and true at this point, I like when UNO games try to introduce new card types to try and change up the gameplay for the better. While there are a couple unique new cards, too many of the Remix cards are just slight alterations of cards that have been in UNO games forever. While I thought the game created an interesting experience, I think the designer(s) should have embraced the premise and added some more unique cards to the game.
On the positive side the idea of a customized UNO deck that changes based on each game is intriguing. After you have played the necessary number of games to customize all of the Remix cards, you will end up with a deck that is completely customized for your group.
In a way this adds some strategy to the game as the card you choose to customize each round will impact future games that you end up playing with the deck. Winning games becomes important as the player that wins gets the first pick of the new cards for the next round. As some cards are more beneficial to customize than others, the cards you choose to customize can either hurt or help your chances in future games.
The main problem with the Remix cards is just the fact that you pretty much need to play the game with the same group every single game in order to get the most out of it. As cards will have specific players’ names on them, if you don’t play future games with these players it kind of ruins the twist. New players joining after the first game doesn’t really work as they don’t get the benefit of any of the good cards or the negatives from bad cards. Basically once you start the game, you should stick with the same group every time you play the game.
The reason this becomes a problem is that when you customize one of the Remix cards, the changes are permanent. The game just comes with normal cards so there is no way to erase what you wrote on a card. I guess you could cross off and change the card, but that isn’t the same. I don’t know how exactly the game could have done it, but I really wish there was a way that you could alter the cards after you have customized them. I wish the cards somehow could have utilized dry erase markers so you could have reset them if you wanted to create a new custom deck. I am the type of person that found it kind of stressful to write on a card knowing that it could never be changed again.
Because of this while playing the game my group actually came up with an interesting house rule that we actually felt improved upon the official rules. For some of the cards instead of writing a specific name we decided to get a little more creative in what we wrote. For example we wrote things such as the player with the most/least cards. This occasionally created some issues if the rule applied to two people at the same time, but I think it improved the game. It added more variety to the game and also made it so people not part of the original group could still jump in and play the game.
With this house rule we ended up creating even more interesting criteria. For example on a wild card someone wrote that the first player to slap it got to choose the color. In a way these created little mini games inside the game which made it more interesting. While this might not work with every group, I actually think I preferred writing these unique criteria on the cards instead of just boring old names. This made the game more fun in my opinion and also helped alleviate the issue where it was hard for new players to jump into the game.
Outside of the addition of the Remix cards, UNO Remix doesn’t really differentiate itself from the original game. Because of this the game is very similar to the original in many ways. Like the original game it is quite easy to play. If you have ever played UNO before you can basically jump right into the game outside of learning how to deal with the Remix cards. You may have to occasionally reference the rules to find out what each Remix card does, but otherwise the game is quite easy to play. I really wouldn’t say that the game is any more difficult than normal UNO.
The length of games is comparable to the normal game as well. Like all UNO games, the length of a game can vary quite a bit. Games can end in minutes or can take considerably longer. It all really depends on what cards players are dealt. Players could just be dealt a bunch of cards that they can play right away, or the game could keep going as no one can get rid of their last card. Based on my experience with the game so far, I would say that it seems to have cut out the extremes from both ends where you won’t have too many games that end really quickly, or take far too long.
As for strategy versus luck I would say the game is comparable as well. I would probably say that UNO Remix has slightly more strategy which mostly comes from what cards you choose to customize. Like normal UNO though, the game doesn’t have a lot of strategy. Instead the game relies on quite a bit of luck as the cards that you are dealt will play a big role in how well you do. Bad decisions will hurt your chances, but a good strategic play is usually pretty obvious and won’t really improve your odds of winning.
Regarding the components, UNO Remix is basically what you would expect out of an UNO game. You get a set of cards and a set of stickers which is used to keep track of who won each round. The card quality is what you would expect from an UNO game. The artwork does its job and the cards give you enough space to write in a name. I still wish the cards were dry erase in some way so you can alter the deck in the future. Otherwise depending on which version of the game you buy, it will either come in a typical cardboard box or a tin. Basically the components are nothing special, but they aren’t bad either.
At the end of the day I am not entirely sure what to think of UNO Remix. In some ways I think it is better than the original game, and in other ways I think it is worse.
The game shares a lot in common with normal UNO so your feelings towards the franchise in general will likely play a pretty big roll in how much you like the game. The only real tweak to the game is the Remix cards. Basically the Remix cards let you customize cards which impact their effect on the game. This adds some interesting tweaks to the gameplay and actually adds a little strategy as the cards you choose to customize will have an impact on the final deck that is created. Once you have customized all of the Remix cards, you will have a customized UNO deck for the group that played the game. This creates an interesting experience especially for fans of UNO that would play the game over and over again.
This does create an issue though where you basically have to play the game with the same group every time to get the most out of the experience. As there is no way to undo the customization of a card, once it is done the card can’t be changed. This makes it hard to play the game with new groups of players.
Ultimately my recommendation for the game comes down to your thoughts on UNO and the idea that you will be creating a custom deck. If you don’t care for UNO or don’t find the Remix element to be all that interesting, I don’t think the game will be for you. If you are a fan of UNO though and think the concept sounds interesting, I think you will enjoy UNO Remix and should consider checking it out.
Year: 2021 | Publisher: Mattel | Designer: NA | Artist: NA
Genres: Card, Family
Ages: 7+ | Number of Players: 3-6 | Length of Game: 10-30 minutes per game
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate-High
Components: 56 game cards, 56 Remix cards, sticker sheet, instructions
- Maintains the fun gameplay of the original while tweaking it to create a unique experience.
- As you play the game you create your own UNO deck customized for your group.
- As the cards can’t be changed, the game works best if you play every game with the same group.
- Doesn’t differ much from the original game and thus suffers from many of the same problems.
Recommendation: For fans of UNO that think the idea of creating a customized deck of cards sounds interesting.
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