We have all heard of and played the card game Uno, yes? Good. Chances are you, like me, played it when you were a kid and never really thought much about it as an adult. It was always considered a kid’s game. While I still believe Uno truly is a kid’s game, when adults play it can take the game to a whole new level of competitiveness. However, when you have a group of friends over and you bring up games to play, very few will mention Uno. But, what if you could put a twist on the game that made it more fun, more competitive, and outright crazy? Chances are, your friends will be interested in playing.
That twisted version of Uno I am talking about is called Hot Death Uno.
I am unsure to its true origins, but it came to me through a friend who learned it through a friend of his while they were both RAs at UNR. What I can tell you is that it gets pretty crazy when playing. The standard rules of Uno apply, but there are extra cards added with new rules that shake things up quite a bit.
There are more attacks than before, and some of them are quite powerful. There’s a Draw 2 Spreader, which makes everyone around the table draw two (unless they have the block card, which we call Matilda’s Block after my friends’ daughter). There’s Double Skips, Reverse Skips, Delayed Blast Draw 4, and Mystery Draw 4 (you look through the played deck looking for the first number card you see and draw that number). There’s MAD, which takes you and another player out of the round, and Twist of Fate which brings someone back who has been eliminated. The Magic Red 5 can be played on anything, 69 allows you to play 9s on 6s and vice versa, Virus splits any draw 4s between you and the person who played it, Luck O’ the Irish allows you to draw one less card, and Glastnost Comrade forces someone to reveal their entire hand for the rest of the round.
Then we get into the really nasty attacks and defenses. These are the new zero cards: The Quitter takes the next person out of the round, the Holy Defender can block most attacks from hitting you that instead hit whomever is next, Return to Sender returns the attack to whomever played it and reverses the order, and lastly the Crapper which can only be played as your last card, after the Holy Defender, or after the Magic Red 5. These can be round breaking cards to have and play. They are also worth a ton of points if they are in your hand when the round is over.
These last couple of new cards give the game its name as well as bring down card drawing punishment. Hot Death is a Draw 8 and the Harvester of Sorrows is an unblockable Draw 4. Almost all draw 4 cards can be added to with other draw 4s, even Hot Death, to cause whomever cannot block or add to it a huge number of cards to draw. The defenses mentioned above, Holy Defender and Return to Sender, can cause all those draw 4s to hit someone else. However, the Harvester of Sorrows (which you must say “Harvester of Sorrows” when playing it) is completely unblockable. So, if you are able to add that to a series of other draw 4s, then the player after you will be stuck drawing until their hands overflow.
This version of Uno is extremely fun and aggravating. With the additional attack and defense cards, it is easy to change a losing game into a winning one for you. However, in the process of this, you are very likely to anger those around you and thus feel the wrath of their attack cards. Uno has never been better.
Have you played a version of Uno similar to Hot Death Uno? Would you like to know more about Hot Death Uno? Please leave a comment and/or share on Twitter.