UNO: Star Trek Collector’s Edition
I first learned how to play UNO as a kid, back in the day when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Not only was it refreshing to find a Star Trek variant of the game, but it gave me great pleasure to watch the kids play a game that I once played in my youth. It’s worth noting that there are a few different versions or editions of this particular game, so some of the rules and/or pictures that you’ll see below may not match up with your copy, if you happen to have one. The special edition, for example, has a few special cards that mine doesn’t. Mine came in a tin case and has “collector’s edition” written on the top, but the art on the front of the tin case is different from other collector’s editions I’ve seen. The ones I found on Amazon seem to come in your standard card package and look a bit different, but the rules are generally the same across all versions.
Cards – The cards resemble your standard UNO deck, which include number cards, draw two cards, reverse cards, skip cards, wild cards, and wild draw four cards. All of these cards (except for the wild cards) are red, blue, green, or yellow in color. This particular edition includes a new beam up card which protects the player from any draw two or draw four action. After being played, the player can use a beam up card as a wild card. The player need not use it for protection in order to play it as a wild card.
Setup & Gameplay
The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt a hand of seven cards, which they keep to themselves. One card is drawn face up next to the deck to start the discard pile. The player to the dealer’s left starts off the round.
The object of UNO is to be the first player to get rid of all of the cards in their hand. In this particular version, the player managing to do so scores points for all of the cards left in his or her opponents’ hands. Players accumulate points over rounds as they are played and the first person to reach five hundred points wins the game. Alternatively, players can agree to do the opposite…that is, players who go out receive zero points while others tally the cards left in their hands individually. The game ends when one person hits five hundred points and the person with the lowest score wins.
On a player’s turn, they can:
1) Play a card: The card played must match the card in the discard pile in some manner…that is, the player can match the color of the card or the number of the card (useful for changing the active color). A player can also play a wild card to assign a new, active color. Players who have one card left in their hand must say “UNO” (or in this version, “UNO, I’m a Doctor!”) or else they’ll need to draw two cards as a penalty. Playing a card ends a player’s turn, unless the cards specify otherwise.
2) Draw a card: The player can draw a card from the deck, ending their turn.
Players continue until one person goes out, after which scoring occurs. The role of the dealer goes clockwise around the table as rounds are completed. The first person to reach five hundred points (no matter what scoring variant you use) effectively ends the game.
The cards certainly have a Star Trek theme about them. You’ll see characters from the original cast, including some that casual Trek fans may not know…Kor and parallel universe Spock, for example. My only complaint is that the insert’s pockets aren’t deep enough, causing some of the cards to overflow and spread out along the top of the insert. You may want to have some rubber bands handy, just in case the version you pick up is the same way.
There’s not much to say about UNO that hasn’t been said before over the generations. It’s easy enough to where it would appeal to players of all ages and flexible enough to where players can call it quits after a few games or extend the five hundred points target to something higher. It’s a great game for families, especially large get-togethers. When I was a kid, we used to play this game around a large table, incorporating a variant to where you can add to draw twos and draw fours if you had them in your hand. It would result in some pretty nasty chains to where one player would end up drawing sixteen cards by the end of it, but there were a lot of laughs to be had in the process.
The kids and I enjoy playing UNO, and the fact that I’m a Star Trek nut makes me more inclined to play this version. The kids get a kick out of coming up with Star Trek references when calling out “UNO.” I’ve heard, “Darnit Jim, I’m a Doctor! UNO!”, “I’m giving it all I’ve got, Captain! UNO!”, “Live long and prosper. UNO!”, and “Beam me up, Scotty! UNO!”. Myself, I just prefer to yell “KHAAAAAAN!!!” in place of saying “UNO.” The new beam up card was a nice touch, adding an extra strategy element to the base game. Players will often need to decide if the beam up card is worth saving to stave off draw cards, but they’ll also need to consider the point value it adds to their hand. Overall, it’s a worthy purchase, if you can find it for a fair price. I found mine at Five Below, of all places…maybe you’ll get lucky and find one too.
Final Verdict: 7/10