I would like to preface this by saying that I am not innately an angry gamer. I am not one to throw a temper tantrum and quit in the middle of a game. I don’t typically fling my controller across the room after a bad loss. When it comes to the sticks, I am about as zen as they come.
However, there is one game that has now filled me with a seemingly unquenchable fury. One that taps into the most primal parts of my being and sends me seething into an animalistic rampage, screaming and foaming at the mouth. And that game is… Uno Online. Yes, that’s right. UNO. ONLINE. A game that feels like it was sent here by Hades himself to punish me. You may scoff, but Uno Online is one of the most anger-inducing games I have ever played in my entire life – and it's all my friends’ fault.
In January of this year, Uno launched an Ultimate Edition which took over Twitch. Streamers everywhere could be seen playing card after card in blissful happiness. My friends and I decided that we should stream Uno, as well. Since nine of us usually play together and Uno is a four-player game, we decided the two people with the lowest score at the end of the game would rotate out. I was excited. I had been playing since I was child and was pretty confident in my abilities. But I soon discovered that my hubris would be my demise and my exuberance would be replaced with white hot rage. I never thought that such adorably colorful cards could unveil so much treachery, deception, and betrayal. Soon, my head was filled with only one thought – I want to fight them all.
Like most card games, Uno Online usually starts off slow. The cards are digitally shuffled and dealt out so that each person gets seven. The top card of the deck is flipped and the game begins. The first few hands usually go pretty lightly. But not this time. Oh no, this was different. As I looked at the screen, my usually smiling and jovial friends seemed to change. Their eyes seemed to focus and peer into my soul. Everyone was out for blood.
Once the second person played, it was nothing but Reverses, Skips, Draw +2, and Draw +4. Not a Draw +4 was played without someone else stacking another card on top of it… .and another. There is something about watching someone you care about cackle with glee as you draw close to 20 cards that makes you feel like Julius Caesar after he walked into the Theater of Pompey and didn’t walk out.
As I sat there with what felt like half of the deck in my virtual hand, I knew I had to step my game up. I had to tap into my Ocean’s 11-type prowess. I began looking for a sign, a tell. The smallest squint or grimace when a card was played. A twinkle in the eye, a look away – ANYTHING! I was Sherlock Holmes if he decided to buy a PlayStation instead of actually helping people.
But my sleuthing was soon uncovered and the game began to get even more fervent. Someone started to yell out when another player did not have a certain color based on when they had to pull from the deck. And the words would always be as follows: “[Person’s Name] ain’t got no [color]!” Every time in the exact same pitch and cadence. This continued on until it became a singing chant, which somehow felt worse, because everyone would sing in unison – even the people not actually playing. A crescendo of “Roxxy ain’t got no yelllooowwwwwwsssssss, Roxxy ain’t got no yelllooowwwwwwsssssss,” was belted out with such vibrato I felt like I was Center Parquet at Carnegie Hall.
Once I had to rotate out and sit with not only losing, but having lost to such a catchy tune, I started to wish we were in the 18th century so this could be settled with a fight. And I don’t mean, I wanted to have a heated discussion. I mean, I wanted to slowly take a white glove out of my pocket, slap each one of them, and request the commencement of fisticuffs. And unlike Caesar, I will name my betrayers. So – Maxx, Khadeem, Will, Patrick, Broady, GQ, Sly, and Khleo – I am now on Amazon purchasing a pack of white gloves. I will see you soon.