Kids’ Board Game Review: Uno Moo
I think everyone has a box of Uno cards around the house, and the perennial color and number matching game has a younger brother. We purchased Uno Moo for our five-year-old when he was three or so, and it’s still quite the staple game around our house, even though it’s targeted to preschoolers. In Uno Moo, two to four players select, with eyes closed, five game pieces out of the “barn.” The characters hide behind a cardboard haystack until they’re needed. Just like the card game, a player can match either color or type or, in this case, animal, until one player places all of his or her pieces in the barn. Instead of a “Draw 2″ or “Draw 4″ there is a skunk game piece, which causes the player who is “skunked” to draw 2 pieces and lose a turn. Also, a farmer is wild and can change the color when played. Another similar feature to the classic game is the requirement to yell (often at the top of one’s lungs) “Uno Mooooo” when down to one game piece.
This game teaches preschoolers about colors, animals, matching, and following the rules of a game. The games are usually pretty short, though they can drag on (just like the card version) if no one has a game piece of a particular color. An adorable barn serves as the box as well as the game platform, and it’s pretty small in comparison to many other games out there. Some downsides to the game are fairly minor, but are there. The haystack “piece hiders” fall over quite frequently, which then exposes the pieces, which may upset a child and annoy an adult. Piece selection also causes a considerable amount of “peeking” from the preschool set. This is obvious since children are seldom subtle about such things, but it can result in debate. Overall, this is a fun game with little setup and quick gameplay. Our son will probably soon outgrow it, but at around $20 USD, we’ve certainly had plenty of gameplay out of it.
This one can get repetitive for me, but overall I still enjoy it. You can easily see over the haystacks, and they certainly do fall over easily, but our son seems to enjoy the “hidden” aspect of the pieces, and since they’re big, round pieces, little hands can easily manage them rather than trying to fiddle with cards. It’s sometimes difficult for the child to figure out how to catch the adult with one piece remaining if he or she does not say “Uno Moo,” but there is much glee when the child does catch the adult off guard. There have been lots of giggles in our house because of this game, and that’s certainly worth it.
Many times the games we play are done on the floor as opposed to a table. This really makes the haystacks worthless. Then again, when we first started playing the game, it was in the time where the adult “cheats” to allow the child to learn the game and its mechanics. The high point of the game for our son is certainly to “skunk” the other players. This leads to most of the peeking when needing to draw another piece from the barn. All in all, it is a nice game for learning strategy, such as when to play one piece over another, and game play. The best feature to me is the self-contained game barn. No additional box needed.
I like the skunk’s face. I really like how all the characters look. They look happy. I like that it’s an easy game. Let me tell you something about it: if you get a skunk played on you, then you have to close your eyes and pick two animals. It doesn’t matter which ones. I don’t like when I don’t win. Most of the time I win, though. [Mom's note: we don't let him win; he wins on his own] I would tell other kids to play this game because I want them to learn how to play the game because it’s fun and easy.