Cards with Friends

Cards with Friends is a Roku version of Uno, a popular shedding-type card game from Mattel that has been around since 1971. The game is played with an Uno-specific deck of cards that includes numbered cards in four color suits; "Skip", "Draw Two", and "Reverse" action cards; and "Wild" and "Wild Draw Four" cards. (For Uno fanatics, this Roku version uses the pre-2018 deck; you won't find the Shuffle Hands or Customizable wild cards here.)

Each player is dealt seven cards and the top card of the remaining deck is used to start the discard pile. During a turn, the play must either play a card that matches the color, number, or symbol of the discard; play a Wild card; or draw the top card from the deck and play it if possible. The first player to discard all cards wins. A player's fortune can change dramatically in a short amount of time. If the player before you put down a Wild Draw Four card, you'll be dealt four cards in place of your turn. Reverse action cards and skip cards can also make you miss your turn.

The game has complete instructions, but plays just like the physical Uno card game, except games last only one hand instead of playing to 500 points. Like the physical game, you must call "Uno" when you play your second-to-last card, but you do this by pressing the fast-forward button on your Roku remote. The instructions say you must do this immediately after playing the card, but this is incorrect - to avoid being dealt two cards when you're down to one card, you need to press fast-forward immediately BEFORE playing the second-to-last card.

If you're just getting started, you might want to play a few hands against the TV just for practice. You can also choose to play against two or four other "real" players. I've played Cards with Friends quite a few time and there have always been enough other players online that I've never had to wait more than 30 seconds for enough other players to join to start the game. And if you have friends with Rokus, you can play with them - which is where the name "Cards with Friends" comes from. Any user can create a room and share a six-digit number shown on the Roku to friends, who can use that number to enter the room.

The game is free but in-game purchases are available. You'll have to sit through one or two commercials after every couple of games, but frequency was not enough to dissuade me from playing.

-- Information is current as of August 17, 2023

CHANNEL STORE DESCRIPTION: Cards with Friends is a cool card game that's easy to play! Take turns matching cards in your hand by color or number with the top of the deck cards. Play with your friends across the globe in Friends Mode. Engage in multiplayer with strangers. It's Awesome Fun for Everyone!

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DEVELOPER:PlayWorks Digital LTD

FEES: None, but in-game purchases available