I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Whatever Happened to Simply Playing UNO?

I started noticing it a couple of weeks ago. While I was Christmas shopping, I looked for UNO -- the card game, thinking it would be fun to play after my family had Christmas dinner and opened our gifts. But Kmart didn't have the original UNO game. They had some sort of revamped version. The cards didn't look the same. Why in the world would anybody want to change UNO? The game was the bomb.

Original UNO Card GameSo, I get home and search Amazon.com. I find UNO Attack!, UNO MOO Preschool Game, UNO Flash Game, Disney Princess UNO Card Game, UNO Deluxe Card Game, UNO Stacko, Charlie Brown Christmas UNO, Diary of a Wimpy Kid UNO, UNO Spin, UNO Card Game - Toy Story 3 Edition, SpongeBob Squarepants UNO Card Game, and so many more versions of UNO that you wouldn't believe it. Or, maybe you would -- if you are more enlightened than I am.

I eventually found what I was looking for -- the Original UNO Card Game. But even that doesn't look right. Check out the picture on the right. The wild card looks funny. I left Amazon.com thinking I would try to find the real "original" game on Ebay.

Ultimate Stratego
This weekend, a few friends and I gathered to play some boardgames. One of my friends told me that he and his 10-year-old daughter have been playing and enjoying Stratego recently. I haven't thought about that game in years. My cousins and I used to have some epic Stratego battles.

As my friend and I began to talk about the strategies we incorporated in our quest to dominate the world, my friend's daughter said she always knows where her dad's flag is when she runs into a group of bombs.

"That's when you send the miners to take care of them," I said. "Right?"

"Nope," my friend said. "You send a scout."

"No, you send a minor -- he's an 8."

"Not in this version. You send a scout -- he's a 2."

"A scout is a 9."

I felt like Ray Barone who often said, "Whaaaaaaaaaaat is haaaaaaaappening?" when his world was being turned upside down.

Turns out my friend was referring to Ultimate Stratego. I guess the original wasn't good enough. And, it turns out that Stratego has gone the way of UNO. There is Stratego Star Wars Saga Edition, Stratego - Chronicles of Narnia, Stratego Nostalgia, and -- unbelievably -- USAopoly Democrats vs. Republicans Stratego

Again, there is a version that sort of looks like the original, but several customer reviews warn people like me to stay away from it, because it is an impostor. I like what one customer review said about the Ultimate version, "When I first found this item on Amazon.com, I was ecstatic. Four-Player Stratego was a dream. I opened the box and found out that the pieces, rules, and board are all different from the original Stratego. This game is nothing like Stratego so stay away."

I know. Capitalism is a good thing, the only thing that is constant is change and I should be able to adapt to new versions of beloved classic boardgames. Maybe I will once I get over the initial shock. But in the meantime, I think I'll visit Ebay when it comes to time to buy a boardgame. I just can't trust Kmart anymore.


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