Uno Hello Kitty & Friends is a spin-off version of Uno based on the popular Japanese cartoon character, Kitty White. Since its creation by the Japanese company Sanrio, the Hello Kitty franchise has become popular worldwide – if you are a fan of Uno and Hello Kitty, now you can play Uno complete with all the main characters of your favorite cartoon series printed right on the card backs!
The objective is the same as in classic Uno, which is to successfully discard all your cards before the other players do so, and score points for the cards left in their hands. A win counts as a round, and by accumulating points, you aim to be the first to reach 500 points (or whichever number is mutually agreed upon by all the participants) to be the champion.
Starting the Game
2-10 players can take part. Choose a dealer by getting everyone to draw a card and the one with the highest point card will be the dealer. The dealer will shuffle all the cards and deal out 7 cards to each player, and the remainder goes on to form the Draw pile, facedown. The first card from the Draw pile is then turned up to form the Discard pile, and play can now commence.
The player to the dealer’s left starts play and play starts in a clockwise direction (unless later on the direction is switched by Reverse cards). Cards are matched by color, number, or symbol (as found on the Action cards).
For example, if you have a green number 7 card in your hand that is the same as the red number 7 card on the top of the Discard pile, you may put down your card, as it is a match by number. Or if you have a red number 5 in your hand, you may also play that card, as it is a match by color. Or if you have a Wild or Wild Draw Four card, you may also play it and either maintain the color, or change the color.
Alternatively, you may choose not to play any card although you do have matching cards. In this case, you need to draw a card from the Draw pile. And if that card is playable, you may play it or continue keeping it. Either way, your turn is now up, and play moves on to the next person in the turn cycle.
The Action Cards
In Uno, the Action cards always refer to the Skip/Reverse/Draw Two/Wild/Wild Draw Four cards. Here in Uno Hello Kitty, there is an additional new Action card, called Wild Badtz-Maru card. Let’s look at them.
When this card is played, the next player must lose their turn. It can only be played by matching with another Skip or a card with the same color. If the card is turned up at the beginning of the round, the first player who is on the dealer’s left will have to lose their turn, even though they are supposed to go first.
When this card is played, the direction of play changes to the opposite direction (clockwise to anti-clockwise, and vice versa). It can only be played to match cards with the same color, or another Reverse which can be of any color. If turned up at the start of the game, the player to the dealer’s right will be the first to go.
This is an “attacking card”, and if it is played, the next player must draw 2 cards and get skipped as well. It can only be played to match another card of either the same color, or another Draw Two (which can be of any color). If turned up at the start of the game, the first player to the dealer’s left must draw 2 cards and forfeit his/her turn.
You can play this card during any of your turns as long as you are not skipped by a Skip or Draw Two card, regardless of what color is in play. This card enables you to choose what color you want it to be, by simply announcing it to all the other players. It enables you to control the color of play, at least until the next change of color happens. If turned up at the start, the first player (to the dealer’s left) chooses what color to continue play.
Wild Draw Four card
This card combines the power of the Wild card with an “attacking” ability, by forcing the next player to draw 4 cards and lose their turn. You can play this card on any of your turns, provided you don’t have a card that matches the color of the card in play on the Discard pile. You can still play it, but the next player has the right to challenge you to show your hand and if found guilty, you must draw 4 cards instead. But if the challenger is proven wrong in their challenge, they need to draw 6 cards instead! If turned up at the start of play, return the card to the Draw pile and pick another card.
Wild Badtz-Maru card
This card is the specialty of Uno Hello Kitty. When you play this card, the player with the least number of cards in their hand must draw 4 cards. If there is a tie for fewest cards left in hand, then both of the players must draw 4 cards. Same applies if there are more than two players. For example, if 6 players are playing, and there are 3 or 4 players with 2 cards left in their hands, all of them must draw 4 more cards! This is a Wild card, so the person who plays it gets to choose what color to continue play. If turned up at the start of play, nothing bad happens – the first player (to the dealer’s left) chooses what color to begin play.
Don’t forget to yell out “Uno” when you are about to play your second last card to announce you have only one card left. If not, someone can catch you before the next player begins their turn, and you must draw 2 cards. If your last card is a Draw Two or Wild Draw Four, the next player still needs to draw those cards for scoring purposes. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins the round and scores points for all the cards left in their opponent’s hand.
Scoring and Winning
- Numbered cards (0-9) – Face value
- Draw Two/Skip/Reverse – 20 points each
- Wild/Wild Draw Four/Wild Badtz-Maru – 50 points each
Once the points are tallied up, a new round begins, until someone reaches 500 points (or whichever figure is mutually agreed upon). The winner is the first player to hit 500 points.
An alternative scoring method suggested by Mattel is to keep a running tally of the points everyone is left with at the end of every round. When someone reaches 500 points, the player with the lowest points is declared the winner.