Uno Power Grab is Uno with a twist; it allows players to block Action cards, and depending on your preference, it might prove to be more fun than the usual Uno variants. As with other Uno games, your objective is to get rid of all your cards before the others do, and to be the first to amass 500 points. Read on below to learn all about Uno Power Grab and how to play it!
Starting the Game
Anywhere from 2-6 players may participate. Each set has a total of 112 cards. A plastic Play Tray (with four colored Power Towers) is provided for you to place your Draw and Discard piles on (in the two slots provided). Select a dealer first, by each player drawing a card from the deck; the player with the highest number (Action cards would count as zero) becomes the dealer.
The dealer now shuffles all the cards and deals out 7 cards to each player. The remainder of the deck is then placed face down in one of the slots of the Play Tray – this is designated as the Draw pile. The 4 Power Towers are then placed next to the Play Tray. During the game they will changing hands all the time among the players (see below).
The topmost card of the Draw pile is then turned over to form the Discard pile, which goes into the other slot on the Play Tray. This card (and all the subsequent cards in the Discard pile) are placed face up.
Play begins with the person to the left of the dealer and progresses in a clockwise direction, unless changed by a Reverse card later.
Cards are matched by color, number, or symbol (if they are Action cards). For example, if the topmost Discard pile card is a green 5 card, you can put down a green card of any number or a number 5 card of any color. If the card on the Discard pile is a blue Skip card, you can put down a Skip card of any color, or a blue card of any number.
If you don’t have a card that can be matched with the Discard pile card OR if you choose not to play any playable card, you must draw a card from the Draw pile. If the card can be matched, you can either play it, or keep it. If you have a Wild card in hand, you may also play that if you choose. Otherwise, play moves on to the next person in turn.
Power Icon cards
Power Icon cards look like the typical colored number card and there are symbols or letters on them corresponding to the Power Towers: U, N, O, and ! (yes, that is an exclamation mark). Power Icon cards are matched by number or color just like any other numbered cards, and NOT by their symbol.
But there is a twist, whenever you put down a Power Icon card, you get to grab the corresponding Power Tower from another player. The color of the Power Tower need not be the same as the color of the Power Icon card that was played; it only needs to match by the symbol/letter on the card. Example: If you have put down a Power Icon blue 5 card with the symbol of O on it, you can grab the O Power Tower that is colored green.
There are 4 colored Power Towers that will be constantly grabbed by players during gameplay. This is what makes Uno Power Grab fun! The four Power Towers plus their symbols and functions are explained below:
U – When you play a Power Icon card with the “U” symbol on it, you can grab this red Power Tower. This Power Tower voids the effect of the Draw One cards.
N – When you play a Power Icon card with the “N” symbol on it, you can grab the blue Power Tower. This Power Tower voids the effect of the Draw Two cards.
O – When you play a Power Icon card with the “O” symbol on it, you can grab the green Power Tower. This Power Tower voids the effect of the Wild Draw Four cards.
! – When you play a Power Icon card with the “!” symbol on it, you can grab the yellow Power Tower. This Power Tower voids the effect of the Skip cards.
You retain the protection from the Power Towers as long as you have it in your possession. If anyone plays an Action card against you while you are in possession of a Power Tower that can protect against its particular effect, you can simply ignore that card.
The Power Towers have another special power – If you manage to get all four Power Towers in your possession, you can discard all your cards at one go, except for one last card of your choice. In other words, you get an “Instant Uno”. You need to yell “Uno” though. At the same time as discarding your cards, you must return the Power Towers back to their original place beside the Play Tray.
The Action cards
There are seven Action cards in Uno Power Grab and their functions are explained below:
Draw One – When this card is played, the next player needs to draw a card from the Draw pile and skip their turn. You can only play a Draw One on another card with matching color or symbol. If turned up at the start of play, the first player draws a card.
Draw Two – When you play this card, the next player will have to draw two cards from the Draw pile and skip their turn. You can only play a Draw Two on another card with matching color or symbol. If turned up at the start of play, the first player will have to draw two cards.
Skip – When played, the next player skips their turn. This card can only be played on another card with matching color or symbol. If turned up at the start of play, the first player will have to skip their turn, with the next player to his/her left starting play.
Reverse – When played, the direction of play is instantly reversed. This card can only be played on another card with matching color or symbol. If turned up at the start of play, play switches to a reverse clockwise direction, and the dealer goes first instead of the first player to his/her left.
Grab-2-Towers – When you play this card, you can grab two Power Towers of your choice from anywhere they are. You can grab Towers being held by somebody, or any unclaimed ones beside the Play Tray. This card can only be played on another Grab-2-Towers card, or another card with the same color. If turned up at the start of play though, the first player can only match this card by color and is not allowed to grab any Power Towers.
Wild Grab-A-Tower – When you play this card, you can grab a Power Tower of your choice from anywhere, be it from someone holding it, or from those next to the Play Tray. Being a Wild card, you also get to choose the color that resumes play (it can be any color of your choice). There are no limitations for this Wild card unlike the Wild Draw 4, and it can be played during your turn. If turned up at the start of play, the first player is not allowed to grab any Power Towers but can only choose the color to begin play.
Wild Draw 4 – When you play this card, the next player must draw 4 cards from the Draw pile, and skip their turn. You also get to choose the color that resumes play, of your choice. There is one limitation though, you may only play this card if you do not have any other card of the same color as the one on the Discard pile.
If you have other playable cards and yet you play this card, the other player is allowed to challenge you to show your hand to him/her. If it’s proven that you played the Wild Draw 4 even though you had other matching color cards, you must draw 4 cards instead. However, if proven innocent, the challenger must draw 6 cards instead! If turned up at the start of play, put the card back into the deck, shuffle it, and pick another one.
While all these Action cards functions must be obeyed by all players, please remember that their functions are blocked by having Power Towers in one’s possession (please see above explanation on the Power Towers). This is the fun part of grabbing those Power Towers in Uno Power Grab!
The moment you are left with one card, don’t forget to yell “Uno!” out loud. This is to announce to the other players that you are about to win the round. If someone catches you for not announcing “Uno” before the next player plays their card, you will have to draw 2 cards as a penalty. Once you discard all your cards, you win the round and points are scored by adding up the points from the cards left in the other player’s hands, using the formula shown below.
Note: If the last card played is an Action card that forces the drawing of cards, such as a Draw One, Draw Two, or Wild Draw 4 card, the other player still needs to draw those cards, which will be tallied in the scoring of points.
Scoring and Winning
Scoring of cards at the end of each round is tallied as follows:
- Numbered cards (1-9) – Face value
- Draw One/Draw Two/Reverse/Skip/Grab-2-Towers – 20 points each
- Wild Grab-A-Tower/Wild Draw Four – 50 points each
The points are added from all the other player’s hands and given to the winner of the round. The WINNER of the game is the first player to reach 500 points (this can be modified to a higher or lower number if everyone agrees to it).
An alternative method of scoring which Mattel suggests, is to keep a running tally of points for EACH player at the end of every round. This means the points are not added up and given to the winner of the round. When somebody reaches 500 points, the player with the lowest points is declared the winner instead.