Uno Stacko is a fun adaption of the original Uno rules with similarities to Jenga, a block stacking game. If you liked Jenga, you should also like Uno Stacko. The Uno Stacko rules differ quite a bit from the classic card game though, as it is almost an entirely different type of game.
Uno Stacko includes durable plastic blocks instead of cards, which are colored red, blue, yellow, green, and purple. The blocks are numbered one to four with additional blocks labeled “Reverse”, “Skip”, and “Draw Two”. The purple blocks meanwhile, function exclusively as Wild cards. Altogether, there are 45 blocks in total, plus a cardboard tray to help you store the blocks back in the box. Uno Stacko is suitable for anywhere from 2 to 10 players.
The objective of the game is basically to keep on stacking the tower higher and higher, until it falls. But you do not want to be the person who makes the tower fall. When the tower falls, the round is over, and the winner is the last person who successfully pulled and restacked the last block without causing the tower to fall. The loser is the person who made the tower fall (and all the other players aside from the winner).
First and foremost, you need a wide and flat surface to play Uno Stacko. Disperse all the blocks and mix up the different colors thoroughly, as though you are shuffling cards. Choose someone to build up the tower initially (this person will go first). Randomly stack layers of 3 blocks in right angles to the layer below it, as shown in the picture below.
Play initially goes in an anti-clockwise or left direction from the first player, but may change (should a Reverse block be pulled out) later. You are permitted to use the provided cardboard loading tray to help straighten the initial tower, but not later on once play commences.
Once the initial tower is built from all the blocks, the game begins. The first player selects any block that he or she prefers, and pulls it from the tower with the same hand. This is the most important rule of the game – only use one hand to pull and stack on the blocks. You may switch hands during your turn, but you can only use one hand at any given time.
You can touch blocks to locate a loose block, but you must restore that block back to its original position with only using one hand, before you touch another block. Once you pull out and stack a block on the top of the tower – your turn is over as soon as you let go of your hand.
Uno Stacko is similar to classic Uno in terms of matching the colors and numbers. If a numbered block is pulled, the next player must draw a block of either the same color or number (or pull a Wild block and have the option of changing the color).
Blocks can only be drawn from the layers or levels below the topmost completed layer of the tower. And the new layers must be completed as 3-block layers before starting a new layer/level.
The Action Blocks
The Action blocks are the Reverse, Skip, Draw Two, and Wild blocks.
If a Reverse block is pulled, play continues in the opposite direction until someone pulls out a Reverse block. Once a Reverse block is pulled and stacked, the next player in turn must pull a block that matches the color of the pulled Reverse block or pull out a Wild block.
If a Skip block is pulled, the next player to go must skip their turn, and the player after the skipped player needs to draw a block that matches the color of the pulled Skip block or draw a Wild block.
If a Draw Two block is pulled, the next player must pull out and stack two blocks of the same color as the pulled Draw Two block. This ends that unfortunate player’s turn, and then the next player in turn must pull out a block that matches the color of those blocks (or pull out a Wild block and have the option of changing the color of play).
If a Wild block is pulled, the player who pulled it gets to choose any color and announce it to the other players. This can include maintaining the current color of play. After that, the next player in turn must match the color of the Wild block that was announced. As you can guess, Wild blocks are the most flexible of all the blocks, while Draw Twos are the most useful “attacking” blocks.
Calling out Uno
The most important thing in Uno Stacko is to use only one hand at any given time, whether it is to adjust, pull out, or stack any blocks. If any player uses both hands at the same time during the game, any other player can punish that player by yelling out “Uno”. If caught, the offending player must draw 2 blocks of a color chosen by the player who yelled “Uno”. The game then goes on until the tower falls, and the winner is the last person who successfully pulled and replaced the last block.
Special Two-Player Rule
If there are only two players playing, there is a slight change of rules when it comes to Reverse or Skip blocks. If a Reverse or Skip block is pulled, they now act as Draw Two blocks. So the other player must draw two blocks of the same color as the pulled Reverse/Skip block. This change of rules is to hasten the game when it is between just two players.
As a group or party game, Uno Stacko is a fun game and young kids especially like it, due to its simplicity and seeing the tower fall. For re-storage of the blocks back in the box, one tip is to assemble them all using the cardboard loading tray while laying them flat on the floor or table and then sliding them into the box as shown in the image above.