UNO, The Bomb, and How You Can Make Game Night More Epic

Once upon a time, I was a young lad who spent almost 100% of his free time at the local Diner. It was 24 hours, and had the best coffee in town at the time. Add in the comfy booths and the fact that the owners let us do whatever we wanted (within reason) and it was the perfect hangout for a couple of “hip” individuals who just wanted to hang out.

After a while of not doing much besides talking about the universe, drinking as much coffee as possible, and chain smoking, we started getting into games. First we tried saddling up with the “Magic: The Gathering” crowd but when we found out how expensive it was, we quickly lost interest. Soon we were onto hackie-sack (long live the AND-1 team) and eventually we turned to cards.

Texas Hold-em was a nightly staple for many weeks until the inevitable happened. We found something cheap, simple to understand, competitive to play, and reminded us fondly of our childhood: UNO.

If you don’t know what UNO is, go look it up. For those of you who DO know what it is, congrats, you are normal.

The competition got fierce. Our nights were usually endless, but now it was getting crazy. We would play all night, and some people would even call off of work the next morning so we could either play more, or they could finally get some sleep. It evolved, like most games do, and our group of 4 or 5 became nearly 10. Waitresses at the Diner would play with us, often keeping their cards in the front of their aprons so they could pop over between checking their tables. This would make the game slower, but thats ok, we had 2 decks and could have a second game on the adjacent table to play while we were waiting.

One night however….it all changed. We realized that we had not been playing “up to code”. During a typical game, at 1:30AM one of the deck owners commented “I don’t even know if all the cards are here”.

He had no idea the ridiculousness he had just unleashed.

We immediately went to Wal-Mart. If we were going to keep playing seriously, a full “regulation” deck was necessary. How were we to consider ourselves professionals if we were playing with a SHORT deck? We picked up the cards, fresh in a box, and brought them back proudly to our table. We then made, what we considered, the discovery of a life time.

The company that makes UNO cards had included 4 blank cards, one of each color. This is just in case you happen to lose a card or two and need a replacement. You can simply write-in what you need OR you can utilize them in a pinch. If you need a card of a particular number but you don’t have one, you can throw down the blank and keep the game moving.

However……we had a better idea. One that would change the game as we know it, forever.

Kevin, in a moment of brilliance, pulled out a Sharpie marker, and in the little white blank circle on each color of card, wrote two little symbols….


No longer were we limited to the +2 or +4 cards for attacking our fellow gamers. From now on we could unleash the worst hell ever imagined on a simple card game. The +6, better known to us in the circle as a “Bomb”.

Now, this may not sound incredibly exciting, but that’s cause you haven’t played a game with it yet. The intensity doubles, as does the length of the game. The longest game ever recorded in our “trials” was 4 hours 37 minutes. Thats not including the occasional break times for cigarettes and food.

So I challenge you all, here and now, so that it may sweep across America and perhaps one day THE WORLD. Go out and get an UNO deck, and create your own “Bombs”.

Let the fun (and frustration) begin!

-B.K. Mullen

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