Since 2011, small-time game creators have been trying to recreate the “bigger, blacker” lightning-in-a-bottle smash-hit Cards Against Humanity. Many of these games attempt to recreate the vibe of CoH with overtly raunchy and explicit content not appropriate for polite company. In their own words “a party game for horrible people.” The recently released Card Game Kim Jong-UNO is similar in many regards. It too takes politically incorrect content and attempts to recreate it in its own way. And it works.

About the game

As the self-proclaimed “World’s most dangerous (card) game,” Kim Jong-UNO attempts to recreate the threat of nuclear warfare in the form of a multiplayer UNO-style card game.

If you have played any variation of Mattel’s popular game UNO, you have played Kim Jong-UNO. The standard rules are no different from the game it is based on.

There are four colors in Kim Jong-UNO: grey, red, gold (yellow), and green. Unlike standard UNO, the colors of each card represent a different country or leader. Grey represents the Glorious Leader of North Korea, Red is Xi Jinping of China, Yellow is associated with Trump, and Green represents the cannabis-loving basketball player Dennis Rodman. Where UNO uses numbers and colors, KJU uses the four colors and various symbols found at the bottom left to designate each of the cards.

The game was created by Australian Max Learmont, who provided the review copies. He said that he was disillusioned by how the media portrayed the North Korean missile crisis [VIDEO] and say it more like “a game where everyone’s cards are on the table and there is complete chaos.” After raising $1500 dollars and donating half to charity, he set about making the game.

My review

What truly sets Kim Jong-UNO apart from other card games is the artwork. The artist "Xhiinfiel" did an amazing job of creating card art that strikes a balance of newspaper-style political cartoons with easily understandable visual gags. What first drew my attention to this game was seeing the card art show up on my Instagram feed. Once I saw that it was a real game that I could get my hands on, I knew I had to have it.

Once I had my hands on the game, I noticed a few issues. None of the issues I found hurt the game in the long run, but they are kind of annoying. For example, the back of the box has text that is so small and such low resolution that it is challenging to read. The cards are not the highest quality cards I’ve felt. It also says the rules are available on the website, but I couldn’t find them without a Google search. This could have been fixed with an additional rule card added to the deck.

My biggest concern are the icons on the cards. When I tried playing it with some friends, it was sometimes challenging to determine what color or icon was on the card.

I would frequently have to call out “red headbutt” or “yellow chess piece” to address what the current card in play was. Also, do yourself a favor and shuffle the cards really well. We ran into a multiple situations where some of us were drawing tons of cards without drawing anything playable.

We also tried the alternate rules that were provided with the game. With these additional rules, two of the symbols allowed players to take a card from someone else or swap hands with another player. We found this dramatically extended the amount of time it took to play, to the point where we were getting bored and had to add house rules just to finish the game.

Speaking of house rules, KJU does not address how to handle certain popular house rules for this type of game. As soon as we opened the box, my friend asked, “can we put down multiple of the same color?” This is something that could be addressed in an FAQ on the website or added to the online rulebook.

Did I say I played it with my friends? I also played it with my parents. This is where the nuclear-tinged magic of KJU comes to life.

I come away from games like Cards Against Humanity feeling dirty and sore from laughing. When I played Kim Jong-UNO, I came away satisfied and tired. Tired, because we had been playing well into the night. It’s an adult take on a children’s card game that is clean enough that if a kid wanders into the room, it won’t be a big deal. It’s an easy game to sit around and have drinks, only to get serious when someone else is about to win.

Conclusion

I see Kim Jong-UNO becoming a nice replacement game for the irreverent person who wants to have some fun with their friends. It is not a game to be embarrassed about bringing out. At $10 US, it is an affordable game with potential to take off. With the first retail copies hitting Australia now, I think it is only a matter of time before we start seeing more copies here in the US.

To see more of my writing, read about the upcoming fighting game Them's Fightin' Herds [VIDEO].

Disclosure: This game was provided to me for free by Max Learmont, creator of Kim Jong-UNO. I have not been paid to make any statements regarding this game. This work is my opinion and mine alone.