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1 vs. 100 review: 1 vs. 100

If you like trivia, there are better game alternatives than this one-dimensional TV show spin-off.

Alex Selth
3 min read

TV programs translated into video game format tend to fit into one of two categories. First, there are the take offs of popular dramas like Lost, CSI and the upcoming Grey's Anatomy. In those cases, the developer relies not only on the TV show's big name, but also its ability to stand on its own in terms of gameplay. Secondly, there are games that are created purely as a tie in for a network to earn a quick buck, with the appeal of the game banking entirely on the popularity of the show, often with very little gameplay or story supporting it. Sadly, 1 vs. 100 falls very firmly into the latter.


1 vs. 100

The Good

Interesting and varied trivia questions. Feels good to win a million dollars (even if it isn't real). Fans of the show will enjoy playing.

The Bad

Repetitive sound effects. Only one "life". Bland interface.

The Bottom Line

If you like trivia, there are better game alternatives than this one-dimensional TV show spin-off.

Your job, as the contestant, is to answer a series of often Australian-themed, general knowledge questions against the clock, with prize money awarded based on how many of the "mob", the titular 100, get the answer wrong. On the other hand, if the player makes a single mistake, the game ends — there are no second chances and no save points.

There are three "helplines", but they don't really redeem the game that much — games are meant to be fun, but the frustration we felt every time we made a single mistake or accidentally tapped the screen quickly erased the elation of getting the correct answer. The game isn't really suited to younger players as some questions may be beyond their knowledge — for every "What colour is the genie in Disney's Aladdin?" (blue), there are three or four questions such as "Who was the only member of the *M*A*S*H* cast to actually serve in the Korean War?" (Jamie Farr). On the other hand, it doesn't really seem like a casual game for an older audience either — whilst many would know Australia's current Governor General (Quentin Bryce), or what animal was the first to enter space (Laika, a Soviet dog), it's unlikely that most people would be able to answer all four of the questions that we've mentioned so far, let alone know which town is in the same region as Tequila (Acapulco).

There are a series of medals to collect such as an award for the number of correct answers in a row or fastest victory. Unfortunately, these medals don't give you an added advantage in the game, and on several occasions we didn't even know we'd acquired them until we went looking for them. Others require a significant time commitment, such as getting 500 questions right, a process that would take around a hundred games. On the other hand, the longer you play the game, the more likely it is you'll see recycled questions. Even in the relatively short time we played the game, 1 vs. 100 recycled several questions, despite the game's box boasting "hundreds" available to answer. The questions themselves are interesting and varied, although we often found ourselves frantically googling the answer while the clock ticked down.

Mindscape's foray onto the DS is visually bland, with only four or five different screens in the entire game. This isn't in itself a bad thing, with the majority of your playtime consisting of staring at the question given and the three possible answers, but with so few screens, it would have been nice for there to be more to look at. Similarly, the audio is repetitive and very sparse, looping frequently, but at least it's not exactly unpleasant to listen to — just very boring.

1 vs. 100 is a one-dimensional game with no campaign, alternate game types or multiplayer. It boils down to just you against the mob, the clock, and no chance to recover if you get a question wrong — an irritating, irredeemable game mechanic that severely detracts from your enjoyment of the game.

Fans of the show on Channel 9 may enjoy participating in the glory of this game show, but paying $50 for the experience is not entirely justifiable — we've seen many better and cheaper trivia games like this in Apple's App Store, and far more for free online. If you're a serious trivia buff, Trivial Pursuit is coming out soon on a multitude of platforms, or you could simply buy the hard copy.