1 vs 100: 10 Years Later and the Void Remains

Who remembers this game?! I’m a sucker for trivia or pub quizzes and so this was right up my alley, even as an idiotic teen back in 2009. For those that missed this gem and I can’t blame you for not hearing about it, it was a live quiz show on the Xbox 360 with real life presenters. The prizes were Microsoft Points and the chance to win an Xbox Live Arcade game. You may have seen the 1 vs 100 TV show and this was basically that except the players were all sat on their backsides at home. My kind of game! Players were represented by their Xbox avatars, back when Microsoft were really pushing them, hoping to get on that sweet sweet Mii train.

1 vs 100 Question]

Players are split into 3 groups: The One, The Mob and The Crowd. The Crowd is essentially just an audience but how well you play as an audience member can affect whether you get into The Mob on the next round. The Mob is composed of 100 players and they are The One’s rival. The One is Neo, led by Morpheus. That’s a joke, a bad one, but still a joke. Side note, Neo is an anagram of One. Took me to the 3rd film to realise that. I was a clever boy evidently and 1 vs 100 was clearly my forte. Anyway, The One is the contestant at the centre. They have the biggest potential win and must compete against the 100. Questions will appear on screen and all players will choose an answer from the 3 choices. If you get it right, you get a score and the score is higher the quicker you choose your answer. If The One gets it right, they advance to the next question. Whoever in The Mob gets it wrong, is eliminated from the current round. The more members of The Mob are eliminated, the more Microsoft Points The One can earn. As the game progresses, The One will get several chances to take his current winnings and bail or gamble it to compete against the remaining Mob members. If The One out quizzes his opponents and is the sole victor, he/she gets 10,000 Microsoft Points. If they are eliminated though, they get nothing. At the end of the round, the 3 top scoring players of The Crowd get whatever Xbox Live Arcade game is up for grabs, the remaining Mob members get the game too and if there are 40 Mob members or less, each Mob member will receive some Microsoft Points. How many Microsoft Points they get depends on how many Mob members were remaining. The One also has 3 ways to get help. There is ‘Trust The Mob’, ‘Trust The Crowd’ and ‘Trust The Top 10’. These are pretty self-explanatory but they basically mean that you choose the answer the respective group chooses.

1 vs 100 Trust

And that is 1 vs 100! If you play well and quick you get upgraded into The Mob. If you’re in The Mob you can win some points or a game. And I believe you just have to play well to get a chance at being The One. What I loved about 1 vs 100 is the questions were the right level of difficulty. It knew its audience and chose more pop culture and general knowledge questions with a few brain thinkers now and then. Microsoft could have been really stingy and make the questions super difficult to avoid giving away points but they seemed to embrace what they were aiming for. Me and my friends loved this game! We would be on mics sharing answers and freaking out whenever one of us got into The Mob. I got in it once! But nerves got the better of me and I didn’t make it to the top 50. It was sad in a way that I was spending my late teen years playing 1 vs 100 on a Friday night but we had a great laugh. Apparently a lot of people did as according to the Internet, the highest attendance was over 114,000 people at one point. That’s over 1/10 of a million people playing a quiz show. That’s insane when you think about it, a quiz game! It’s not Call of Duty or watching a World Cup final figures but for what is pub quiz, I find that to be huge.

But 10 years on and 1 vs 100 on the Xbox 360 no longer runs. The game only had 2 seasons and the 1st one was a Beta test. It was functional but needed some technical fixes. Season 2 was fantastic but wasn’t good enough to net a 3rd season. This may be due to time zones or advertising revenue not enough to offset the technical cost as well as the Microsoft Points being handed out. I think this idea could work today though. Scale it back to time zones specific versions and reduce prize pool if necessary but the technology is here now. It doesn’t have to be 1 vs 100 but I think a revival would work well. With Twitch as well, this could very easily be implemented or even produced by Twitch. Pick a famous streamer each week, let them be the host, use the viewership as contestants and give out prizes. It’d get Twitch more viewers and give streamers a spotlight to attract new fans. If you’ve played the Jackbox games, you know that there is an audience participation feature that works really well. Something similar to that would bode well for this idea. Yes, we are in the age of technology and everyone can get the answers at their fingertips but the quickest Google search fingers will never beat a mind that knows the answers. Base rewards on accuracy and speed and you’re good to go.

1 vs 100 was very unique at the time and I still think it hasn’t been surpassed in terms of what it achieved. Sure Fortnite has these big events that change each season but it’s still a game at the end of the day. This was a game show converted into a live game and it worked for the most part! Some technical flaws here and there but the overall experience was addictive and stupidly fun. It seemed like a major leap in community gaming at the time and a merging of two mediums but since then that idea has kind of rescinded. I would have loved to have seen more ideas like this or an evolution of 1 vs 100 over the years. This is a prime idea that needs picking back up again. Maybe it exists and I’ve missed it, if so please feel free to let me know in the comments. And if you played this or have some love for this forgotten pioneer then do tell your thoughts. Maybe you got to be The One! You’re a legend in my eyes if you ever got that chance. Anyway, thanks for reading and take it easy.