First Impressions: 1 vs 100

As a Canadian gamer, I’ve been poking my head into the 1 vs 100 beta that’s currently running exclusively in the Great White North. As the first entry in the Primetime Live series for online 360 gamers, it’ll set the tone for future entries in the line and also validate or deter us from participating in this unique experiment.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, 1 vs 100 is based on the game show where you can make it in as the 1 (the leader) or the 100 (the mob). A series of multiple choice questions are asked: an incorrect answer from the leader results in the prize money being split among the remaining mob members, while an incorrect answer from the mob results in their removal from the group. After each question, the leader can walk away with their current winnings or continue on for a bigger prize (and risk losing it all).

The early result? A mixed bag. The game is a lot of fun when you can participate as the leader or the mob, but there’s a lot of grinding involved as part of the general player pool to accumulate enough of a career score to become eligible for the 1 or the 100. The current field of questions are remarkably easy, which ends up feeling rather unrewarding when putting together unrealistic answer streaks; I managed to string together 25 correct answers in a row without even pausing to evaluate most of the questions before reflex pressing a selection.

Still, the experience of a live game show experience with a real human host is pretty cool. Becoming eligible to win real prizes in the form of Live Arcade games or points (but not while the game is in beta) is neat, and definitely something unique to the current Xbox Live experience.

There’s a lot of potential here! If Microsoft can roll out a series of similarly addictive experiences for Primetime Live (Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?Deal or No Deal?, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are really obvious choices), they will have something special on their hands that the whole family can enjoy and participate in together.

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