Review: 1 Vs 100 (Nintendo DS)

1 Vs 100
Genre: Trivia/Game Show Sim
Developer: ECi
Publisher: DSI Games
Release Date: 07/02/2008

1 Vs 100 is one of those newer style TV game shows ushered in after the success of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. These things follow a formula: contestants are given a long time to answer a simple trivia question (often multiple choice with the option to cheat in a couple of different ways), and the fun of watching comes mostly from watching people who got too greedy get what they deserve.

Me, I like Jeopardy.

Anywho…

Let’s get on with a review of this thing.

Story / Modes
You get the standard mode and “mini-games”, which are basically just slight variants on the standard mode. If you haven’t watched the show, it works like follows. You and a “mob” of 100 people are asked the same multiple choice trivia question. If you get it right, you move on to the next round, along with everybody else in the mob who got the question right. Each time ten members of the mob are eliminated, your winnings increase. Eliminate all 100, win a million dollars. Get a question wrong and you win zero dollars. You can stop at any time. You are given three lifelines helps along the way. “Trust the Mob” automatically aligns your answer with the most popular answer in the mob. “Ask the Mob” selects 2 mob members, and tells you what they picked; one is right and the other is wrong. With “Poll the Mob”, the last help, you get to select one of the answers and see how many people in the mob picked it.

The two other modes are “1 vs. 100 poker” and “Temptation”. With the former you are given trivia questions and the option of betting 1, 2 or 5 thousand dollars on your guess. You play against the computer. Whoever has the most money after 10 rounds wins.

Temptation is similar, except that you are given a category first and prompted to select a bet of 1,2 or 5 thousand dollars. Whoever places their bet first gets first crack at the question. So basically, you just have to hit any dollar amount first in order to win this thing.

Graphics
The TV show is hosted by foulmouthed father of Baby Michelle, Bob Saget. The DS game is hosted by a Virtual Bob Saget. This simulacrum has a creepy Polar Express vibe to him. The mob doesn’t look as good as you would expect 100 tiny people simultaneously rendered on a DS screen. I notice a few similarly dressed people.

Sound
It has all the music of the television show and the real voice of Bob Saget. Although, Virtual Bob only says about 6 different things that you have to hear over and over and over.

Control / Gameplay
The answers show up on the screen. You tap the right one with the stylus. Nothing wrong with that setup. Unfortunately, using the d-pad to select answers only works for the so-called mini-games and not for the game proper. This is despite what it tells me in the manual.

BAD Bob Saget!

Replayability
The game doesn’t reward you for playing it well. There is nothing to unlock. It doesn’t keep track of high scores or anything of that sort. The best thing this game has going for it in terms of replayability is that at no point can anything be accomplished.

The worst thing this game has going for it in terms of replayability is that questions are drawn at random. This means you can get a couple of the same questions in consecutive games. Hell, I once got asked the same question twice in a row in a single game of 1 Vs 100.

Balance
In short, the balance is crap. The questions are supposed to get harder when more members of the mob are eliminated. This is generally not the case. I’ve often started a game with the hardest question, and moved on to much easier things.

Originality
Surely, this game is the only thing around that allows you to answer multiple choice questions!

Addictiveness
All right, this game gets tiring fast. You have to wait for the virtual mob to pick their answers before you get to pick your own. There is a big dramatic pause before the proper answer is revealed. After you get that right, Saget asks whether you want the money or the mob, meaning walk away or play some more.

I don’t get to keep any of this money. The game doesn’t keep track of how much virtual money I win. There isn’t even a high score board. Why would I ever choose to walk away with the money?

So, basically, you play the game, mashing the B button trying to skip through all of the draggy routines and procedures of this style of gameshow, waiting and waiting to win a virtual million dollars, while the computer keeps asking you if you want to stop playing it.

Eventually the answer is a resounding, “Hell yes, I want to stop playing this thing.”

Appeal Factor
I guess this show has an audience, but I can’t imagine that it is one that is clamoring to play the home game.

Miscellaneous
My wife plays the games I review. She said that she would pay 10 bucks for Shining Stars Super Starcade. She says that this thing is worth about three.

The Scores:
Modes: Below Average
Graphics: Mediocre
Sound: Decent
Control/Gameplay: Decent
Replayability: Bad
Balance: Bad
Originality: Bad
Addictiveness: Bad
Appeal: Decent
Miscellaneous: Bad
Final Score: POOR GAME

Short Attention Span Summary
There is really no reason to play this game. It is not particularly fun, and it is a little broken. If you do manage to win the virtual million dollars, virtual Bob Saget congratulates you and the crowd applauds. That’s all that happens. It’s not nearly as exciting as the jumping card solitaire celebration. Solitaire provides much more fun than this game, and costs 20 dollars less.

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