The push toward online integration in video games has certainly helped to make gaming a less solitary pastime. But even with services like PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, this integration has been more of a progression than an evolution. The benefits of online services on consoles obviously can’t be discounted, but how players interact with one another hasn’t moved much since the Atari era.

It’s appropriate, then, that this precedent puts the Xbox Live version of “1 vs. 100” into a unique situation. It’s an adaptation of the popular game show, but “1 vs. 100” is considerably more ambitious than a typical port.

The rules are largely unchanged from its broadcast counterpart: One player, known as “The One,” faces off against 100 other players, or “The Mob,” in a series of trivia questions that become more difficult as the game progresses. “The One” knocks out players in “The Mob” when answering questions correctly and earns progressively larger amounts of points depending on how many “Mob” members they knock out. At the same time, if “The One” answers incorrectly, “The Mob” gets to split what “The One” would have won among themselves.

As staid as it might sound, “1 vs. 100” leverages its platform to make the standard trivia game — something usually relegated to Damon’s restaurants and the occasional backwater sports bar — into something considerably more eengaging.

For two hours every Friday and Saturday, the game features live sessions where players can compete for actual prizes, ranging from Microsoft Points to free Xbox Live Arcade games. Players not selected as “The One” or part of “The Mob” can still play as “The Crowd,” where they answer questions alongside either group. Depending on their performance, these members can become part of “The Mob” or “The One” in subsequent rounds.

During these sessions, the game also features a live host, who offers color commentary on the games and interacts with the audience. Throughout the week, the game also holds regular exhibition sessions during the evening that have players answering trivia questions as part of “The Crowd.”

The enormity of the sessions works especially well as a demonstration of the potential of large-scale gaming. Player counts consistently break the 10,000-player mark — the live sessions regularly bring in between 16,000 to 20,000 players — but unlike most similarly sized games, you’re directly competing with all of those players.

For the most part, every player starts off on equal footing — the performance measurements that get players into either “The Mob” or “The One” reset every week, so everyone gets a chance to win prizes. With this, there’s also something intrinsically compelling in knowing that your competitor base is as large as most smaller state universities — the idea that players can face off against so many people and actually stand a chance of winning something makes the game feel especially compelling.

Admittedly, the beta status and casual bent of “1 vs. 100” limits some of its potential. First-person shooters like “MAG” and “Resistance 2” for the PlayStation 3 tout multiplayer matches with 256 and 60 players, respectively, and benefit from those larger player bases. By comparison, use of its player base in “1 vs. 100” feels somewhat unsatisfying — players can track their lifetime and in-game performance, but they aren’t given much weight beyond that.

To its credit, “1 vs. 100” knows its niche and fills it with aplomb. From the replicated set to the ambient music, it’s the closest to an actual game show that most players are likely to get to. By making the most of its ridiculously large player base, though, it takes the usually conventional mechanics of the game show and makes them into something fresh.

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