Given the types of heavier games I usually put out for review nights, I appreciate having a few lighter games that can be taught in 60 seconds and played in 15 minutes.
Enter Zero to 100 (2022, Scorpion Masqué). The game delivers because it asks the perfect kind of questions: with answers ranging from 0-100, each question is the sort of general knowledge inquiry that everyone at the table might know, but probably won’t know the exact answer.
Designer Antonin Boccara found about 150 approachable questions that will make players wonder silly thoughts then guess at an answer that will lead to some fun conversations.
Here We Go!
Zero to 100 splits players into three teams (or two, if there’s a small and/or even number of players) then gives each team six question cards. The cards have a question on the front, and an answer on the back that ranges from zero to 100.
To begin play, a card with the number 50 is placed in the center of the table. Then the teams look at their face-up questions and pick one that they believe will be answered closest to the target number, in this case, 50. Each team is also armed with three single-use “power cards” that allow an answer to be altered: a double-sided card with a +/- 50, +/- 20, or a “Spot On” card if a team feels their answer is within five of the target number.
Each team reads their selected question then flips it over to reveal the answer. The team with an answer closest to 50 wins the first round and is rewarded by removing their card from the game. (Win or lose, a team that correctly used its Spot On card gets to remove a card, which could result in a team removing two of their cards on a winning turn.)
Losing teams each draw a card to replace the one they got wrong in that round. The losing card that was furthest from the target answer is then swapped in as the new target number. The first team/player to get down to a single card wins.
What’s on the cards? I won’t spoil most of them because there are a limited number in the box. But one recent example: “How many countries are in Asia?” Faced with this as one of my questions, I looked at the current target number, 88, and wondered if my guess would fit.
I was wrong, so I had to take another card to replace it. This leads to a bunch of great moments, both from a learning perspective (“I should have known that there were ___ countries in Asia”) and from a table talk point of view. It’s fun to be wrong, but it’s funnier when another teammate gets to remind you that you are the big dummy at the table while they knew they had an answer closer to the truth.
Games of Zero to 100 never overstay their welcome. Even with a large group of friends, this is a 20-minute game. With just two players at the table, this could be knocked out in 10 minutes. (I found that out when I got smoked by my wife recently.)
Go Get ‘Em
Zero to 100 isn’t the world’s greatest party game; at our house, that’s still reserved by a mix of Codenames, Wavelength, Just One, and Ready Set Bet.
But it is a blast. As a 15-minute filler, Zero to 100 fits the bill for a wide range of audiences. This game would be exceptional at a family game night during a summer trip or the holiday season. It would also be fun as a teambuilding activity at work, or setting up a longer night of games with friends.
It doesn’t work as well at two players, though. (I played Zero to 100 five times before writing this review: once at two players, twice at four players, and twice at eight players.) There are still laughs to be had, but the game really shines as a party game.
One other minor issue: the limited 150-question deck means that repeated plays might give an advantage to players who remember the answer to some of the cards.
This game can be found for $10 at many online and brick-and-mortar stores. At that price, Zero to 100 is a no-brainer. Give this a look if you are looking to expand your party game collection!