Hey HQ-ties! You know who you are! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you’ve clearly never participated in a game of HQ Trivia. HQ is a live (yes, live) trivia game show where players participate to win a cash prize. Yes, real American dollars. Think Jeopardy! but multiple choice. Think Alex Trebek but younger and funnier. And all of it in 15 minutes on your phone.
How HQ Works
Here are the basics:
- Games start at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST on weekdays
- On weekends, games start at 9 p.m. EST
- Every game has a pot of money in the prize pool
- Each game is 12 questions
- You have 10 seconds to answer each question from the moment the host starts reading the question
- Answer all 12 questions correctly to win a portion of the prize pool
The questions start off easy and progressively get harder. The topics range from history to music, from TV to medicine. If you answer a question incorrectly, then you’re eliminated from the game, but you can keep watching and play along unofficially. If you’re able to answer every question correctly, then you win the prize pool! If multiple players win the prize pool, then the pool is split among all the winning players.
The nice part is that you can ask anyone around you for help. The not-so-nice part is that if you win, then you may need to split your prize even more among your helpers.
Is It Really Live?
Yes, and it’s pretty easy to tell. First of all, the game has a chat feature that’s nearly impossible to read because thousands of people are typing something in at any given point in the game. One of HQ‘s hosts will call out players by their screennames as they scroll past in the feed. Second of all, the host mentions throughout the game how many people are still left playing or how many people got a specific question right or wrong. That can’t be scripted in a game involving live, real-time participation the way the questions or the jokes could be scripted. Third of all, during the Dec. 4, 2017, night game, one of the questions didn’t pop up onto the screen as prompted. The host stalled for a full minute, joking about how the question was “fresh from the oven” and needed to cool. The question finally did pop up, and we continued on with the game.
Is It Worth the Hype?
The biggest downside to HQ is the lag. Hundreds of thousands of players join every game, an incredible number for an app that only launched in August 2017. The livestream does lag from when it starts to about the second question, when players have left the app because they’ve already been eliminated from the game. Players have complained the lag has caused them to miss questions, losing their chance to win the prize pool. HQ says improving the lag is their top priority.
😔 We feel your pain. Trust us, it’s priority 1 for us, we’re on it! https://t.co/azemrGekru
— HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) December 4, 2017
Overall, HQ is a lot of fun and takes only 15 minutes of your time at most. If you love trivia, then you’ll love HQ. The variety in topics is great, and some of those multiple choice answers are really meant to trick you. Scott Rogowsky is a witty, high-energy personality, but he’s no longer the only one. Journalist Sharon Carpenter has joined the squad, and there are hints that more new faces will appear in future games. Right now, there’s quite a bit to be excited about with HQ, and it will be interesting to see where the app goes from here.
HQ is free to play for the iPhone. No Android version now, but one is currently in the works.