HQ Trivia has shown interactive TV can be as simple as a really well-executed game show. But as the prize pool has gone up, and more players have logged on, the stakes have gotten higher. So if you want to get to the end, or at least survive the savage questions, here’s what you need to know.
The basics are simple. HQ Trivia “airs” every day at 9 pm EST and has a weekday show that airs at 3 pm EST as well. You need to have the app booted and on your screen right at the stroke of the hour or you have to wait for the next show. It has twelve rounds, which get progressively harder, and which are presented as multiple choice. Pick the right answer within ten seconds and you’re good for the next round. Pick the wrong one, or take longer than ten seconds, and you’re done. You can get an “extra life” by sharing a referral code online and having friends download the app, but you only get one second chance per game. Whoever clears the final round splits the prize between them, which is now up to $5,000 a game.
The big twist is that every game has a “savage” question designed to cut the majority of players. Usually this is a tough piece of specific trivia, like which of three songs with similar titles isn’t by the Beach Boys, or the official name of a world currency. The savage question tends to arrive early on in the game, the fourth or fifth round, but it’s not a hard rule when (or if) it arrives.
As far as getting the last round, to some degree it’s a matter of luck. Much like bar trivia, the questions range widely, although they tend to stick to broad general knowledge. You won’t be expected to know the eighth loser of the field of 68 in the 2009 March Madness, for example, but final rounds have asked questions about everything from history to fish. Probably the best strategy is the classic multiple choice technique; rule out the answers you know are wrong and pick among what’s left. Generally, there’s at least one obvious airball among the questions, even in the last round, and ruling that out gives you a better shot of picking the right answer.
Oh, and finally? Keep playing, and if you get knocked out, keep an eye on how it unfolds. Like any game, practice makes perfect and besides, hard to knock learning a little something.