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HQ Trivia for Android hands-on: Buggy but fun!

HQ Trivia hit iOS in August 2017 and became a viral hit quickly. The Android release came late New Year's Eve. We go hands on to check out the game, show you what's it's like, and whether or not it's worth playing.

Published onJanuary 1, 2018

HQ Trivia featured image for real

HQ Trivia hit the scene in August 2016 on iOS. It quickly garnered viral fame with thousands of participants all around the world. The game launched on Android last night just in time for their New Year’s Eve special edition. The app is technically in early access beta. Thus, the presence of bugs should shock nobody. We decided to do a quick hands-on to show you what it’s all about. We have the video linked above if you’d rather watch than read! It’s also here on YouTube!

HQ Trivia - how to play

About the game

HQ Trivia is a hit quiz show game from the original creators of Vine. It launched on iOS back in August 2017 and quickly became super popular. Games often have well over 100,000 people. The New Year’s Eve game had over half a million participants at one point. That’s fairly impressive for a live game show game that’s less than six months old.

Games seem to take place every day at 9PM EST along with extra games at 3PM EST on weekdays. That means there are a total of 12 games per week. There may be the occasional special edition like the New Year’s Eve game. That means there aren’t a ton of opportunities to play. However, given that it’s live, it’s really not that big of a deal.

HQ Trivia question


For the uninitiated, here’s how this game works. You essentially participate in a live game show along with up to hundreds of thousands of other people. The host asks 12 questions and each question has a timer for ten seconds. Those who answer the question correctly get to continue while the others are eliminated. You do get an opportunity to miss a question and continue sometimes. At the end, the remaining participants split the pot. The pot range from about $1,000 to the $18,000 pot from New Year’s Eve.

Winning HQ Trivia gets you actual money. That money automatically transfers into your PayPal account a few minutes after you win. Of course, you do need to link your PayPal account to get the winnings.

That’s basically it. It’s simple. You log in a few minutes before the game, you play the game for about 15 minutes, you collect winnings if you have any, and then you turn it off and wait for the next game. There is nothing to do between the actual show times.

There is a mechanic to stay in the game after an elimination. You get passes if you refer people to the game with your referral code. Those passes let you stay in the game if you miss a question.

HQ Trivia paypal explanation

It’s a pleasant gaming experience

There’s a lot to like about this game. It doesn’t force you to sign into anything, really. It doesn’t have the kinds of mechanics that usually make mobile games suck. There’s no energy counter, no upgrades, no boosts, or anything like that. You can’t buy your way to victory. It feels like a game show.

When playing, it totally felt like I was sitting on my couch watching Jeopardy trying to guess the answers. Except in this case, I get money if I’m right 12 times in a row. That’s a neat experience and one that is totally unique to this game. HQ Trivia has no menus and aside from an FAQ, nothing to look at really. You just open the app at the right time, watch a dude talk, answer some questions, and go about your day. There’s no BS and, frankly, that’s refreshing.

HQ Trivia - another question

There are some bad apples, though

As per the norm, people can and will find a way to make this game not so fun. It is possible to cheat HQ Trivia with a second device with Google Assistant. It takes a bit of creativity, but you can get Google to answer these questions for you before the timer runs out. When you include that, bots, and all kinds of other stuff, it kind of kills the spirit of the game. That said, it’s not against the rules to play with multiple in the room with you and most games have fewer than a couple hundred winners. Thus, the problem isn’t so widespread yet.

About the only other issues are the bugs. The company is less than six months old. Games with tons of participants are going to lag or lower the video quality, even on the iOS. Some have even complained about being kicked mid game due to connection issues. The Android version is in early access beta right now. These problems should clear up in the future, at least mostly.

HQ Trivia featured image

Final thoughts

There really isn’t much more to say. The game is just that simple. Some have tried to extend the narrative beyond the game’s natural bounds or slam it for various philosophical reasons. However, at the end of the day, this is just a simple, fun, live quiz show game with cash prizes. That’s it. Don’t read too far into it, it’s really not that big of a deal.

The live host is a great touch and the promise of real money gives the game some tension. The lack of menus or any complicated mechanics gives the game an almost universal accessibility. The occasional connection issues and Google Assistant hacks aren’t great, but it doesn’t seem to affect things that much.

If you want to see a full game, I’ve linked a YouTube channel in the video description that archives old HQ Trivia games. You can see entire games from start to finish. I don’t know if it’s an official channel or an enterprising individual, but the videos are clean and you can see what it’s like. We’d recommend you try it at least once. It’s something different that you don’t really see every day.

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