HQ Words app launches, hoping to revive growth after declining interest in HQ Trivia

HQ Trivia, first launched on the iPhone and iPad, and later rolled out to Apple TV, has seen its popularity wane since its launch in the summer of 2017. Intermedia Labs is now hoping that its latest offering, HQ Words, will restore growth …

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The live Wheel of Fortune style game emerged from beta last night, with the same basic format as HQ Trivia: games taking place at a specific time of the day, and cash prizes on offer. It can be found within the existing HQ Trivia iOS and Android apps.

TechCrunch explains how the new game works.

Players compete live to solve word puzzles by correctly choosing what letters are hidden. You can find the game inside the existing HQ Trivia iOS and Android apps. Host Anna Roisman pluckily provides a clue and then dispenses hints as the 25-second timer for each puzzle counts down.

If the clue is “gemstone” and you’re shown “_ _ _ m _ _ _”, you’ll have to tap D, I, A, O, and N in any order. Choose three wrong letters or fail to fill out the words and you lose. You’ll spin a wheel before the game starts to get one letter that’s automatically revealed each round.

Make it through ten rounds and you and other winners get a cut of the cash prize, with the three who solved the puzzles fastest scoring a bigger chunk of the jackpot.

HQ Words is much more frenetic than Trivia. Rather than picking a single answer, you have to rapidly tap letters through a combination of educated and uneducated guesses. That means it really does feel more interactive since you’re not sitting for minutes with just a sole answer tap to keep you awake. And because it doesn’t require deep and broad trivia knowledge, Words could appeal to a wider audience. The spinner also adds an element of pure luck, as a weaker player who gets to auto-reveal a vowel might fare better than a wiser player who gets stuck with a “Z” like I always seem to.

It will be interesting to see how the game fares, given it shares the two characteristics that saw interest in HQ Trivia drop off over time: the need to play at a specific time, and a share of prizes which diminishes as more players join.

If you want to play, open the HQ Trivia app and be ready to play HQ Words at 6.30pm PT/9.30pm ET, half an hour after the HQ Trivia game. The now-renamed HQ Trivia & Words app is a free download from the App Store.

Rus Yusupov took over as CEO of the company after the tragic death from an apparent drugs overdose of co-founder and former CEO Colin Kroll.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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