Netflix’s Triviaverse is a new “quick-hit trivia experience” that will begin rolling out on the streaming service on Tuesday. Games are fast, typically under five minutes, and you can play by yourself or head-to-head with another person. I got to check it out ahead of Tuesday’s announcement, and I think a lot of people will be loading it up for fierce trivia competitions with loved ones over the holidays.
Here’s how it works. Guided by your host, a mysterious pair of spooky glowing eyes, you’ll pick if you’re playing solo or against someone else. Each round features an increasingly difficult series of trivia questions, and you’ll have a minute to answer as many as you can correctly.
You’ll be tasked with solving trivia across a bunch of different categories, including animals, geography, science and technology, world history, sports, food, music, movies and TV, art, literature, and “miscellaneous,” according to a list of topics provided by Netflix spokesperson MoMo Zhou.
The rules differ if you’re playing with one person or two
Answers are presented next to a virtual D-pad, and you pick the one you want by pressing that direction on your controller or keyboard, clicking on it with a mouse, or if you’re on a touchscreen device, tapping the answer directly. The more trivia questions you answer correctly, the more points you’ll score, and if you get a streak of right answers, you’ll earn increasingly more points.
The rules are slightly different if you’re playing with one player or two. On your own, you’ll take on three one-minute rounds. With another person, you’ll each do two one-minute rounds, one at a time. If you’re playing on a TV, this means your opponent can watch you try to guess correctly, which upped the stress and competition when I played a round with my wife.
At the end, the game will tally your score. In single player, you’ll get a title based on how you performed against a series of “challenges,” which are just increasingly higher amounts of points. (I’m, of course, a fan of the “Shockingly Average” title, which features a yawning face emoji.) In two player, you don’t get the title — just bragging rights. Though if you tie, there’s no tiebreaker; the game just encourages you to play again.
It’s Netflix’s next step in gaming
Triviaverse matches have minimal setup (you can even skip the intro!), and picking answers is quick, making it ideal for a round or two of trivia on your own or large trivia battles with your friends and family. But like Netflix’s other interactive titles, Triviaverse won’t work on a handful of devices (including the Apple TV), so if you want to try it out, make sure you have something that can actually play it.
Triviaverse marks the latest interactive title on Netflix (remember Bandersnatch?), but it’s also the service’s next crack at trivia following Trivia Quest, a 30-episode daily trivia series it released in April. It also represents the next step in Netflix’s ambitions in gaming, which include a growing catalog of mobile titles and explorations into cloud gaming. I think the speedy nature of Triviaverse could make it a hit, and depending on how successful it is, perhaps we’ll see similarly lightweight games come to Netflix in the future.