Netflix’s Triviaverse lets you play quick rounds of trivia alone or with a friend

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Netflix’s trivia is a new “quick-hit trivia experience” rolling out on the streaming service Tuesday. Games are fast, usually under five minutes, and you can play alone or directly with someone else. I have to check it out before Tuesday’s announcement, and I think a lot of people will load it up for fierce trivia contests with loved ones over the holidays.

This is how it works. Guided by your host, a mysterious pair of ghostly glowing eyes, you choose whether to play alone or against someone else. Each round features an increasingly difficult set of trivia questions, and you have one minute to correctly answer as many as you can. You will be tasked with solving trivia in a lot 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 when you play with one or two people

The answers are displayed next to a virtual D-pad and you choose the one you want by pressing your controller or keyboard in that direction, clicking it with a mouse or, if you’re on a touchscreen device, clicking the answer directly to tap . The more trivia questions you answer correctly, the more points you score, and if you get a series of correct answers, you earn more and more points.

The rules are slightly different if you are playing with one or two players. On your own you do three rounds of one minute. With another person, you each do two one-minute rounds, one at a time. Playing on a TV means your opponent can see you trying to guess correctly, which increased the stress and competition when I played a round with my wife.

At the end the game counts your score. In single player, you get a title based on how you performed against a series of ‘challenges’, which are just increasing numbers of points. (I’m, of course, a fan of the “Shockingly Average” title, which features a gaping face emoji.) In two players, you don’t get the title – just bragging rights. But if you tie, there is no tiebreak; the game just encourages you to play again.

It’s Netflix’s next step in gaming

trivia matches have a minimal set up (you can even skip the intro!) and picking answers is quick, making it ideal for a few rounds of trivia on your own or big trivia battles with your friends and family. But like Netflix’s other interactive titles, trivia doesn’t work on a handful of devices (including the Apple TV), so if you want to try it out get yourself some who can actually play it.

trivia highlights the latest interactive title on Netflix (remember bandersnatch?), but it’s also the service’s next crack at trivia tracking Trivia Quest, a 30-episode daily trivia series released in April. It also represents the next step in Netflix’s growing gaming ambitions, including a growing catalog of mobile titles and explorations into cloud gaming. I think the fast nature of trivia could make it a hit, and depending on how successful it is, we might see similar lightweight games come to Netflix in the future.

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