The team behind HQ Trivia has launched its next big game, called HQ Words, based somewhat on the Wheel of Fortune format, players will guess phrases one letter at a time while competing live against other players. December 23's premiere round was hosted by Rus Yusupov, who returned as HQ Trivia's CEO after his successor and fellow co-founder Colin Kroll passed away.
The new game is certainly a departure from HQ Trivia's often eclectic questions, but if you're familiar with Wheel of Fortune and Hangman, then this game will be very familiar to you.
What is HQ Words?
HQ Words is a game all about solving word puzzles wherein you guess letters to complete a word or phrase. As we mentioned before, it's sort of like Wheel of Fortune. It plays a bit differently, however, because unlike Wheel of Fortune, HQ Words has you competing against potentially hundreds of thousands of people at a time.
And if that's not enough, we don't have the luxury of turn-by-turn wheel spinning, so the pace of HQ Words is much more brisk than the old game show that inspires it. You have a limited amount of time to guess letters in each slot, and if you guess too many wrong letters, you'll fail. Guess right and you'll graduate to the next round.
Like HQ Trivia, HQ Words offers cash prizes to all who win. You'll see exciting-sounding cash prizes like $10,000 offered up on a daily basis, but do note that the prize is split between all winners, so don't expect much more than a few bucks if you happen to solve one.
How to play HQ Words
Players will open the HQ Trivia Android or iOS app at 6:30 PM Pacific Time — 9:30 PM for you East Coasters — to join the live game show after HQ Trivia at 6:00 PM PT. The game has 10 rounds, which will each have a different blanked-out phrase with a hint from the host.
Players will spin a wheel at the start of the round to get one letter of the phrase revealed. As each round's timer counts down, points will be awarded for selecting the right letters as you fill in the blanks and complete the word or phrase.
If you guess three letters wrong or fail to complete the puzzle, you lose. If you complete all 10 phrases, you share the day's prize money with the rest of the winners. If you're one of the day's three fastest winners, you get a larger part of the pot.
It's still early days with the new game, so there may be some changes as time goes on. For now, however, HQ's first attempt to diversify its offering is a good one, and I'm excited to see where it goes from here. As someone who grew up watching Wheel of Fortune at the dinner table, this game is tempting me something fierce.
Updated January 2019: This guide was updated with more background information on HQ Words.