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CULTURE  |  TV

Netflix’s trivia show ‘Triviaverse’ is uninventive and uninspired

Over the last few years, trivia has moved from the world of television and matches at local restaurants and bars to the internet, leading to apps like the TriviaCrack series, QuizzLand, HQ and countless adaptations of existing trivia franchises. While some of these apps proved to be very successful, just as many were failures This month, Netflix joined the competition by releasing a hybrid between a trivia game and an interactive show called “Triviaverse.” This is not the first time Netflix has ventured into the world of trivia — it previously released the “TriviaQuest” trivia series — but this is their first attempt at a truly interactive trivia experience (“TriviaQuest” showed questions but didn’t let players select answers) and is also part of a trend of them releasing games on their streaming platform.

Upon starting the game, the users must sit through the normal Netflix opening sequence, without the ability to skip to the game. Then, they are brought to the home screen, where they can choose between one or two-player mode. In the one-player version, there are three one-minute rounds with increasing difficulty where the player tries to answer questions as quickly as possible. The questions cover the full range of trivia content — history, literature, art, pop culture and science — and include both true or false questions and multiple choice questions with four options. There are badges awarded for certain scores and the game sets goals for your future scores based on your current highest score. In the two-player version, the game procedure is the same, except for there now being two players who take turns answering questions over two rounds, with the winner being the player with the highest overall score.

I found both the presentation style and the actual content to be very lacking.  Although the Netflix opening wasn’t long, it was still annoying to sit through and discouraged me from playing the game. What’s more, the aesthetics of the game, while visually appealing, were somewhat counterproductive — in pursuit of an outer space aesthetic most of the screen was a dark purple-black mix with questions in a small space in the middle. It would be much more preferable if there had been enlarged text and a greater color contrast between the answers and the background to aid in visibility.  

In terms of the trivia, it was personally too easy as there were almost no questions where the answer wasn’t quickly obvious. Additionally, the trivia content was too general and couldn’t be customized to only focus on certain categories or to exclude some types of questions. Lastly, the game itself doesn’t have any new technical features or quirks to distinguish itself from the existing games. What’s more, other trivia games are more enjoyable to play as they have generally better trivia and are optimized for the playing experience.

There are several changes to “Triviaverse” which Netflix could make to improve customizability and offer a better gaming experience. The first would be to add more trivia of varying difficulties and a way to choose between difficulties. I would also recommend a way to choose between the types of content players want to be asked about, like history, science, literature or pop culture. Netflix would also benefit from adding different formats and modes — for instance, a no-time-limit game mode where players answer as many questions as they want, and versions where players have to stay above a certain accuracy.would keep the game fresh and allow more replayability. Together, these changes would put “Triviaverse” on an equal footing with the other trivia games and make it something people would play, keeping it from being just another unplayed Netflix game and unsuccessful trivia experience.

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