If you don’t like trivia games, move along; there’s nothing to see here. For those tho’ that enjoy the chance to flex their mental muscles and show off the extent of their general knowledge, then Hexaquest from Tumbling Heads could be just what you’re looking for.
Too often, trivia games are all trivia and not much of a game. Despite its hype and popularity, Trivial Pursuit (Hasbro) was in that category: its ‘game’ mechanic was really just roll & move, with players having little agency other than choosing the direction they moved after rolling the die. Not so in Hexaquest…
Aside from the various decks of question cards grouped by category, Hexaquest comes with a big bundle of plastic hex tiles. These are all double-sided so that they show a question category (identified by colour & cartoon) on one side and a points value on the other. To set the game up, the tiles are laid out at random in any pattern. Random layout means some will have the category face up and others will have the points value showing.
On your turn, you can take any tile that is unobstructed (ie: that you can slide out without dislodging other tiles). You and the other players can now look at the previously concealed side so that now both the category and points value are known. The player to your left draws the appropriate category card and asks the question that corresponds to the points value. The questions are all multiple choice with four options, but you could always step up the difficulty by choosing to play without offering choices.
Obviously if you get a question right, you win the tile and therefore that number of points. However, as we said, there’s a real game here – rather than just banking the tile, you can decide to push your luck and move on to take another tile and try for a second tile and then a third (three is the maximum allowed). This is a push-your-luck decision because if you get that second or third question wrong, you forfeit the tiles you’d won that turn.
In our plays of Hexaquest, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this simple push-your-luck mechanic was just enough to keep the game exciting without overly complicating game play – so this remains a game you can break out as an easy-to-play party game for pretty much any number of players, including those who might otherwise feign an allergy to board games.
There’s good variation in the categories, and we found there was a broad correlation between difficulty and points value: tho’ any question is easy if you know the answer and hard if you don’t!
Shown here on Board’s Eye View is a preview prototype of Hexaquest ahead of its launch on Kickstarter on 10 November. Various expansion packs are promised offering more different categories of question and the embroidered bag is going to be offered as a stretch goal. You can find the Hexaquest page on BGG at https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/348732/hexaquest-strategic-trivia-game. And click here to check out the KS campaign.