When I first caught wind of Markus "Notch" Persson's latest game, called Cliffhorse, the first thing I thought was, "Is this a joke?" As it turns out, it is a joke, and personally, I think it's a pretty good one.
"Early Access" games are common, and it seems that everyone has an opinion on them. Personally, while I can appreciate their purpose, I'm not a big fan. There's such a big risk that a game will go unfinished (which has happened), that I am not sure I'd ever want to back a title being developed by a small company. In perusing the Web, I know I'm not alone.
It appears that Notch feels the same way as well. After spending two hours in the Unity game engine, he created Cliffhorse, a game that has you roaming mountains as a horse with the main goal of pushing a ball around. Clearly, the game has some serious potential for thrilling gameplay. Who can even care about E3 after such an unveiling?
As if the game wasn't intriguing enough, Notch is only accepting payments via the Dogecoin virtual currency - the same currency that last month sponsored NASCAR driver Josh Wise for two races.
Perhaps the most humorous thing about the idea behind Cliffhorse is the fact that Minecraft itself was an early access title - it just happened to be early access before that term was used for game development. Given the raging success of the game, though, it'd be hard to use it as an argument against Notch's intentions here.
While Dogecoin is required to pay for the game, Notch allows anyone to download it on the main website. I tried it out, and it gave me a genuine laugh. If there's a downside, it's that it's Windows-only, and it seems likely that it will never receive an update. We can only hold out for a Cliffhorse 2.