Last time Notch competed in a Ludum Dare game jam, he made Minecraft again, only tiny. Also Zelda. And this time around? He, er, didn’t throw his unmistakable hat into the ring at all. But he coincidentally released a game that practically fits the theme – minimalism – to a tee on the same day the competition wound down, so close enough. Titled Drop, this one contains no traces of survival, blocks, or ill-timed creative blocks. Instead, it’s about typing, pulsing dance beats, Super Hexagon, and Notch’s home ceiling. Naturally, I’m expecting it to be the next Call of Duty.
In reality, Drop’s an exceedingly simple thing, but it’s fun in quick, couple-minute-long spurts. Letters spin roughly to the beat of a dance tune Notch put together (apparently, he’s been sitting on it for months, which is why he decided against entering Ludum Dare), and you typity type until you can’t typity type no more. The background, meanwhile, might as well be a level from Super Hexagon, and it distorts and misleads as letters pick up their dizzying pace.
It quickly becomes maddeningly difficult, though there’s not much in the way of curveballs – at least, that I encountered. Notch did hint that Fez’s ending was also an inspiration, so maybe it eventually spirals into sheer madness if you’re not completely terrible like SOME PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM [raises hand, immediately loses again].
I can, however, offer a little advice: the letters aren’t just random nonsense. Following along with the words you’re spelling out is both entirely possible and just about the only way to stay afloat for more than a few seconds.
So yes, have at it. No, Drop isn’t Minecraft 2 or 0x10seeitotallymadethisgamefunafterall, but it’s a nicely rhythmic little distraction that’ll leave you thinking things like “Gee, I’m feeling exhilarated I guess” and “What on earth does ‘drop visual gnostic question fractal’ mean?”
You should, of course, play all the other Ludum Dare games too. We’ll have more coverage on more of those soon.