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Virtual reality gets its first big-name early access title in Time Machine

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Time Machine is an upcoming virtual reality game developer by Minority Media, the company behind Papo & Yo. The game is only playable in virtual reality, and it's one of the most visually impressive games to be released exclusively for virtual reality.

And today it hits early access.

What's the point?

I've played an early build of Time Machine, and will give this version a shot later on in the evening. It's an impressive experience; the act of traveling across time while encountering huge animals in your hovercraft / submarine is hard to describe with words. But most of you don't have an Oculus Rift development kit, so the potential audience is going to be tiny.

That's part of the point, says Patrick Harris, lead game designer at Minority Media. "I want everyone who has a DK2 to check out the game … the whole reason we’re going to early access is we’ve got this awesome target audience, people who bought a [Development Kit 2]," he told Polygon in an interview. "People who bought a pre-release piece of hardware to check things out before the retail version is out."

In other words, these are people who are either developers themselves, or are enthusiasts who care enough about virtual reality to order unfinished hardware. They're going to be able to share insights and thoughts about the game's development, and they'll be able to offer thoughts on how well it does, or doesn't work in virtual reality. The potential audience may be small, but it's dedicated, which is exactly what a game like Time Machine needs before retail virtual reality hits in 2016.

"They have the equivalent of early access hardware," Harris said. They know what to expect from work still in progress.

The game will be sold for $14.99, but will be on sale for $9.99 for the first week. Today you'll be able to play two full levels as well as an exploration mode if you just want to fly around, and there will also be a free, 10 minute long demo to get a feel for the game, with new content released approximately every four weeks.