***LABventures knows the builder genre, so I'm pleased by this very fun game! Highly recommended you give it a try. Special thanks to Playful for the early access codes for us to do this review! play to appear soon at https://www.youtube.com/user/LABventures***
As has been noted in the STEAM forums, his game is not MC, but you will find much that you love there, and much more that you didn't know you wanted! Try to forget what you know, and embrace that this is not a fantasy zombie crafting & building game, but rather a sci-fi tech-tree style building game. Also, just ignore the in-game currency purchase option for now, you don't need it to play and it is really just to speed stuff up that comes out pretty quickly anyway if you are a little patient.
NOTABLE COOL STUFF THAT WORKED FOR US
***The 'mining' tool that is permanently on your arm is the first clue that you are going to be doing sciency tech-driven stuff. If punching trees and storing 64 cubic meters of stuff in your pants ini other games never quite sat right then no worries - narratively you are using your portable teleportation device to store the patterns in your arm bands and thus not really carrying it around at all. Huzzah!
***The interface is very intuitive, and since you will only need 'basic crafting' for a little while, having it on a separate tab works.
***One of the best parts about the game is that the early explorative notions about 'what do I do with this?' is strong here, and you should get that initial rush you haven't felt in a long time unless you are into MC mods like AG Skies, or FTB. The learning curve is gradual though, and the game seems quite balanced, so don't panic if you hate or fear those kinds of mods.
***For example, you don't have to stumble to find and make patterns of sticks and stones on a 3x3 grid to make stuff, you just need to have the stuff available, and the right technology (like a crafting bench or extractor) and new options will appear! Crafting takes time to process though - so BE PATIENT. (Also this is where the game credits which can be purchased with micro-transactions come in, so you'd better learn to love this time-based crafting mechanic.) If you think about it, you've likely spent many hours of game time standing by a furnace waiting for something to cook or crafting a few thousand pick-axes and shovels in 'other games' - which you do NOT have to do in this game. The workload is simply shifted - it's all good!
***Always having a default weapon that you switch to with tab is also a huge win, and it really makes two-handed work seem as significant as two handedness in Skyrim, or when Bioshock 2 let you have plasmids AND weapons at the same time.
STUFF THAT DIDN'T WORK FOR US (BARRIERS)
***We were able to craft most of the early things very quickly, but some of the early items' needed like the 'wooden battery pack' were not intuitive until we realized that the tool for mining could be upgraded. Since every item has a (usually humorous) description, it seems like the early crafting should have built-in clues for what to do like "usable to upgrade your hand thingy!" or whatever. Once we figured out we actually needed a battery pack to upgrade, it also took a minute (and a happy accident of shift-clicking) to install it, and suddenly I could mine stone - a fundamental ingredient for other early stuff!
***Tied to this is that not everything is completely consistent unto the world. Mushrooms for example come in different types, and while the red ones grow on the dirt, the brown ones we needed are a texture 'in' the dirt (ie they are dirt) and I searched for a long time before figuring out that it's actually a REALLY common resource! This is critical, since it's a fundamental ingredient early on, and my game stalled for quite a while till that was solved and I stopped looking for something growing ON the ground.
***the extractor is a tad harder to navigate than other things. it boils down to the fact that your resources display but the output doesn't unless selected, reverse of the other crafting recipes in game.
***Jumping and falling took some getting used to for some reason. The jump is higher or faster than we were used to or something, and we confirmed that even though jumping feels like 'Chell from Portal,' falling from a great height is still a great way to die when trying to 'shift' crouch to the edge of a cliff. Turns out that's been mapped to 'c' now, and is a toggle that doesn't have to be held down. (Jury is still out on this, but leaning towards I don't like it since you have to turn it off again. That's two button clicks instead of one for those counting at home. Yes, I know it means you don't have to hold it down - but maybe I like to hold it down so I know what setting I'm in.); Also the right click (place block) does not repeat, that is - it won't place another block after the first one without clicking again. For those who have literally placed millions of blocks such as myself, this is a bit daunting since I see my click rate going up. Try nerd-poling up and you instantly see what I mean when you go exactly one block up and find yourself jumping like a fool then getting killed.
***Small stuff matters, so here's a few nitpicks: We couldn't get the wooden gates to open (server chat response was "there's a wooden gate?" - lol!); reach is 2 blocks not 3 as in others making wall building in a line slower; not sure if this is design or what, but killing a pigsy from even one block above means he can't hit you back.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ADDITIONS MOVING FORWARD
*Some patterns (like wood) would do well if placement was based on orientation since currently all wood planks point the same direction on top. Long a pet peeve of mine in other games.
*A "Craft All" button would be amazing! (Also the Queue is painfully short!)
*I'm not really sure how recipes and inventory are organized, but nothing stays in one place. I find that that block I thought I had is not where I thought it was, and everything keeps shifting. A toggle to turn these sorts of things on/off, and say toggle the c-button's function would go a LONG way. Heck, while you're at it just do a whole key-mapper function! I want my SHIFT key back.
THE (POTENTIAL) DEAL BREAKER
We get that a 'real-time wait' mechanic and 'inventory-based 'tech-tree' style recipe crafting' has been traded for the old MC 3x3 grid and trial and error and wasting hours crafting stone picks. We get that this game is playable without a wiki or a buddy helping and has good flow theory implemented (look it up). We also get the micro-transactions and that's how Playful will make money! We get that these payments are optional and those who buy this game now get early access plus 400 in-game credits (worth it!). We get that some people will want to pay to win...
My fear -- my worry -- my deep concern -- (AND NOTE THIS IS PURE SPECULATION!!!) is that the more advanced crafting will TAKE SOOOOO LONG... that the only realistic option is to pay to complete the crafting, and that the pricing on it COULD be so high that it becomes unplayable and non-viable at that point. If that happens, then I'm done and a very sad person. Dear Playful: DON'T PUNISH US FOR SUCCESS PLEASE! :-D