There's potential here...but it's to be seen if it is braught out by the dev. So let's get to getting on with the impressions:
-=The First Time=-
I can't say this game made a good first impression. I loaded it up and made a new world...immediately i noticed the framerate was absolute horror..roughly 15 or less. So I decided to change the settings which leads to the first mistake: no ingame options to adjust graphical/audio/etc settings.
You have to set these when you start the game (a window pops up as you click PLAY on steam)...thats where the next mistake comes in: Lack of Quality Options. There's only HIGH and LOW for all the settings but the last one...where it's HIGH and VERY HIGH. As of note, i played on LOW settings for everything...it didnt change much.
That wasn't all though, I tried to play the game at a lower resolution (which tends to help framerate i've noticed, for me anyways) but when i changed the resolution, the game instafreezes upon loading leaving a black screen. Apparently the game plays only in higher resolutions from what i've found...the lowest i could get it to play was around the 12xx by 720 size. There's also no volume sliders or adjusters i've noticed...which is more or less a SIN in game dev 101. So roughly, a bad first impression...but i finally got to play (in 15 or less fps depending on stuff around me).
This is not a certain other sandbox game(s)...this is more focused on BUILDING than surviving. That and theres no actual threats to the player in the game as of this review...at least none that i've found.
Given i've had very BAD framerate, i cannot say for 100% certainty how fluid and responsive controls are..the only thing i can comment on is the crafting system, the building system and how the game looks.
Crafting: It's simple, but that's once you wrap your head around the interface itself. C opens the Crafting Menu with a split window; Left Side has 4 tabs with different type of things to craft (you dont get any indication of what those tabs hold until you look in them), on the right side is what you can make with what materials in your inventory. So if you have Palm Tree wood and you're looking in the BLOCKS, you can make Palm Planks (shown on the right side of the window). Here's the bad thing about the system: You can craft ONE at a time or you can craft from ALL of that material...the crafting runs on a timer depending on how much crap you have to craft (much like Starforge's system)...there is no inbetween. You can slowly craft one-by-one or dump it all.
While you DO get a TON of materials from beating up a singular tree or rock (which can warrent the Craft All button without worry) the time it takes to craft is unbearable...and it's made worse that you CANT EXIT THE CRAFTING SCREEN WHILE CRAFTING..unless you abort the crafting.
Building/Terraforming: This is the shining part of this game to me. Once you understand how the cursor works (it's a 2d Grid that shows how much you're building/breaking space-wise, the size can be adjusted with the mouse wheel from 1 to 4 to 16 squares) it makes terraforming and building easier to figure out. This system makes digging a flat surface into a hill-slope very easy compared to other voxel games (again, Starforge is FRUSTRATING to make a flat, non-wood/metal surface with raw materials like dirt). Making mistakes in your digging is not frustrating as you just aim the cursor grid into the whole, left click with dirt, bam.
In a sense it's an alternate version of how you place blocks in --insert certain other popular game here-- and it works great as far as voxel building games go. You just need to stop thinking this is --certain other game--. The downside to this system at current is the grid sometimes glitches and is on "something" close to your face that isnt really there...but is fixed immediately when you swing your fist/tool a bit.
How it Looks: Also it's high point....and it's low point. High because it looks fantastic on high settings (defualt btw)..low isn't as bad either. The low point comes with the fact that the framerate is utter crap...at least for me. I don't have the best PC ever, but it's good enough to run intense games like Deus Ex: HR, Dishonored or FF14:ARR at near 60FPS. The only time i get 60 on this game is if i look DIRECTLY INTO THE SKY....and ironically that's where i get a glimpse of how eye candy-tastic this game would be had i not suffered framerate issues. It's likely my PC isn't to snuff for this game but it could also be the game isn't optimised or it needs tweaking (specifically in it's graphics settings) to run smoother. I dont know how to work with 3D game engines so all things considered:
If you got a ♥♥♥♥♥in' PC, this game shouldn't be an issue as it is NOW.
If you dont (like me)...prepare for suffering in this area.
I came across one that crashed the game...it was odd but it occoured when i was looking under a boulder and there was this "blank" purple patch in the ground. I looked at it and the game died on me...i suppose i'll dub this "Looking into the Abyss" and boy did it stare back.
Aside from that, i haven't noticed any other glitches...though i've seen screencaps of people finding some (they're usually related to graphics it seems.)
-=So what do I do?=-
I personally DON'T recommend this game as it stands on 9/23/14...there is great potential i can see in this game, the problem is when it's brought out and if it's existing problems i've encountered are fixed or improved upon. This IS Early Access and it shows...but I want to see this game be its perfected vision, so i'll root for the dev to do his best.
As with all Early Access games there is no guarentee it will be finished and as the statistics go, there is a high probability you will "waste your money" on a Early Access Game.
BUY THIS: If you want to support the dev and like what you see NOW as far as the game is currently...not what it MIGHT be.
DO NOT BUY: If you don't like these types of games, a poor PC, thinking this is a replacement for a certain other crafting game, WANTING a replacement for said certain other crafting game.
SUGGESTION: Wait until things improve if you're not willing to fork $20 over on what is essentially a gamble (as it is for all early access titles.) It -will- likely cost more as it progresses to the "Complete" stage of life, but if it lives up to it's potential it will be worth it.
If you DO want to jump in now, then go for it...just be paitient and try not to be that ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ who sends death threats to developers who take thier time or adjust things in the game itself. If all pans out well, not only did you get the game cheaper than the others, but it would be worth the wait.