First of all, don't be put off by my paltry number of Hours Played; I've been loading this game directly from the .exe (which is a thing you can do, and which more Steam games ought to do, I'm looking at you, Skyrim). Also, sessions that crash apparently don't get added to your Hours Played. Expect crashes, this thing isn't even in Beta.
*edit* Apparently they do count!
This Early Access offering is a good example of the way Early Access should be done - the game itself is only nominally functional - there is currently no save function, for instance, there are still many bugs and crashes, and the interface is undergoing constant revision. Many planned features have yet to be implemented, and the game itself could stand some optimization.
*edit* I'm testing the 'internaltest-' build which has, among other things, a save function. It crashes more than it saves, but still.
The value of an Early Access game is the opportunity to participate in feedback that will shape the direction of the game. Submit suggestions, tweaks, typos, bugs and playability experiences to the Devs. They've shown themselves to be very responsive, and actively solicit player feedback (on the Gaslamp Games forums), and the whole development process has been the model of transparency, with weekly Dev Blog updates and a Twitter presence.
Clockwork Empires has a lovely aesthetic, and great potential, but it's nowhere near finished. Wait for full release (projected to be ~9 months) if you want it feature-complete and polished. I'm in it because the Development Blogs are great, the Devs are active, and I enjoy contributing my 2 cents worth.
This is a game on the same shelf as Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria, Spacebase DF-9, et al. It's a city builder sim; there's no direct control of your citizens, who you direct largely by creating jobs and juggling priorities. The setting is a sort Victorian-era English colony; your soldiers wear red coats and wield muskets, your menfolk sport glorious handlebar moustaches, and your colonists (literally) gossip about things like the Monarchy. It's brass, elbow grease, laudanum, dodos, and cabbages everywhere. You already know if this stuff appeals to you or not.
Also appearing: fishmen, dark cults, insanity and ritual murder. Still in the works, tentacled horrors, secret geometry, and Lovecraftian modules for your Lumber Mill (!).
If you do get this game, get involved in the Dev side or you're missing a great opportunity; check out the blogs, read the forums, share hilarious stories about mass starvation and game-breaking bugs.
p.s. I forgot to mention cannibalism. Cannibalism is always hilarious. I don't know if fishmen count as cannibalism, but I'm pretty sure your fellow colonists do.
p.p.s Read the system requirements.