21DEC14 Update below.
Overall, I do enjoy this game, and probably had more anticipation for this than any other early access I've followed. So why do I not recommend this? Bullets:
- No updates! Years have passed and the game is still in a less functional state than their fictional tech demo.
- Current state is playable, but quickly reveals how broken it is. Terrible AI, limited functoinality of game mechanics, limited... game.
- Devs hate the community. Well probably not hate, but this is the crux of it. There appears to be absolutely no effort being made to update the game in an actual and meaningful way. When pressed for answers from the community as to when we can expect something new, the same canned response of 'we don't give deadlines' is the answer. That's fine after a few months, but not after a few years. The first major red light for me when nearly a years worth of dev updates were about how they spent a month and a half working on a new sound effect for an object that isn't even in the game, or here's a new soundtrack I've been listening to, or "Hey, we're going on vacation!". While glaring issues remain untouched and unaddressed. PR people are hired to quell criticism and silence community dissent.
-Devs are in over their heads. A lot of people will call them theives, or scammers, I don't see it as that. They are still around. They are still 'working'. But it really seems like they've all retreated to their little comfort zones, and feverishly work on silly little things like a sound effect to the exclusion of actual game problems. Why would they do this? Well, it seems pretty clear that they have realized they cannot handle those bigger problems, and just seem to be hoping they'll fix themselves tomorrow. Their production efforts are terribly misguided, and no one seems able to get the train back on the tracks. This is the main reason I think the community has given up on them. There are gracious ways out of this connundrum for them, but they seem completely unwilling to compromise, admit their shortcomings, and work with the community. For that they have failed utterly at making a game. A community college degree does not a game dev make.
- Build a big castle block by block, watch a nearly good physics engine crush it.
- If you give them enough money to keep the lights on, you get a t-shirt or something, someday.
I figured I would update the review considering how much activity the dev's have had lately. But it seems it was all just lip service. Over the last few weeks they've been shotgunning loads of update announcements, but the reality of the situation is those were all just announcements for one single update. That update itself was absolutely trivial, and seems to have added nothing of substance to the game. The devs constantly give the excuse of "reworking" and "redeveloping" engine components of the game, but these changes never seem to result in any sort of actual impact to the game. For all their bluster, a disapointingly little amount has changed, and all assumptions about them have been confirmed. This is just shameless PR propaganda.
The sad fact is, if you're the lunk head that invented a square wheel, taking a year off to invent an octagonal wheel leaves you as still a lunk head. I don't think I'll be revisiting this game until it's final release, whenever that may be.
Final thoughts for now: Stay away. With luck they'll go bankrupt and sell all IP to a competant developer.