I've spent considerable time using engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine 4. After spending roughly an hour with this software, following along with a video tutorial, here are some of my initial thoughts upon it.
Note: I only submitted this review with a "recommend" because I can't fairly judge its entirety based on only an hour of impressions. If I find anything else notable later on I'll edit this review and include it as well. Anything I misrepresent is simply a result of the engine not being clear enough to convey within an hour.
Since Leadwerks supports Lua scripting, it's a novice friendly engine to use. Lua is one of the easier languages to pick up, and many people can get by with just a primitive knowledge of programming
There appears to be quite a nice PlayerController script (among others) built in, which allows for a new developer to quickly get into their game and start focusing on mechanics rather than technicalities.
In comparison to UE4 and Unity, this engine is priced quite modestly. As it stands, however, EU4 still remains the cheapest and likely the most powerful. I don't feel I need to comment much on it's pricing, as you can deem from this review and others if it's worth the cost. I personally purchased it while it was on sale for a third of the price. Even its full price isn't that bad for what this offers.
Workshop integration allows for users to share their work with others, which I find to be a neat touch.
It has a ton of features that I haven't even begun to touch on, but this review is simply my first impressions.
The editor camera controls are horrendous. Having WASD move the camera position and right click to drag the rotation is similar to UE4, however even EU4 allows for a pivot camera with Alt + Left Mouse drag. The first thing I did was assume Maya camera controls, and was unpleasantly surprised to see there seems to be only one consistent way of navigating your camera around the scene.
When editing rotation, scale, position, etc, of an object in the scene, the orientation manipulator does not reflect the change in mode. This results in the user having to actually select the axis of rotation and drag accordingly, whereas any other software suite ever provides different widgets for each mode (Arrow caps for translate, Boxes for scale, Protractor for rotation, etc). While on this topic it would be noteworthy to mention I have yet to see a way to scale in all dimensions, resulting in the user needing to adjust XYZ scale independently.
Keyboard shortcuts: There seem to be none. Everything requires that you click tiny buttons on the GUI to use different tools (including Transform, Rotate, Scale, etc) which is exceedingly maddening after having ingrained these shortcuts into my head with every other 3D software package I've ever used. There is no good way of focusing on an object unless you click a small button on GUI or right click in the scene list and select "Go to". The functionality obviously exists, but is not implemented via any keyboard shortcut. Again, this makes simple tasks frustrating and tedious.
To my knowledge, Leadwerk's script editor provides no auto-complete or "intellisense" of any kind. While that sort of feature isn't necessary as long as there is a good amount of documentation, it sets it a tad behind other engines like Unity and UE4 which implement IDEs that incorporate it.
If you're looking at this software, you're likely looking into or know of Unity and Unreal as well. If you already own the full version of one of those, I can't imagine you'd find any compelling reason to buy this. In fact, if you have experience with other engines this might just frustrate you as well. The main issue I've had has been trying to use pre-existing knowledge about how I expected it to work based on other 3D software packages.
Honestly. I really wanted to like this. It was an inexpensive option and I bought it on a whim hoping to get something out of it. While I'll still continue learning to use the engine, I can't imagine it'll be my primary go-to.
I would, however, highly recommend this if you've never dabbled before in a 3D engine and just want to give the idea a spin. From what I've read and seen online, it's good for beginners and doesn't appear to have that steep of a learning curve. I would personally love to see this engine include features such as keyboard shortcuts (I find it funny that sort of thing has to be requested) among the others I mentioned.
TL;DR: Good for a new developer / Frustrating for anyone who's used anything else