Most of the negativity surrounding this game is based on its unrealised potential. And to be fair, Windforge is not a game that could be considered "complete" - there's numerous areas it could have done with more work, from story to the conspicuous lack of multiplayer.
(Ok, there's a pretty prolific bug that might kill the game before it starts up as well, but for the sake of argument we'll ignore that.)
But despite this, despite what it never quite had, Windforge is a phenomenal game, and it's a true testiment to its solid design that it still achieves what many other full games fail to.
Ostensibly, Windforge fits into the same genre as games like Terraria and Minecraft, but whereas those sand-box world-builders are divided into sections of "building bases" or "fighting badguys" (and very little inbetween) - your building efforts directly correlate to combat-success, because you're building flying bases.
This, coupled with a solid crafting system that never sees older materials being upper-classes by newer ones (Early-game Iron is often a component for more resilient later-game alloys as an example), the enjoyable combat and movement, with the added aesthetics of stunning visuals and an amazing soundtrack makes Windforge the sort of game you can easily sink tens or hundreds of hours into.
And it has to be said, Cordeus (the world of Windforge) is one of the best realised game worlds ever. Mechanically it gently encourage the player to up their game and rebuild their ship/gear through the environment alone. Falling meteors in the upper atmo? You might want to protect your hydrogen balloons then! Poisonous gas on the lower level? Pack an air purifier and/or breath aparatus.
It's amazing how the game can flip from platformer to near-lovecrafting survival from one zone to the next, though of course, a skilled player can often play around these, but it's nice to know there's the option to craft a solution as well.
I don't disagree that this game could have been more, but even with what you've got, it's a worthwhile experience.
So if, like me, you're looking for something different, give windforge a go, but if you want something that's highly polished and can be played with mates, maybe give it a miss.