I have an Oculus Rift DK2 and found out about this game because I went to the developer's Website to check out information on "Lucky's Tale". It's a Virtual Reality only platformer they're working on. I found this there and decided to check it out, and no, it does not currently support the Oculus Rift. My interest in their other title got my attention so I decided to try this one out.
This is a Minecraft clone obviously. In fact, it's probably a little too similar to Minecraft. Anyone who says it's not like Minecraft is a liar. I'd go so far as to say that this is what an early Beta for a Minecraft sequel might look like. The textures are nice, the critters and your avatar are not blocky, and the mechanics work well. Lots of things work pretty much exactly the same way.
This is a beta and it's far less complex than Minecraft right now. That's no supririse but it's got potential, even if it's not really doing enough to separate itself from MC.
The crafting and resource gathering system is a bit more complex than in Minecraft. I found myself gatering items that I would have ignored in Minecraft and hoarding them away because pretty much everything is useful in making something. I also found myself hunting wildlife more often because you need at least one component from some sort of critter to make pretty much anything. Crafted items have more components than similar items in Minecraft do. The compexity of the system is nice, but crafting is ultimately the downfall of this game. More on that later...
You're able to jump higher than in Minecraft, able to clear two blocks rather than just one. This is nice and makes manuevering much easier. Your character feels much more agile and this carries over into combat as well. Jumping around enemies is easier to do and feels less stiff than in Minecraft. Overall movement does feel smoother and more fluid.
Another great thing this game does is the teleporter. You start with one that you can set anywhere and have a teleporter crystal that allows you to travel to that point instantly. This encourages exploration as you can always just go off in any direction, explore any cave, or wander aimlessly without worrying about whether or not you can find your way back to your home base or not. It would be nice if there was a Diablo style return teleport gate generated as well making it easier to drop off items, check on pending crafing items, and get back to your exploration easier.
I do like the beacon to where you last died as well. It's a nice touch and makes retrieving items easier to do when you do die.
Mining is a little different. Rather than using axes, pickaxes, shovels, and such you use a sort of sucktion glove. It does not work on everything right away and you need to upgrade it with power sources that are crafted from common objects. It works pretty much the same way as they degrade with use, but it's nice to have one tool for gathering everything freeing up hotkey slots. On the other hand, you have fewer slots and are limited to six hotkeys, plus two dedicated keys for switching between a weapon and your gathering tool. It works and I really haven't found myself wanting more.
Ores such as iron and obsidian can't be mined with your glove. You need a special item that must be crafted to mine blocks of certain ores. It's a one use item and you must craft replacements and carry them with you. One of these items will break down one block of ore, and it also takes a little while. There are several quality levels of this item and higher levels yeild more ore and take less time to break it down. It's also one of the items that takes a long time to craft.
On a sour note this game has microtansactions. The game has a points system where you buy points and spend them on things within the game. The store is relatively harmless, you can buy items and recpies for stuff you can't craft in the game otherwise. I'm cautious of this because it's a Beta and microtransactions are already there.
Most of it is cosmetics like stained glass windows and fireworks to play with. Nothing serious, and not a pay to win scenario. So far you can craft everything you need within the game and can make any structure you feel like without bothering with spending any cash. The things you can buy are either items you can gather easily by playing the game, or stuff to make what you build look a little fancier.
I don't mind that sort of thing in a game at all. I'm not likely to spend money on them myself, and I don't care if someone else wants them. As long as it doesn't interfere with playing the game, microtransactions are perfectly fine with me. It kind of does with this game, but it's not a huge deal and can be worked around. It's definitely the low point in this game and it's extremely tacky.
They beefed up the crafting times for items to get players to use a "Finish Now" button in the crafting menus. For example, take the item Stone Floor. It creates a block of flooring to be used in building. Inside the crafting table menu there are eight slots. You can craft eight items at a time, one group of eight Stone Floor blocks takes up one slot. If you fill it up you can create sixty four blocks at a time if you use all the slots for that type of item. Creating sixty four blocks takes 40 minutes. This is a roughly mid grade item and it takes almost an hour to craft. Higher end items take even more time, I've managed to get a 2 hour craft time so far.
Not every object takes so long, a lot only take 3-4 minutes for a full batch, but several items must be refined two or three times to get a specific item. Stone Rods is a good example. You take a stone block, refine it to a stone slab, and then refine it again to get stone rods. That means it takes about seven minutes total for a low level base crafting item.
That said, crafting tables are easily made and you can have several. I highly recommend that you do so with this game. The inflated times were obviously meant to get you to hit that "finish now" button. It's a low tactic and needs to be removed from the game with more reasonable craft times implemented. That's my only real complaint though, well that and the fact that I've got five crafting tables in my player home.
Overall the game is fun though. It's a shame that you either have to spend money or keep a row of each crafting machine in your home. It's the biggest weakness of this game and the crafting times and pay to speed up needs to be removed from this badly. It'll do more to hurt the game than help it in the future, and I for one will never spend a dime on it.