Repixture tries a lot of stuff, and has a number of good/interesting ideas:
Replacing the crafting grid with a list of items
NPCs that you can trade with
The ability to apply 'perks' to your equipment
Achievements that encourage the player to try out the game's features
...so why is this a negative review? The reason is simple: This is a game that wastes your time, constantly, for no good reason. This is visible in many of the game's features. For instance, many crafting recipes require plant fiber, which is made from grass, which you can break by punching. But due to the long 'cooldown' before the player can pick items up, you can't just mow the lawn as you travel. You have to break grass, wait a second, then pick walk over to it up...and then craft it into fiber. This also begs the question of why the player needs to manually put materials in a 'crafting inventory' if crafting is handled by a menu.
A more serious example is the game's dig times. Breaking a block of wood with your hand, which you must do to get tools, takes 3 1/2 seconds per node. Digging your first stone with a wooden pick? Almost 4 seconds. The highest-tier pickaxe, with an upgrade to its dig speed, will still take ~1 1/4 seconds to mine a block of stone. A game that wants you not to mine might do this, but some of Repixture's metal tiers take up to 9 ores per craft. The game wants you to mine, and it expects you to spend an excruciatingly long time doing so. And just to add insult to injury, the item pickup radius sometimes prevents you from picking up items you dug out of a wall. Instead, you must also break a block above or below and manually walk in to grab what you dug. You cannot prevent this.
It took a week to test this because the mining was causing serious wrist strain that forced me to stop repeatedly. For the sake of my health I will probably not play this game again, it's a shame to see a collection of good ideas wasted by a single very bad idea.
As for pickup: Yeah I noticed it too, it's indeed kind of annoying to mow down grass like this. When I think about it, there's not really any good reason for this.
This also begs the question of why the player needs to manually put materials in a 'crafting inventory' if crafting is handled by a menu.
Because the player still needs to choose which items to spend. This is because of group-based recipes. Letting the player craft directly from the inventory has the downside is that the player might accidentally "pay" items they didn't want to use. E.g. for sticks, do you want to use your oak or your birch planks? It would be possible for the game to just pick the first available item from the inventory, but will have unintended and potentially hazardous side-effects for the player.
As for digging time: This is kind of intentional, the game is supposed to have a slow progress, and a low-tech tree. That having said, you have a point that the best tool is still too slow.
One of my ideas I have is to increase the depth of the game without increasing complexity. I.e. keeping the basic rules the same, not add new game mechanics, but extend those that exists. This would basically boil down to more ores, more foods, more ways to trade, more structures, more animals, etc., all without adding any major gameplay mechanics like hypercomplex enchantment systems, EXP, etc. Also improving the underground in general, because only stone and ores is too boring.
About wrist pain: You'll have this problem with all Minetest games that involve a lot of digging, actually. I think a solution would be to add an autodig mode into Minetest so you don't have to keep the mouse button pressed all the time.
But don't get your hopes too high up. I am currently busy with many other projects, I probably won't do major improvements for a long time, only bugfixes. Repixture is not high on my priority list at the moment.
You'll have this problem with all Minetest games that involve a lot of digging, actually.
Wrong, it's just this one. I've played almost every game listed on CDB, and a number of mods as well, but wrist issues are very rare outside of Repixture. This is why I pointed to the obvious issue--the fact that the dig times are tuned in a really awful fashion. If you're looking to make a slow tech tree, you'd be better off making progression more complex rather than simply turning the dials up. As it is, it doesn't feel "low-tech" to dig slowly, it just feels bad. There are better examples in MT already, such as NodeCore or the RealTest Game (and oh hey, look who re-released that one). These games don't resort to making you sit around holding the mouse down for minutes at a time to progress, they force you to work through more steps and gather a variety of materials to get your result. That's how you do a 'harder' tech tree.
Just jumping in to say that Hughes is spot on on the timing problem, playing repixture feels tedious and slow because of the long dig times. This coming from someone who saw the birth and knew the author of the original game, this is not the direction it should've gone iirc.