It is the best game! The mobs are meaningfully challenging and the progression is rewarding. There are interesting settings to find and explore.
However, I don't see a tutorial or a user manual or documentation, so there are some things you should know before you start:
Thirst. You will become thirsty in this game. You can refill your hydration by standing still in water. Craft a canteen as soon as possible!
Pine trees. You can't make charcoal with pine trees, so if you start in a pine forest, look for another biome ASAP.
Torches burn out. You can re-light them by using flint and steel on them. This incentivizes making jack-o-lanterns early, but it's a big change to not be able to use torches to make permanent markers or make a cave permanently safe. Be aware!
When I figure out why my crops aren't growing, I'll update this review with that helpful hint as well. I'm sure it's something simple I'm doing wrong, but the soil is watered and there is sufficient light... EDIT: The crops aren't growing because the Mesecons conf file sets the farming stage time to 1 hr 40 min (6000 seconds) for some reason. The forum says that this works well on a server, but I'm playing single player so the crops just never grow. Recommendation: If you are playing single player, decrease the farming_stage_length variable in games/mesecraft/minetest.conf.
This may be a spoiler if there's an in-game explanation, but I haven't found one yet: Nether portals are ignited with Mese crystals, not flint and steel.
Thank you for your kind review and fair criticism!
A manual and more tips would be helpful for new players. We've been discussing that at www.mesecraft.com and are working on coming up with some ways to make the game more user friendly for new players. Crops are set to take a bit longer than they are in other games. They will grow, but they require some patients and probably alternative food sources until you are harvesting crops. However, in singlelplayer, this should still work. I haven't heard of it not working properly in SP. I set a higher stage time to make the game slightly more realistic in this regard.