I really want to like this game... But it feels like a chore.
I really do. I can tell that it's a labour of love, and deserves every positive review it has so far. I played it for almost 5 hours straight...
But I felt like I wasted my time.
This was my first Minetest game, and Nodecore's description, alone, was enough to convince me
to give Minetest a shot. Nodecore fits the bill of a game I should like very well.
The drive of the game doesn't come from having to survive or being forced to "do" anything- just the promise of deep, complex mechanics that are difficult, but fun to explore.
That sounds great! And the first 2 hours were a lot of fun! I spent it learning how to climb walls, follow the stars,
start fires and cut down trees. Minor spoilers ahead- they're necessary for the review.
But then things slowed down. I'll give an example: concrete mixing. I wanted to build a house, so I followed a hint: "mix dirt and ash to make concrete". I spend an hour or two trying to figure out what "mixing" is, only to give up and check the wiki:
Put dirt on top of ash, pummel the top, but also surround the ash so that it doesn't split into chunks
This incredible specificity, combined with the lack of any feedback as to what I was doing wrong, made it near impossible to figure things out.
Discoveries don't feel like a-ha moments, they feel like "wait... seriously?" moments.
It then turned out that following this hint did not help me at all. I can't pick up concrete after it sets. Before I can use concrete
in my house, I need to learn to transport water. Then I read a hint... "build a glass tank"... Rinse and repeat.
(glass tanks don't hold water, fyi)
It was like this figuring out rakes, wooden planks, wooden tools, metal... Just pure trial and error, accomplishing little of my original goal.
In short: This game explores some great ideas. It's convinced me that Minetest is worth my time, both as a gamer and as a programmer. But I can't see myself playing Nodecore again any time soon.