This game delivers on all of its promises- but is frustratingly difficult to play "as intended".
This review is pending a rewrite, 2021-10-25. My opinions of it have changed a lot since I first played it. It was initially more scathing.
Pastebin for the old review here: https://pastebin.com/pb7tcRFg
I played this game for nearly 5 hours straight and accomplished almost nothing. Got very frustrated with the early-game systems.
This was surprising to me- I normally take to minimal-instruction games like "The Witness" and "Understand" (as mentioned in another review) quite well- I've played both.
The next 5 hours, I focused on finding metal ores. They were very difficult to find, but I managed to get about ~15 "prills" (the basic unit of metal)
The game sped up massively after metallurgy. Forging metal tools not only speeds up the game, but unlocks most of the "interesting" content- Machinery, light logic, all of that.
I went from 15 prills after 10 hours over two sessions to having 40+ spare prills in between building machines to make my in-game life easier.
However, this review is still a tentative "Not Recommend" because it was near impossible to play when played as intended. The intended way of playing is without spoilers, discovering everything through experimentation, with the hint system being pushes in the right direction. This sounds good in theory, but the implementation is severely lacking. Even the (unofficial) game wiki is no help past the "wood tier" of technology. I found more help reading the game's source code, and found that it gave me hints without making the intended action immediately obvious.
This game is really good- but the good part is hidden under a lot of blind trial and error. It needs work, but the core (heh get it) is solid.