On my first round through all the Game Jam games, I only spent a few minutes on this one because I thought that it was half-baked as I didn't understand the mechanics. After spending some more time with it, I can confidently say that this game has enough entertainment for at least a couple weeks. It contains enough elements for emergent gameplay and there are concrete objectives to achieve, with tangible rewards. Since the forum post tutorial is not complete (purposefully or otherwise), I had to look in the code to learn a little bit about how things work, but this may have been intentional to encourage the player to explore on their own. There were also some lag issues and some specific bugs, but overall this game could be as popular as NodeCore with some more polishing and additional mechanics.
While the idea has merit, there are several issues that detract from the game:
Text in the game is highly pixelated, making it difficult to read, especially in the shop. Furthermore, signs in the shop had backwards letters on one of their sides, making it even more difficult to find items.
When I first entered the build area, it was confusing to find the next step of the game, until I finally found the shop teleporter in small text at the side. I would suggest to put this in a more prominent space like the inventory screen.
The crafting grid doesn't work.
Dying resets the current build. It was quite frustrating to lose my progress on one of my trips to the shops because I disabled flying to get back to the build area. Also, dying gives the same number of coins as building a structure.
The shop area is crowded and difficult to navigate. Certain signs are confusing like the Stone sign that points to the Sands section. The move speed is also too slow for such a large area.
After a few repeats of the song, it gets obtrusive, and there are no other sounds in the game.
Textures are confusing and difficult to distinguish. Most of the time, I relied on the hud to know what block I'm looking at.
Digging blocks is not continuous. For a game about exact replication, it should be easy to dig/place blocks. Rather than only allowing 1 block to be dug with each left click, use a group that allows blocks to be destroyed with a short dig time.
Besides these issues, I found that the biggest thing that this is lacking is multiplayer integration, though that seems to be in future prospects. From what I understand, the game is aimed towards a younger audience, but these issues would stand in the way of reaching them.
This game is very challenging. It requires patience and attention to detail to complete. The difficulty suddenly increases with the midterm level, and the last couple of levels took me about 45 minutes each, spread over multiple tries. The visuals of the game put me in awe that this was accomplished in Minetest and the music was quite immersive. One frustrating bug, that I noticed was already fixed, is that clicking any node causes a crash with no level progress saved. Some models occasionally became invisible, like the stump on the Garden level. Additionally, the hud overlay for the stars overlapped the first number over "of" in 2 digit star numbers (Ex: 17 of 19). I liked that the time for each level was recorded, giving the player something to do after a first pass through all the levels, since the player definitely picks up some skill in climbing as a ladybug. Adding some kind of animation to the ladybug model would be nice to have. Also, it would be very helpful to make it clear which grass you can/can't walk through. Lastly, I occasionally got stuck in between plants, but there is a non-punishing restart function for that.
I was initially discouraged from playing a multiplayer-only game, but I highly recommend this game. It is very fun and there are enough mechanics and maps to prevent it from getting repetitive. Even with just 2 players, it's quite fun. I encountered no bugs except that certain movements on the slippery blocks didn't seem right. It's a nice touch to have all the items displayed in the inventory for quick reference.