Great idea, just needs some direction
I was heavily addicted for the first 4 or 5 hours. It was a ton of fun to form up a base, dig deep, shore up the defenses, shore up the side caverns, etc. While I realize that the world is endless – well, there's just not enough reason for me to pursue this endless expanse. I have enough side caverns off my main deep staircase to explore, let alone wander 5 miles away just to do it again. Maybe I got spoiled and found enough Diamond in the first 10 hours to last me a while?
Total play time is about 10 hours so far. The problem is, I'm out of things to do. My bases look pretty nice – they have some glass columns built on them, roofs with skylights, have a bunch of chests, etc. Any bad guys I may run into aren't a challenge with my armor and weapons, there's not really a huge desire to seek them out either because whatever they drop doesn't do me any good. I've tinkered with growing plants as well.
I'm just running out of ideas here for this game. I don't mind the $15USD I paid for it because I can definitely see the potential. However, my imagination is starting to run out. I kind of feel like I'm playing Simcity with unlimited cash or World of Warcraft with unlimited health – there's just not enough challenge to feel like I'm doing anything but sinking time into the game. Spending 2 hours playing this game doesn't net the rewards that 2 hours playing another game will, because there's nothing else to see past a certain point.
None of it is a challenge other than stay out of the open world at night to avoid losing health (which will just take time to recover by finding items), or randomly mine your shafts for the chance to find high level ore than will do nothing but allow you to continue fighting the above mentioned monsters, or continue mining.
Yes, I can appreciate the creative qualities and the open world concept. But for once in a sandbox game, I just feel like I need more direction. More complicated crafting recipes with obvious rewards? More difficult mobs with drops? I don't know. The exploration concept has it's rewards but once you mine through a panel and find a big empty cavern, it's like.. okay big deal. The world is infinite after all, so this cavern with it's lava flow and waterfall (as pretty as it may be), isn't any more than you'd find elsewhere – and there's not much else to do in any of these caverns but check around for the rare elements, mine them, and then abandon them.
To me the game just feels like The Sims after you've spent a few hours to master the mechanics. It's fun at first, buying outfits, meeting AI friends, buidling your garden. Then you realize that a 4 story house is just a huge pain to manage and that your purchases and friends only equal slight mathematical bonuses that eventually just let you build another level to your mansion that you don't' need to begin with. In the end you're just inventing scenarios that aren't fulfilling and playing the "game" just to sink time.