Got this game a week ago. I’ve been travelling a lot, and I kept steam offline, so the time played is very much an underestimate. I must have spent at least a quarter of my waking hours playing this game since I got it. I have never been so obsessed with a game. When I am not on the computer growing my colony, I’m on my phone looking at the wiki, so I can learn what to build and when. It is so much fun, and is so mentally engaging.
This is an excellent game. The first couple of hours are slow as you learn about the mechanics of the game and how to keep your colony alive. And you will continue to learn stuff probably until you’ve done a couple of play-throughs. But, once you have an idea of what you can do, you start seeing ten steps ahead. If I start this farm, then I can raise more pack animals and carry more stuff to sell, and then, with enough silver, I can buy that component that I need, so I can do X, etc.
The planning is half the fun. The other half is dealing with the complications that get thrown your way.
That is the key factor to this game that no one can truly understand until they begin to play it. This is a story-generating game. In my first game, even on easy, so much stuff happened both interpersonally, between different tribes, and with mad animals that I was able to talk to my best friend (who doesn’t play/know the game) about the stories it generates. I will literally text him daily updates: the technological progress I’ve made, the drama of who’s sleeping with who, how I demolished a raiding tribe with my autocannons. And he loves it all. That is how intense the stories are that this game develops. It is even fun to hear about second hand.
UPDATE: I loved this game and still love it 4 months later.