Craft The World is being advertised as a “mix of Dungeon Keeper, Terraria and Dwarf Fortress” which describes pretty well what’s this game all about. After starting a campaign (which can be considered a tutorial as well) or the more creative sandbox mode you try to make a dwarf colony flourish and grow.
You may control one dwarf directly or issue commands in an indirect way (similar to Dungeon Keeper). By digging for hours on end and occasionally fighting some mobs you get ingredients for construction elements, dwarf gear, food and tons of other stuff.
In the campaign mode, there is a technology tree so you have to craft a certain number of items before gaining the more advanced ones. I found it somewhat limiting because technologies are heavily connected to each other so if I wanted to research steel weapons I had to craft seemingly unrelated items first (e.g. sofa, grilled meat and paper). Also, iron ore tends to become scarce during mid-game. In freeplay mode you can turn off the tech tree and get new technologies by finding scrolls in the ground (which sometimes leads to having a recipe for a more advanced technology but unable to craft it because the lack of simpler ingredients).
A decent colony takes lots of time to build (even with the help of double speed option). Dwarves tend to be quite slow but their stupid AI is what’s making things even worse. Your minions gain levels in certain skills like mining or fighting (and you can give them additional trinkets to boost it) but there is no way to assign them to specific tasks. The game seems to do it at random and it’s really annoying to see your best smith cooking the dinner or a perfect miner trying to cut down trees.
Craft the World doesn’t have “biomes” like Minecraft. Three separate worlds are available instead (forest, snow, desert) which aren’t mere “skins” for the terrain but somewhat different in items, mobs, and gameplay. Music is quite annoying as there are only two in-game songs available: one “day” and one “night” song being played every time at sunrise and sunset. I had to turn it off.
If you have a lot of spare time and love crafting/building games Craft the World can be fun for a while. If the developers fix the AI/minion control issues it might become an even better game.