Dawn Of Crafting is an interesting game where you craft your way through a tech tree by using various tools and combining elements to create different recipes. You need energy to do pretty much everything, so you have to gather food and craft it into better food items. It's a neat little game that I would've played way more than I did if it had been a full paid product and not a free to play game with hooks to make you spend money into figuring out what you need to do to progress through the main quest. It's a bit grindy but otherwise it was really fun!
You start up the game with only a few things you can do. Simple recipes like peeling a banana (which recovers 1 energy) to produce a peeled banana (which recovers 3) and you have a few categories of things you can craft, like cooking. You raise your proficiency in these categories by failing to craft stuff. It's an interesting idea and it means that you always have to create more and more complicated items to get better, which makes sense. Recipes get progressively more complex and soon you have a minion to help you gather stuff. Rocks can be mixed with rocks to create sharp rocks that cut things. You can also make axes and hammers. The game's UI works fairly well, but sometimes I just wanted to place one item into a crafting slot by dragging it, and the game thought I wanted to place them all. You can multi-craft anything, but I'm not sure if you succeed or fail the whole batch and if it's a riskier move that way.
From time to time you'll have some random sidequests where you must decide if you want to help someone for an unspecified reward. I had one instance where the quest was quite difficult and the NPC kept pestering me until I had completed it, it was a bit annoying and I don't think the reward ultimately was worth it. You can also get texts with tips from other players of the game, and while they're helpful they should've been part of an in-game help section. As the game grows more complex, you need to master fire, clay, gathering branches, cutting them, skinning the bark from them, splitting it in two. All the while your tools lose durability, so you have to make more and you have to keep your energy up. It's a nice gameplay loop and it just gets easier as you get better tools and better at crafting. After a while your minion can gather specific items you require (although you need one, so don't get rid of all your rocks!) and this helps a lot. With random food drops in the form of animals, you never run out of energy either.
The biggest problem with Dawn Of Crafting for me is how after a while you require specific items, like a backpack, a well, even a house in order to continue the story. You have almost no idea of how to make them. If you're lucky, you know that you need item A and B, and tool C. You don't know how many of these items that you need, so you have three choices. Either you try every combination of items - which is very boring and tedious, or you build other items that require the same materials and hope this unlocks the info you need. The third option is to pay for special tablets that reveal information when you use them. I really wish this wasn't so. Instead of going through all that this game had to offer, I just stopped because option 1 and 2 were too tedious and not fun at all.
Besides that, Dawn Of Crafting is really interesting and I'm sure that it's full of other systems I didn't get to explore. The town building element, some kind of reincarnation element, fighting, etc. There seems to be a lot more to do - even if it's probably going to be the same gameplay loop stretched to eternity; which is fine by me. I only wish that this had been a complete, fun experience without the added IAP to ward off frustration.