Finally got to play with my wife and brother-in-law. The rules took about 20 minutes to walk through with questions and clarifications. It's easy to miss a few things while playing since many actions involve two or three things happening. Took us about 2 hours and 20 minutes to finish but much of that was fumbling through the first several rounds so I'd put this at about a 90 minute game with everyone knowing the rules and no one over thinking their turn.
I'd say while this is a clear worker placement game the unique use of different workers and significant variety of actions makes it unique within the genre. It hints at Anachrony but has more worker types and more actions. It is easy to drown amid the number of options you have available on a given turn.
The king's orders provide some direction while playing narrowing the reasonable options somewhat though deciding between building your engine and pursuing king's orders can be challenging.
Everyone enjoyed it including my wife who generally hates learning games but loves playing them once they are learned. She ended up winning as the attributes are the valuable for points and the rest of us spent a turn too long trying to engine build.
Great game in a small box for the price. Not a gateway game but when taking the jump from entry level games to the next level this might be on the heavy side of a good choice.