If we ignore the bugs, the clunky UI and Bad AI, Stardrive is still Very Shallow...
The only somewhat complex game feature is the ship design.
It does have very appealing visuals.
The races are pretty and visually appealing, the achievement of which seems to be a huge challenge for 4x game devs..
If Distant worlds looked so pretty it would become much more popular.
The research is boring, the politics and espionage is boring, not enough control over your fleet...
I can't see myself playing this for long even if the AI becomes challenging.
I know there is a single dev and he does not require a full game price for his efforts but I dont see a reason to get this game.
Maybe if he keeps patching it and gets some more devs The game might become deeper and more interesting in the future.
Wanna write the name of two games:
Starfarer, that has been mentioned above, and Galaxial.