This game feels a lot like Civ IV, however it seems to go into more detail. The game is a space turn-based strategy game with exploration and diplomacy elements.
The game blows you away with the level of detail it provides, however after the initial confusion and a glance at the help screen it becomes fairly simple. You start with a planet, you have a limited population. You use the population to build buildings for food, prosperity and research. You can zoom out and build things that orbit your planet, too. Once you have a shipyard you can build ships, and the ships can be customized with different modules you have researched.
You have research trees that allow you to research new things to build, and you can also make relations with other alien races. Depending upon which race you choose to be and what other races there are in your galaxy you can win the game in different ways, although winning doesn't mean the game ends. In my first play-through I was named ruler of life, the universe and everything simply because I didn't declare war upon any other races. This seems a good tactic, because once I did they completely obliterated me.
The gameplay is varied and allows for many different styles of play, from befriend everyone to destroy everyone, the depth of customization when building planets and ships and in choosing research trees is impressive and keeps the game interesting. The GUI and graphics are easy to use once you learn what all the icons mean, the music is good, the 3-D view is relatively easy to control, and the help system is excellent (which is very important in a game with this many icons and this level of complexity).
You can travel through star systems and discover new places, leading to pretty much endless gameplay. And, of course, with the whole civilization building aspect there is good replayability.
All in all, the game is fun, well made and has enough depth to keep you entertained for a long time. If you like Civ IV then you will probably like this game. If you like turn-based strategy at all, chances are you will like this game. But if you aren't into turn-based strategy this is not the game for you.
Controls (GUI): 85%
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