I stumbled across this game on sale while I was searching for a casual game to take up a few hours. I noticed the sale price in comparison to the original and thought it desrved a look at. I watched a couple of youtube videos, to see if it was a title worth investing in, and after deciding to take the plunge I was NOT dissapointed. Safe to say that casual few hours turned into many, many more.
This game has enough complexity to keep you engaged for a long time , yet the UI and tutorials give you enough of a headstart to be able to jump right into a game. It will screw you over the first couple of playthroughs, it's bound to as it has so many options and variables, but after a few games you will start getting the hang of it and know where to focus your research and how to optimize your military and star systems. It has enough micro-management for your actions to have an effect on gameplay, yet not over the top so as to lead your focus away from defending your systems and advancing on victory conditions.
If you are a fan of the civilization series, or anything along those lines, do not glance over this game. I grabbed it on sale for $5 however now having played it I would've paid $30 without hesitation !