Endless Space is like Civilization set in space: a turn-based 4X global strategy in the vein of Master of Orion. The player assumes control over a powerful galactic empire, either by choosing one of the existing factions with its predefined attributes or by customizing all attributes from scratch. There are eight playable sci-fi civilizations that vary from different types of humans to sentient birds and amoebas.
The gameplay lets you explore the randomly generated galaxy, colonize planets, discover technologies, build starfleets and fight the other civilizations for control over star systems. You can conquer the galaxy by force, however, as in Civilization, there are other types of victory that can be achieved, including Economic and Diplomatic. The combat system is unusual and uses a card based mechanic: both sides play their virtual “cards”, and the animated ships re-enact the result. There are also heroes, the special units that can serve as military commanders or civilian leaders and improve a certain sphere under their influence. The maps allow up to eight players, who can be AI-controlled opponents, actual players in the multiplayer mode, or both.