Strategy First has sent us the playable demo for Galactic Civilizations. The 51MB demo should let players develop a good-sized empire, but ends the game in the year 2190. Many of the space empire game's starting options have been limited, constraining players to starting with preset civilization abilities and playing one political party (the Federalists) in the smallest galaxy option. Unfortunately, the game's visuals have been cut down as well--both the cutscenes and the in-game animations have been removed.
Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based strategy game set in a sci-fi setting, but with gameplay reminiscent of the historically focused Sid Meier's Civilization. The challenge for players is to expand their empire by several distinct and viable means--militarily, diplomatically, or culturally--and become the dominant force in the galaxy. Galactic Civilizations is notable among space empire games for having a robust AI for computer opponents and a well-developed diplomacy system.
Download the file from the link below. For more details, check out our previous coverage of the game.