From the Publishers Website:
Galactic Civilizations is a space based strategy game in which you are in control of humanity's destiny.
The year is 2178, the Terran Alliance has invented a new technology -- Hyperdrive. But the secret has leaked to the other civilizations starting a race for all the inhabitable worlds in the galaxy! As leader of United Earth, you must research new technologies, build an economy, create a powerful military force, all the while carefully balancing your political, diplomatic and trade skills.
Galactic Civilizations II is the sequel to Stardock's hit turn-based strategy game of the same name. Galactic Civilizations is a strategy game that takes place in the distant future where mankind has become a space-faring civilization and now must contend with other galactic powers who strive for domination in the galaxy.
The basic concept behind Galactic Civilizations II is the same as the first one -- to build an interstellar civilization. But how it goes about accomplishing this is very different. For this reason, we believe that many players will still enjoy playing Galactic Civilizations (the first one) because it's a very different game in how it plays.