I'm new to Civilization games, and pretty new to turn based strategy games in general. However, I still enjoyed this game a lot. I'm awful, I lose pretty much every time, and I still have fun. This game has you building a civilization from scratch, trying to expand city by city to become the best civilization possible. At the start, you are given TONS of options. Picking what civilization you want to be to determine your starting perks, climate, weather, the age of the world, difficulty, barbarian options, AI agreesiveness, the ratio of water to land, and a whole bunch of customizable options for the rules and game limits. It's a lot to take in. And once you start, you can work towards whatever kind of civilization you want, from city structures to your units to your research... there's just a lot of options. But, what makes this game so cool is that there are not only a lot of options for starting and working your way through the game, there are also multiple ways to win the game as well. So you can replay lots of times trying to win in all the different ways available. If you are being severely outmatched in one area by another civilization, perhaps you can salvage your game by switching to another goal for victory. It's really very clever.
However, there ARE some issues with this game. It can be a lot to take in at first, especially since the tutorial mode is defaulted to off. I learned everything by winging it but not everyone will have the patience or luck for it. It'll take a while just to get used to what everything does and understanding how to navigate the game. Also, games tend to take hours to complete, which can also be rough if you don't have much time to play. It'll take A LOT of time to get acquainted with the game and to play in general so it's a HUGE time suck. I just wanted to get that point clearly across. Also... it's really hard... or I just suck... or both. Also... the online has been shut down, making this single player only. There ARE some complicated and iffy ways of working around it to play online, but they aren't worth the risk or hassle. The online is supposedly coming to Steamworks in the future, but until it comes, online is not a viable options, which is the whole reason I got it in the first place and that's diappointing, but it's my own fault for not looking into it more I guess.
Despite the issues, this game is VERY cheap. Five bucks for hours and hours of gameplay, including the two expansions to the game. Easily worth it, especially if you're looking to get into the Civilization series or TBS game in general. Just be aware of the time it will take to enjoy the game.