I've always had a thing for 4x space strategy titles starting with the flawed yet mesmerizing Star Trek: Birth of the Federation. However, sometimes I just want all the war. diplomacy, and galactic scale destruction without having to have much input. Galimulator [official site] by snoddasmannen helps to sate this desire perfectly.
Galimulator is basically a huge space empire simulator, a bit like Conway's Game of Life smashed into Stellaris. It's up to you to choose whether just to observe the chaos and order of a randomly-generated galaxy, or to interfere by causing boon or calamity to specific civilizations or by taking direct control of one of the empires, and it's addictive as all get-out.
I spent far more time than I originally planned to when clicking through all of the most recent free games via Itch, and I have a few reviews and other pieces ahead of me to work on today. Time melted away when I really sat down and got into Galimulator, and I feel like that's a testament to all it does right. Plus, all those colors. Those colors, man.
If you're a strategy buff who just wants to watch empires grow and crumble in moments, then give Galimulator a try. It's out for Windows and Linux at $2 from Itch.