The game is played on modular map where your continents only gradually grow and merge.
You decide which of the six civilization traits to advance and which of the linked abilities to develop. Your tribes spend action points to interact with the world and the other tribes and the outcome of those interactions are determined of how well you shaped your civilization.
Civics lets you build bigger settlements and produce more resources.
Culture lets you spread culture to other civilizations and benefit from them.
Economy lets you trade with other civilizations to acquire their rare resources.
Military lets you conquer other civilizations and plunder them.
Religion lets you spread religion to other civilizations and convert them.
Science lets you interact with the world at a higher rate.
The gameplay is executed through quick turns where only 1 tribe at the time is engaged. Eventually, you must take the Revolution action to disengage your tribes and decide how to advance and develop your civilization.