I have recently started playing this. Loving it so far.
Me being from the generation that whenever you learned new software you learned a new UI helps because I don't automatically feel that non-standardisation in a UI is bad. Having been a designer of front-ends, and a VB (*twitch*!) programmer (this game is in VB, shudder!) I know that sometimes UI standardisation is a compromise you wish you didn't have to make. Looks like this guy is doing his own thing for his own reasons, and having played with it a bit I must say I like it for all it's quirkyness.
In any case, having spent some time with this game, I am very glad I bothered with the learning curve. There is defintely a steep one. And it is on-going. It is part of the fun.
Also I love the way the whole thing is a structure for your own imagination, without too much graphics to get in the way. There is just enough information provided to give you the game (and it is a good one), without spoiling your immersion with thier idea of how things should look. This is something I like about AI war also.
Mind you - me being one of those types who entertain ourselves by, I dunno, reading books, and stuff, probably helps with the creating an inner world out of text and graphs too......
As far as it being the DF of space 4x's goes..... I can see why that comparison comes out. The universe pretty much gets on with it's immensely complex thing, and your job is to be a part of making the whole story work out for your civilisation, as a kind of head governor. Actually the micromanagement is not that bad, you can set up a lot of conditional automatic stuff when you get the hang of it, and I am only just scratching the surface at the moment.
However, the fact it is turn based is a massive difference from DF. It makes for a much better contemplative strategy experience.
Anyway - Good reccomendation. Having lots of fun. I haven't played Skyrim for days now....
Back to my little people now... Click Click,