Eufloria is basically an arcade-like 4X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate).
Traditional 4X games such as Civilization involve turn-based gameplay and the sloooooow conquest of a particular country/planet over the course of several hours, days, and even weeks (some 4X games let you conquer a galaxy the size of… a galaxy). Unless you’re spending extra time building up your forces for a massive slaughter of the Hated Greys, most Eufloria levels can be played in less than half an hour.
The 4X mechanics are stripped down to the absolute essentials, but they’re all there. Your starting planet has plants on it. Seedlings drop off of the plants, but these seedlings are like angry wasps with guns that you can send to other planets. You explore by sending seedlings out to other planets in range (ones adjacent to planets you control), expansion is handled by planting seedlings on new planets, exploitation is accomplished by planting more seedlings on planets you already control, and you exterminate by sending waves of seedlings to already-occupied planets. It’s all so nice and simple.
Occasionally you will need to restart levels early on, if you accidentally provoke the enemy into attcking before you’re ready, but generally once your forces are properly entrenched you probably won’t need to restart. The action can be very fast-paced and nerve-wracking in the later levels as you realize that maybe you shouldn’t have sent your entire armada after Blue because Green is taking the opportunity to strike back at you and oh crap the Hated Greys are traveling through your territory oh wait they’re going after Yellow.
Despite the occasional very exciting parts, the ambient music and pleasant pastel colors really make this a relaxing game to play.
If you don’t have a lot of time to play games, and you want something a bit different from everything else, I highly recommend Eufloria.
If you’re a hardcore gamer, bear in mind you’ll probably breeze through this like Portal. But also like Portal, it’s a unique experience well worth your time.