Galactic Civilizations 3 is free this week on the Epic Store

The Epic Games Store's Star Wars Battlefront 2 giveaway is over, but the sprawling space opera action continues today with Galactic Civilizations 3, Stardock's aged but excellent interstellar 4X strategy game.

Galciv 3, as it's commonly known, has been around since 2015, when we hit it with an 87/100 review score

"Stardock’s series is pretty much unique in the 4X genre—a space conquest game that sits alongside Master of Orion instead of simply in its shadow," we said at the time. "It’s not just a game of rules and strategy, but of quirky charm—witty descriptions to take the harsh edge off the technologies, an attempt to make the aliens you encounter feel like they have personalities instead of simply being a rendered face on some stats, and enough wrapping to feel like there are could actually be people/aliens somewhere behind your comma-filled population figures."

We also noted that Galciv 3 "is intended to have a long life," with plenty of room for future expansions and mods, and this definitely turned out to be the case: It's not quite a Paradox grand strategy game, but there's a pile of expansions and add-ons available for it, which is great if you get drawn in and want even more.

Galactic Civilizations 3 is free on the Epic Games Store until January 28. After that, it's time for Dandara: Trials of Fear editions, "a prickly 2D Metroidvania with a curious twist." For more free games (because we all want more free games), don't miss our lists of best free PC gamesbest free games on Steam, best browser games, and all the free games you can grab right now.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.