Master of Orion overlaps with Civilization insofar as you are the leader of one of several races. Technological advance, realm expansion and combat are all key elements. Where it differs is in being set in space.
The planet Orion itself is a lush, fertile planet with vast mineral resources. It is guarded by the Guardian - a powerful vessel which you have to defeat in order to plunder Orion's riches.
As you attempt to expand your empire, you will have to trade and steal technologies form rivals, again much like Civ. Your ships can be improved over the game, in terms of engine power, shields, cloaking devices and weapons, and different combinations of these can be integrated. Resource management is largely set using sliders, which reduces the amount of time spent on micro-management.