Civilization II allows you to choose a tribe to build up and follow history the way events and advancements have come. Your Civilization must survive against obstacles such as war with other races, and manage your resources efficiently.
In Civilization II, you must build up your empire at a quicker rate and more efficiently than your opponents. This is achieved by research, exploration, and good planning and development of the cities you lay down. While you build up your race, you will meet others trying to build themselves up, requiring that you either make peace with them or wipe them out completely in order to move on with your plans to colonize space. Along the way you will learn the history behind the race you are building up via full-motion video. The only way to beat your opponents in the race to colonize Alpha Centauri is by keeping a good balance of knowledge, wealth, and military strength.