2K and Firaxis Games have announced Sid Meier’s Starships, a new turn-based, interstellar strategy game described as “the next chapter in the story of Civilization: Beyond Earth.”

The game will be released early this year as a digital download for Windows-based PC, Mac and iPad.

It challenges players to build a planetary federation by exploring the galaxy, expanding its influence and domain, researching futuristic technologies and engaging in turn-based tactical space combat with an armada of customisable starships.

Each new campaign will feature its own distinctive galactic strategy map of worlds with dynamically generated tactical combat missions that will enhance the game’s replay value.

Firaxis says Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth fans who also buy Starships will “uncover cross-connectivity with the two games such that will enhance and expand the depth of both game experiences.”

“When designing Starships, I was intrigued by the idea of exploring the next chapter in the story of Civilization: Beyond Earth. What happens after we colonize our new home and eventually build starships to take to the stars? What has become of our long-lost brothers and sisters from the planet Earth?” said Sid Meier, director of creative development at Firaxis Games.

“My goal was to create an experience that focuses on starship design and combat within a universe filled with interstellar adventure, diplomacy, and exploration.”

“Sid has been a leader in the strategy and PC gaming market for more than 30 years,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K.

“After successfully launching an experience touching upon mankind’s history on Earth, fans will now see how Sid has used the Civilization: Beyond Earth universe to deliver his own unique style of strategic gaming.”