You can play four types of cards – industry, environment, people, and science. The cards usually increase the production of coins and increase or decrease emissions.
Industry and environment produce food, people produce people and consume food, and science produces science coins. You need coins to play new cards or expand space to place them.
Fifth types of cards are one-time or recurring events that you can mitigate using the coins. Some can be game ending. E.g. if you do not have food when people consume it, starvation event is triggered, and you need to mitigate using 2 people coins (basically sacrificing lives to save civilization).
And this is the best part of the game. The cards and choices try to closely introduce real-life dilemmas. You can shut down industry early and stop emissions, but your people will starve. There are dozens of educational situations like this.
You can win in a variety of ways using esch of the game type cards by upgrading them.
It is a bit hard-core to get the first win, but it’s really fun.