I decree this game likeable.
It is, however, incredibly complex, while at the same time being insanely simple. I have no idea if any of the other players have had a combat event yet - I'm not sure if it'll flag it up if I'm not involved, y'see - but so far my interaction with the game has been limited to moving fleets towards planets and using the ingame email as a diplomatic device. I have the third largest fleet in our game, but I also have the most direct neighbours, having started off smack bang in the middle of the map. It's a tad unfair, but one has to do one's best before one is completely obliterated.
At the time of writing I have the second largest empire in terms of number of stars conquered, but find myself with no buffer between the mighty Eternal Empire of Eternalness and five other sentient races. I have made contact with some of these races, have been ignored by others, and can only wait and see what progresses.