Hey Day9, I know how you like less widely known games.
Evil Genius is a fantastic single player game about setting up a evil empire in your lair with a jazzy laid back atmosphere. In a sense it's like your recent game FTL in that you control your "Systems" and such. You pick 1 of 3 "Evil Genius's" who all have their stereotypical side kick. It's not only a fun game but it's hysterical, it's as if you took Austin Powers funny but evil theme and put it in a game with a Sims like attitude
What you do is manage a base of operations and take over the globe in a map similar to opening up FTL's map (except it's much more robust and has it's own play style inside of it). Your base of operations consists of building appropriate power supply, interrogation chambers, armories, barracks, storage, evil genius room, training facilities, mess hall, traps, and much more as I haven't played this game in over 6 years.. All while you build, conquer the world, and progress to new levels you're training henchmen (who can do/ wield / have more specialization the more they train) and trying to keep low / fight off different types of FBI Agents/soldiers/tourists from all over the world.
This is a more old school game but it still has wonderful vibrant graphics, I suggest looking at a gameplay video of it as that's where the good stuff is :)
It's way too much to describe in text but I sincerely hope you give this game a try
Sims / RTS / AustinPowers / Jamesbond all in one. I hope you enjoy or for that matter anyone enjoys this game like me and my gaming neighbors did...Seriously the highlight of my childhood.