you start out at a race german, american, russian, etc. found a small city. you then produce settlers to expand your empire. as it starts out in B.C. time you research new technologys. you must also amass armies to protect from invaders and if you choose to invade other cities. You can win the game by 4 different ways an economic victory amass alot of money, a domination victory capture all the other capitals, a cultural victory usually by building wonders of the world, or a technological victory where you build a space ship and become the first to reach alpha centroi (spelling) very addictive i have played for hours as it is like a chess game trying to protect what is yours and still putting resouces into growing your cities. i have just about mastered it only have one achevement left to get and it seems winning a domination victory on the hardest level by 1000 B.C. is turning into a joke.