Most people go to the Mediterranean for two things, sun, sea and er, in Ikariam, empire building.
The aim of Ikariam is to build your own Mediterranean paradise in on of the most beautiful region of Europe. But we're not talking golf courses and high rise hotels along the Costa Brava - it's ancient civilization building like the Romans did. In Ikariam, you start off with nothing but the fertile land beneath your feet in a small island on the Mediterranean and your aim is to make it the most powerful land in the region.
Your first task in this beautifully illustrated game is to gather resources - Building Material, Wine, Marble, Crystal Glass and Sulphur. You then assign workers to start building your empire but you'll be battling against other players on the island. Eventually, you can start to defend your town with a small army while building a trading port where you ships will allow you to trade resources with other players. Throughout this, you're given advice by four loyal advisers who illuminate every time they have an important message for you. As your town expands, you can change the viewing angles from the world view over the island to the town view.
Ikariam is an excellent introduction to Sim city style games which doesn't tie you up in too much strategy and tactics.