Evony is set in a persistent world, so when a player logs out, the game and your orders continue to take effect. A new player is given "beginner's protection", which prevents other players from attacking their cities for their first 7 days. This gives new players the opportunity to accumulate a few resources and troops and get accustomed to the game before the challenges begin to surface.
In Evony, the player begins by acting as the lord or lady of a city. The player gives instructions on production and construction with the initial resources. The resources in the game are the usual suspects Gold, Food, Lumber, Stone, and Iron, and the city's population. As with many real-time strategy games, the first challenge you need to deal with is to increase the city's population and hourly resource-collection rates through the construction of certain buildings in the city, such as farms, sawmills etc.
Evony features player versus player (PvP) gameplay, making it possible to attack another player's cities. Evony offers many items, purchased with cents (evony money) which can be bought with real money, through its Item Shop, most of them in some way accelerating the player's progression through the game. This has been a slight bone of contention with some players, as it gives an unfair advantage to those who pay real money.
Although slightly lacking in orginality, Evony does have a few unique features and some relativley decent graphics, which make it a good contender for fans of the RTS genre. Personally though, if i had to choose between Evony and their rival Grepolis, I would go Grepolis, but thats my opinion.