Although this is not a completely accurate analogy, think of your cells as a species that must fight for common resources to survive. Your objective is to dominate the map by destroying all cells that do not belong to you.
You should devote your time to improving and protecting These little critters. On the map, they appear as colored squares. Note that all the cells of one player have the same color. Also, you may not get the same color each time. Before doing anything drastic, make sure you know which cells are yours.
As you may have read earlier, cells come in two flavors: prokaryote and eukaryote. In CellEV, the difference is quite considerable. Without a nucleus, prokaryotes may be several hundred times smaller than eukaryotes. You will notice that one square on the map may contain many of these cells and that it takes a little time for these cells to expand to neighboring squares.
When you begin the game, this is what you will experience. You are given only a single cell, consisting of RNA and a plasma membrane. In time, this single cell will become the mother of your colony. For the purposes of the game, this cell cannot die by the environment - it must be killed by another player or be replaced by a more advanced cell.
Cell death is not a complicated procedure. At one point, you see a cell; at another, you see a little more food. However, the environmental reasons for cell death are not as simple. A cell dies when there is little food and many toxins on its square. Increasing the number of components in a cell will make it more susceptible to food shortages. However, compared to a complete eukaryote, an unadvanced cell is not as robust and cannot survive when there are many toxins present. As you play, pay attention to the food and toxin levels of nearby squares so you can steer your colony to safety.
On the other hand, cell reproduction is rather simple. The more complex a cell, the less often it reproduces. Also, little food and many toxins can adversely affect a cell's ability to reproduce. Finally, there is an artificial limit placed on you - you cannot control more than fifty cells.
Cells are never perfect. All of them will not move where you want them to, but most will. Choose a target direction for your horde of cells by selecting the "move" action, clicking a square on the map, and hitting the "Go" button. Watch them go.
Other than wild procreation, your cells should long for these the most. This is where you have the most control over the destiny of your colony. When you specify an advance, all your cells slowly develop this ability. When you receive the message that it is completed, the new advance will appear in the next generation of cells. Therefore, if you have only one cell that resides on a square with no food, you will have difficulties implementing your advances. Try to avoid a situation like this.
All other players are your opponents. Whenever one of your cells encounters a foreign cell, it will engage a fight. This is where all the prior time and food invested into advances pay off - the more advanced cell has the better chance of winning the fight. Meanwhile, feel free to use the chat box to easily communicate to the other people in the game.