The beginning of the game is a bit annoying due to the few actions that the player can do. However, there is always scope for growth without the beginning of the game becoming monotonous.
When your city is created, whatever island it is, you still would not have self-sustainability in terms of materials produced. In short: If you start on an island of wine you will not initially have marble and crystal to evolve your buildings and nor sulfur to create armies. The same situation is also reversed when you start on a marble island because you will not have wine to maintain the satisfaction of the population. The initial difficulty is great regardless of which island you start from.
This is a strategy game, so there is not just one strategy to play. But since I already have a certain experience in the game, I leave my tips to anyone who wants to follow.
Try to build the Academy building as soon as possible, as it will allow you to perform basic actions for the game, such as extracting luxury goods (wine, marble, crystal or sulfur) from your island, building stronger armies, building other types of buildings, decrease the cost of maintaining their troops and fleets, etc.
Try to build the barracks building, because it is with him that builds troops. In addition to preventing your assets from being looted, your troops will be essential at this stage of the game as you will need to attack other novice players to loot goods you do not produce.
Try to develop the City Hall and create the Taberna building, because the first one will increase the capacity of its population (increasing the gold income of your city) and the second will increase the satisfaction of its population (accelerating population growth). Note: It is necessary to remember that for the tavern to have effect you must have wine (whether it comes from looting or from your own production).
Build the Wall as it will make it very difficult for other players to attack.
The other buildings are also very important, but your city should have a minimum initial structure that allows you to grow faster before building other buildings. Note: this logic is complete, because in order to build most of the other buildings one must first have finished the research, and to keep scientists in the gym there is a maintenance cost (which will be paid with the income provided by the population).