In Splendor, you lead a merchant’s guild - your only objective: Prestige!
With the help of tokens representing gemstones, you will acquire developments such as mines, ships, and artisans and build a commercial empire. With new developments you will produce new wealth - in the form of new gemstones. These bonuses reduce the cost of later purchases and attract noble patrons.
When you have the required number of bonuses, a noble patron will visit you and grant you three precious prestige points. At the end of the game, the player with the most prestige wins.
Each player’s turn is quick and intuitive: you have one, and only one action and obtaining tokens follows simple rules but ones which will force players to make difficult choices. You can also acquire a development by combining bonuses and tokens, or reserve a card (face-up or blindly from the top of one of the development card piles).
You need to figure out a strategy in an environment which changes with each purchase and reservation from the other players. So, it’s a good idea to choose your tokens to get that development card which caught your eye... without revealing too much of your intentions – otherwise one of your opponents might just reserve it from under your nose! This short / long term balance is at the heart of planning in Splendor.