Gameplay is build around action selection. Each turn, every player chooses two order cards, and the strength of the action depends on how many other players have chosen that action. Players manage their resources to develop ideas, and in the end the one who collected the most happiness points wins.
In CVlizations, you take the role of a leader of a tribe, and you are charged with the task of "writing" its CV (Curriculum Vitae - résumé). To do so, you choose which orders to give and which inventions, tools, buildings and ideologies to develop. The happiness of your people depends on you.