Royals is a reworked version of Heads of State, designed by Australian board game designer Peter Hawes, who's other games include Wars of the Roses and Francis Drake.
In Royals, players take on the roles of the great noble houses of the 17th century, fighting for supremacy in Europe at that time. With the help of the right country cards, they occupy influential positions and obtain bonuses for this in the form of victory points. The higher the rank of the title associated with the position, the more country cards required. Already-occupied positions can be contested by playing intrigue cards.
The game proceeds over three periods, with a scoring taking place after each of them. During scoring, the players with the greatest influence in each of the four countries score victory points. After the third period scoring, the game ends with the scoring of the individual titles. The player with the most victory points wins.