Splendor is a card-collecting game. You pick up tokens from a shared pool in order to purchase cards that earn you points, and bonuses towards future purchases. Mike won handily by building up a large bonus in one particular color, which allowed him to make several high-value purchases using that color in a row. It is not clear whether this is a consistent winning strategy, since there is not a lot of choice of cards available, and most cards require multiple colors (as do all the "noble" bonuses.) We found ourselves a little adrift as to what was the best way to play --- specialization or generalization. So there is enough depth to be interesting, I think, without being totally lost.
It doesn't have the same feel of many building game in which an early lead cannot be overcome. It is definitely possible to interfere with the other players' strategies both by sitting on the tokens they need, and reserving cards that would be cheap for them. Our initial game was not particularly cutthroat in this way, though.