Europa Universalis IV is a global strategy game developed by Paradox Interactive. It is the fifth game in the series, not counting the add-ons.
The game can take place at any time starting from the late Middle Age to the Napolean Wars era. The player can control any country there is in the game. It is possible to choose any starting date from November 11th, 1444 to January 1st, 1821.
The player controls every aspect of life in his country. Diplomacy, religion (with each religion having its own development system), trading, science, and exploring the new lands (such as the Americas, Africa, and Australia). The player also has the country's military under their control. Every aspect of that time's society falls totally under the control of the player. You can build a new colonial superpower, become a dictator, establish a total dictatorship, or create a prosperous, democratic trade empire.
There is no clear objective in the game. Instead, it is set by the player. However, the developers try to guide the player into playing certain scenarios by using the in-game achievement system. For example, one of the game's achievements is to unite Italy.
It is also possible to transfer the progress from another game made by Paradox Interactive, Crusader Kings 2, to Europa Universalis IV.