Dragon Quest Builders is from Square Enix, and it shares a lot of similarities with Minecraft, but it also has a story. You can say it is Japan’s answer to the open world sandbox game Minecraft. This is basically a sequel that takes place between Dragon Warriors 1 & 2, if the hero from DW1 accepted the deal to rule half the world that the Dragonlord gives him at the end. That is a GREAT premise.

dragon quest builders
via youtube

Minecraft + Dragon Quest = Dragon Quest Builders

It’s filled with tons of the original songs from that first game, as well as tunes from DQ3 but with obviously much better instrumentation. The building mechanic is easy to pick up and learn and (so far) there seem to be more than enough raw materials to gather for your starting city in Cantlin.

You have to set our town to have a large 3 block high perimeter, with a double layer at the west side. This is where most monster attacks will come from. In the center of town, you also have to dig a mini dungeon leading to a teleporter that takes you to the 2nd island. This is where you learn how to make a great mallet. Using this thing you can destroy trees for wood or boulders for stones and stuff.

How does the gameplay work?

Combat-wise, it all appears to be melee in the early goings but you can build spike and bomb traps later. Weapons degrade each time you hit anything with them – including materials, which is how you gather them. But luckily most of the simple ones only require a few broken branches which are literally everywhere so you should never run out.

You find new NPCs who will come and join your town, and eventually start cooking you food or making you stuff that they then store inside chests. Their A.I. seems to actually be quite decent, as one of them fell into a hole while we were digging that teleporter room and found its way out pretty fast. They know how to climb stairs or jump using blocks to get over obstacles if something’s in their way. This is a far cry from some of the terrible pathfinding of most game that we’ve played.

So far, so good. Some may complain at its $60 price tag but what new AAA game isn’t that much at release? Considering how much is still left to do and a free build mode that gets unlocked later, we think it’s well worth the price.

Let us know your thoughts on Dragon Quest Builders in the comments.