Dragon Quest Builders can be very much described as being quite Minecraft inspired, but they’ve taken the concept and given it a breath of fresh air.
On the surface, Dragon Quest Builders does look quite a bit like a Minecraft clone but it’s in fact fairly story driven. You’re put into the shoes of one of the legendary Builders, people who can make things out of raw materials; something that humanity has seemingly forgotten how to do.
The world is in fact mostly made out of blocks and you’re expected to build things, but the general similarities to Minecraft mostly end here.
For those who know the Dragon Quest series of games, you’ll find a lot very familiar to you. The character design and style down to the monsters and characters you find, will all ring some bells. If you don’t, well you’ll at least recognise the iconic blue slimes hanging around in your starting area.
Awoken in a crypt by the Goddess Rubiss, you’ve been sent on your way to rebuild humanity one city at a time. Each chapter of the game is dedicated to rebuilding the main city of that land, and attracting whatever scattered humans you can find to the settlement.
However, the game allows you to play at your own pace. Many of the important recipes that you need to progress are locked behind quests; which you can complete at your leisure. You could spend days just building up your town or just plow straight through them to progress the game quickly.
There is a bit of grinding involved and some inventory management in the early stages of the game, but you’ll eventually get to explore and harvest to your hearts content; returning to town only to turn in quests and build.
In order to attract more townsfolk, you need to level up your town by creating rooms and putting items in them. The rooms can be functional like an Inn or a kitchen, or be purely decorative. Either way, each room increases your score and thus increases the level of your town.
The townsfolk don’t idly stand around either, they actually perform tasks and create items in the functional rooms as long as the chests in said room are supplied with materials. The actual building itself can be a bit tricky due to the perspective, and general controller slipperiness doesn’t help.
If you’re the exploring type, you might find secrets hidden in caves and other similar places, or you might get annoyed that you can’t build land bridges to other islands because a mysterious force blocks your way.
You’ll find a handful of bosses as well, but they’re not tremendously hard to defeat. Combat isn’t exactly the best though, as you pretty much can only hack and slash. Throw in more monsters and it just becomes a big mess, especially when your blows don’t always seem to connect.
Overall I found Dragon Quest Builders quite enjoyable as I do like games where I get to
get lost explore a lot and I also like the idea of being able to build your own town from whatever materials you have on hand. Gameplay can be as long or short as you want and the fact that there is some underlying plot to the game it does make it all the better. We’ll be playing this game for awhile yet.