Dragon Quest Builders Demo Impressions


Disclaimer: Images sourced via Google on account of issues with PS4’s screenshot function.

Dragon Quest Builders, a sandbox RPG set in the world of Dragon Quest, is releasing October 11th (14th in EU). Developed by Square Enix, the game will be releasing on PS4, PS3, and Vita. Recently a demo for Dragon Quest Builders was released on the PlayStation store and I decided to take a look. Below are my first impressions.


It would be easy to write Dragon Quest Builders off as a Minecraft clone with a Dragon Quest coat of paint, but that comparison does a great disservice to just how different the game seems to be. Builders does share a lot of elements with typical sandbox survival RPGs, a food metre, building and crafting, and a day-night cycle that affects the difficulty of mobs. What I found sets Builders apart is the game’s inclusion of a narrative quest-line that gives players a specific focus and overarching goal, adding something I find missing in most of these sorts of games: a reason to keep playing.

The player is dropped into the desolate land of Alefgarde and tasked with rebuilding a great city from nothing with their special power, the power to craft and build. You attract townspeople to a central hub and complete requests for them to continue expanding and unlocking new crafting options. The focused narrative quest-line is divided into chapters. This focused quest-line combined with classic sandbox survival elements makes for compelling gameplay that keeps me interested in continuing my adventure in Alefgarde. There are some nagging control issues when it comes to placing and destroying blocks, but these are a minor complaint.


I can’t neglect to mention how beautiful the game is. Utilising the classic Dragon Quest aesthetic the game builds a charming and whimsical atmosphere that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This jovial tone continues into the game’s dialogue which tends to be acutely self-aware and at times even had me chuckling.

Dragon Quest Builders has me interested with this demo build and we will be covering the game post-launch on nuGame so stay tuned. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for further updates on Dragon Quest Builders.