Demo Dragon Quest Builders, first impressions

Dragon Quest Builders, a new kind of game that I have had on my radar for quite some time. Tomorrow, October 14, the game will arrive in the European PSN Store (for Vita and PS4), and it has already been released in America. So, the wait is over. Well, the wait already was leviated a bit already by the demo that I have been playing around with for a bit. For those of you who are in doubt, I will put my first thoughts about the demo on paper. Or on screen..well, you know what I mean!

Comparisons to MineCraft

From the first you cannot escape comparisons with MineCraft. There are more games out there that borrow heavily from what MineCraft created. Like Harvest Moon the Lost Valley did, combining landscaping with farming. Square Enix is trying for a different approach, combining building, collecting and crafting with an RPG.  This very much makes it a game in it’s own right. Still, as so many people have a reference to MineCraft on one device or other, you might see a lot of comparing going on here.

DQ Builders Ladiesgamers.comIn the demo the hero is awakened in a ravaged world. The goddess Rubiss, the deity that created Alefgard, is the one responsible for the rude awakening. Apparently you are called Bildrick and must initially rebuild Cantlin. Seems he is the only one who still has the skill of being able to build things from the ground up. On a side note: Bildrick?? Really? Sprouted from the imagination of a Black Adder fan!

Customization options

I was happy to see that you could choose to change your character to a female. You can change the name and there are some more customization options, like your hair and skin color. So Bildrick is gone by now, and YvoCaro has made an entrance. The visuals are crisp, colorful and exactly the way I like them, with a hint of cute.

DQ Builders Ladiesgamers.comAfter some initial fiddling around, I find the controls are quite easy. They also offers some customization, changing the control and the camera angle and such. I choose to have the placement of building blocks to be outlined, making it easier to see what I am doing. But you are free to forgo on that option of you don’t want to be guided.

The demo explains everything quite well, using the obligatory tasks you get from the first fellow villager. A place to sleep is the first basic necessity, with a straw mattress and a torch to keep the baddies away. Familiar, right? But what is very different from MineCraft is the way the crafting works. When you find a new material, idea’s just pop into YvoCaro’s head. You can’t just come up with new ideas and combinations, it’s less free format.

DQ Builders Ladiesgamers.comSome tasks you get involve blueprints. You can lay them out in town where you want to, and the game shows you an image of how the new building might look. You have to fill in the blanks with materials and crafted items. Some might say this is too much in the way of the game holding your hand while playing. But I kind of liked that, it reminds me of town builders I’ve enjoyed so much on my iPad.

Great new kind of game

I’ve been busy rebuilding my town, attracting new people to live there and gathering materials. Now and then I have to slay a monster to do that, and of course the slimes are ever present. The game promises much more battle though, as well as fishing and some way of farming. I do know I have already found some seeds, and I guess they play a part in that.

DQ Builders Ladiesgamers.comReading up on the game made it clear that the RPG part will figure more prominently in the game then it did in the demo. I won’t be able to get by just crafting my sticks and clubs, but no doubt the game will teach me how to make the most awesome weapons and armor. It seems that once you manage to rebuild your town, you go on to a new continent and a new town to make right, progressing the story.

The demo has made me anticipate the game even more. I like MineCraft, but I like the way this game gives me some clear goals and tasks to perform. The visuals are a big plus too, and the fighting works just fine as you’d expect from a Dragon Quest game. I will be downloading it tomorrow!



  1. I have never played Minecraft nor do I really want to. After reading this though, I really want to pick up this game. It’s cute and has just enough of a fun world (I like DQ series) for me to want to explore. I also like the idea of classic RPG elements. DQB may finally get me into this open-world crafting genre! I should try out the demo too. I look forward to hearing more once you get the game!

  2. My boyf got this, but I want to import a physical vita version so I can play when I am away. The combat feels very irritating because you get hurt from touching them and your weapons have a small range. I’m finding jumping into an attack to be a little bit helpful.

    1. I do think it’s not exactly my an easy game for the fighting, but that might be because I’m partial to turn based battles. But I can’t seem to put the game down, so that’s good!

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