PLOT Build an avatar and save the world.
RATING E 10+ for Everyone 10 and older
DETAILS Nintendo Switch; $49.99
BOTTOM LINE Minecraft isn’t the only game in town.
Dragon Quest Builders adopts the mining, building and resource-gathering of the video game phenomenon and marries it to the elements of Minecraft. The result is a more accessible game that leans on storytelling and mission design to teach players the gameplay and carry them through each of the four chapters.
Players create an avatar and take on the role of the legendary Builder who has to save the land of Alefgard from the Dragonlord’s domination. The villain and his monsters have conquered the world and taken away humanity’s ability to create. Being blessed with ability to construct objects by the goddess Rubiss, the Builder has to re-establish bases in Cantlin, Rimuldar, Kol and Galenholm, and Tantegel.
Like Minecraft, Dragon Quest Builders fosters a sense of creativity, as players are given tools and have to construct traps, rooms and other amenities. Effectively using space is vital because bases aren’t large.
The limitation forces players to be more efficient with their designs. Expert players can build luxurious towers or novices can opt for flat bases. Either strategy is workable, but the fun is in the journey to success. Dragon Quest Builders works best when it lets players experiment and learn the building systems.
All of this is wrapped in a package that’s perfect for the Nintendo Switch. The system’s ability to switch from portable to living room console lets players take the game with them anywhere. That’s a vital option for a game designed to devour players’ free time and engross them with open-ended gameplay.
— The Mercury News (San Jose, California)