Dragon Quest Builders – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Adventure game
Developer: Square Enix, Artdink
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PC

Dragon Quest Builders – Review

Site Score
Good: Creative building within an RPG setting
Bad: A little grindy
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If you’ve ever played an RPG and thought to yourself ‘Man, this game would be better if I also got to build a city from scratch’, then Dragon Quest Builders is right up your alley. First released in Japan for PlayStation consoles back in 2016, this blend of adventure RPG and building mechanics already made its way to Western audiences then. But it’s never been released for PC until now. This version of the game includes some new features and all the DLC made for the console version of Dragon Quest Builders back in the day, so we were eager to jump right in!


Dragon Quest Builders takes players back to Alefgard, the setting of the first Dragon Quest game. This story is set in an alternative ending though, one where the hero accepted a cunning trap disguised as an offer from the big bad guy. That decision plunged the world into darkness, with monsters roaming free. Civilization was destroyed and the people who survived lost the ability to build things. This is where you come in as a freshly awakened crafter with the ability to make items out of raw material. You have to restore Alefgard to its previous splendor, even though you are no hero yourself. No, you are building the cities and towns where the next adventure will take place. However, that won’t stop you from doing your own fair share of monster hunting.


If you’ve played Minecraft even once in your life, the graphics of Dragon Quest Builders will probably look somewhat familiar. The entire world is made out of cubes, though not the people and monsters. It’s a refreshing blend that works well for the 3D art style that mimics the style of the main Dragon Quest franchise perfectly. The big difference with Minecraft is the top-down view where the camera can be moved freely, and while it takes a bit of time to get used to, it makes building a lot easier and allows for more fluid combat.


As we’re used to from this franchise, the game has an excellent soundtrack to keep you company through hours of grinding and exploring. The songs are upbeat and keep things light, fitting the more relaxed atmosphere of the game. There are also fun little sound effects for beating up everything in this completely destructible world, from trees to dirt. No matter what language settings you use, the game does not have any voice acting.


Dragon Quest Builders is a crafting-based adventure game disguised as an RPG. There are also some survival elements, as you have to deal with a day-night cycle and keep your hunger bar filled. As you start the game, you are dropped into the plains with a single banner. Planting this banner on the spot the game asks you to will have you claim that place as your first base. With your fists, you can begin punching everything in your surroundings to get raw materials and start crafting. It won’t be long before you turn a stick into a club, giving you significantly more power to beat up both monsters and more of the terrain. Any blocks you pick up, you can place down again to build new structures.

Exploration is key and the game doesn’t hold your hand, as it just explains the basic mechanics before letting you run off to do your own thing. Your banner quickly draws the first NPC to your base, who will give you simple quests that guide you along. Your first order of business will be to make your base into a proper town by constructing homes and stuff such as campfires. Each item and building will add points to your base, drawing in more people. The NPCs are not idle either, as they’ll actually do chores around the town and learn to cook or help defend against enemies. Despite this, there’s a lot of creativity in how you build as the layout can be self-determined.

As you progress, you can level up your character but also upgrade from basic materials to different sorts of metals. You can explore new biomes with unique enemies and save other NPCs, using special portals that allow you to fast travel. This way you can build more than one town too, slowly working your way through reviving the world. The process is satisfying if a little grindy, though the slow pace is also the charm of this game. Since the combat is simple and quick, it doesn’t bog down the experience. This PC version includes some tweaks like new combat moves and a sort of sandbox to be creative in. You can also save any buildings you make, so you can share them with other players.


Dragon Quest Builders ends up striking a very good balance between the RPG elements and the crafting mechanics. While the game doesn’t hold your hand as much as this franchise usually does, the more laidback atmosphere and less focus on combat is a good change of pace. You can waste plenty of hours shaping the world exactly how you want it to be and come away completely satisfied.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Dragon Quest Builders - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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