Nintendo Switch: Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)

Nintendo Switch: Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)

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9 comments on Nintendo Switch: Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)

Like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) is one of those series that started for me on my NES… with the very first game. I remember as a kid, owning that little Nintendo Power extra Dragon Warrior pull-out guide. It looked like this:

Credit to Nintendo Wiki for an image from my childhood.

Dang. That was released 1989. Did I just date myself?

Anyhow, with its help, I made it all the way to the end of the game. That’s probably the only Dragon Warrior game I’ve finished, though I’ve played a few of the other NES games. I haven’t played any of the newer games in the series, however.

Fast forward.

I’ve heard about Dragon Quest Builders, and it sounded right up my alley. But seeing it’s only been released for Playstation systems, I couldn’t play it. That is, until now!

Dragon Quest Builders is coming to the Nintendo Switch on February 9th, and I couldn’t be more pleased! However, I wanted to make certain the game was really going to be what I hoped. From my understanding, it’s similar to Minecraft, but with a Dragon Quest bent and a guided city building aspect.

I downloaded the demo and got to dive into it last night for the first time.

Soon after, I stopped playing it.

Because… it’s so much fun, I didn’t want to spoil the actual release!

All That Dragon Quest!

DQ Builders (is that the proper way to shorten the name?) isn’t just a Minecraft game with a Dragon Quest skin over top. It’s got all the old skool vibes I was hoping to see. From the music on the intro screen, the menu screen, the overworld… I was instantly transported back to Dragon Warrior of my youth.

The art style oozes stylistic charm. You’ve got all the standard Dragon Quest monsters you know and love to beat up – especially the Slimes.


What’s It About?

You come to Alefgard, where something dark has blighted the land, to figure out what’s going on… and rebuild it. Apparently, you’re a rare person who has remembered the old ways of Building. With a little guidance from an overly-patient goddess, you are sent out to put things right.

What actually surprised me was how much humor there is. It’s not always laugh out loud humor, but a kind of quirky out-of-the blue thing. It’s often poking fun at your character, and that was totally fine with me.


The game does a lot of hand-holding for someone who is familiar with the mechanics of a Minecraft game. But for someone new, or someone who needs that kind of guidance in their sandboxes, I feel it had a good balance between exploration and questing.

DQ Builders puts a very clear purpose there for you — you want to rebuild your base as a town and attract people to it. The NPCs you attract appear to be a driving force for how the game unfolds.


Like Minecraft, there is a day and night cycle where night becomes more dangerous. The game leads you to building a house and furnishing it with beds that you can sleep in to skip that dangerous time. It has a very exact definition of what makes up certain types of buildings – for example, complete walls of two blocks high, a door and a light source make up a room.


What I thought was especially cool was the blueprint system. The NPCs sometimes give you a blueprint that you can place on the ground and use as a guide to build over. Once you meet all the requirements for that blueprint, it becomes a specialized location!


I don’t have that much more to share, because I stopped playing the game the moment it gave me an exploration quest to do. I didn’t want to spoil what I can foresee as being a game that’s going to suck me in soon enough!

Just you wait, Pippa!

9 responses to “Nintendo Switch: Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)”

  1. I admit that when I heard of this game I thought it was just Minecraft with a Dragon Quest skin. But from what you wrote it looks pretty interesting so I think I will download the demo later too and give it a try. 🙂


      • I downloaded the demo and played if for a little over an hour.

        Something I forgot to mention in the previous comment though. I never played any of the Dragon Quest/Warrior games. Not because I didn’t want to but because circumstances didn’t allow it. I will correct that some day. That means that aspect of the game is all new for me.

        Anyway, I quite liked it. The humor was pretty nice and refreshing. The gameplay was about what I’d expect from a Minecraft “clone” with some unexpected niceties. For example, we don’t have to take materials out of the chest to build new things, the crafting table will just use whatever is in the chest and/or your inventory to build stuff.

        I also like that after building that place that Pippa asked for (I forgot the name. Was it a masonry room?) the villagers will use it to build some random materials for us at the end of the day so that was also a nice surprise. It makes the villagers feel useful and could make hunting for certain materials less of a burden.

        One thing I am concerned about is what Peter S said in the comment below that it resets at the end of each chapter. I am not sure how I will feel about it. I thought it was a pure sandbox game as these usually go but I guess having “levels” that you have to clear to progress in the game makes it easier for the developers to introduce new concepts and for the player to learn them. The fact it does have a “sandbox” mode at least makes it not seem that bad but again, I don’t know how to feel about it.

        All in all though, it is a fun game. I just don’t know if it is one I really want to buy right now as there are other games/expansions on my horizon that I am looking for. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not to be a downer, but my issues with Dragon Quest Builders is that it resets you at the end of each chapter. So the demo is like the first chapter. Then you go off to a new place and have to start all over. It’s kind of disheartening and I drifted away after the 2nd time that happened to me. There is a ‘sandbox’ mode and on PS4 at least you could in theory go visit other players’ sandboxes though I never did.

    I don’t regret buying it, but I have to admit I never finished it. Maybe I need to go back now that the wounds of losing my quaint little village in order to go build a new quaint little village have healed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm… I’m glad you brought that up so I at least knew about it before it happened!

      I poked around to see what people had to say about this:

      “You can go back to previous chapters any time. Each chapter has its own save.”

      “The save files are separate for each chapter. So you can reload you last save on Chapter 1 and continue to build the town or complete challenges at anytime.”

      So while I guess old villages aren’t connected to new chapters and maps, you can still go back and keep building and working on challenges. There also seems to be an open building aspect in Terra Incognita mode which is just open world building.

      Seeing that in Minecraft, I tended to travel from town to town to rebuild them, I think I’ll be okay with this aspect. Still glad you brought it up. Thanks!


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