I like Minecraft. I was a little late to the party, but I’ve now got the game on pretty much every platform that it’s available on. I’ve spent hours digging holes and making stuff, all the while being careful not to have some errant creeper blow the whole lot up.
As much as I like Minecraft, found the game missing a point. Even Telltale’s Minecraft Story Mode couldn’t make up for the game’s lake of a real campaign mode.
If only someone could take Minecraft’s simple, but stylish creativity and meld it with a Japanese role-playing game. Well, hello, Dragon Quest Builders.
First released back in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, it’s now time for Nintendo Switch fans to get their hands on this fun little game from Square Enix.
The plot is simple enough, Alesfgard is in ruins and it’s up to the player to rebuild the land. In a similar fashion to Minecraft, players have to gather resources to build or craft with. Unlike Minecraft, the game gives players a sense of purpose. Add to that combat and quests and you’ve got a winning combination.
The game eases players in gently, pointing out all the necessary items required to add simple rooms to your town. At the very least you need a room two bricks high (no roof required), a door and a light source. You can then add furniture and objects to get points create special room for specific task. This can be a simple as laying down beds to create bedrooms or a fire to make a kitchen.
Each level requires players to rebuild an area and then defend it. The building aspect of the game is more functional than creative, so don’t think that you are going to create the same sort of masterpieces that Minecraft will afford you.
I did find the controls a little fiddly to begin with, staking bricks all over the show. I wasn’t until I realised that switching cameras is a must in the game- with the close-up camera being essential for building walls etc., whilst the far camera was best for exploring and combat.
The visuals are great. Don’t be put off by the tiny-looking objects in the game, the Switch renders them all crystal clear, packing a huge world into a tiny screen. The full day/night cycle shows off just what the Switch is capable of.
Dragon Quest Builders is a great game on any format. It’s simple to pick up but absolutely engrossing. It’s a shame to move on to new areas, abandoning your previous efforts, but that’s the price you pay for a Minecraft-style game with some real progression.