Dragon Quest Builders

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Dragon Quest Builders
Dragon quest builders art.jpg
Developer(s)Square Enix Business Division 5
Publisher(s)Square Enix
Director(s)Kazuya Niinou[1]
Producer(s)Noriyoshi Fujimoto[2]
Artist(s)Akira Toriyama
Composer(s)Koichi Sugiyama
SeriesDragon Quest
Platform(s)PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch
ReleasePlayStation 3
  • JP: January 28, 2016
PlayStation 4, PS Vita
  • JP: January 28, 2016
  • NA: October 11, 2016
  • PAL: October 14, 2016
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: February 9, 2018
  • JP: March 1, 2018
Genre(s)Action role-playing, sandbox

Dragon Quest Builders[a] is a sandbox action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and published by Nintendo for Nintendo Switch[4]. The game is set in Alefgard, the world of the original Dragon Quest video game, with players controlling the builder who is tasked with rebuilding the world after it was destroyed. The game features a blocky aesthetic style, with gathering and building elements similar to games such as ActRaiser, Dark Cloud, Minecraft and Terraria. The game was released in Japan in January 2016, and worldwide in October 2016.[5] A sequel, Dragon Quest Builders 2, was released in Japan in December 2018 and will be released worldwide in July 2019.


Media speculation from when the game was first announced was that Dragon Quest Builders would be a Dragon Quest version of Minecraft.[6][7] Early screenshots show the player building a camp out of blocks; the camp gains levels based on how much it has been built up. Monsters such as Slime and Dragon from the original Dragon Quest appear in the game. The player has a health bar, and must eat food over time, similar to Minecraft.[8] The game has also been compared to Dark Cloud (2000)[9] and ActRaiser (1990); according to Kotaku, Dragon Quest Builder is more akin to ActRaiser than Minecraft.[10]


The game is set in Alefgard, the world of the original Dragon Quest. The game is based on a parallel ending of Dragon Quest: before the final battle, the hero accepted the evil Dragonlord's suggestion - each rules a half of the world. The deal turned out to be a trap, leading to the hero's defeat and allowing the land to be dominated by monsters.[11] With time passing by, a new builder (the player character) appears to revive the desolate world for the next hero. Players gather "material" all over the world in order to rebuild the land of Alefgard from scratch.[12]

Development and release[edit]

Protagonists were designed by Akira Toriyama, with Etrian Odyssey creator Kazuya Niinou serving as the game's director.[1][12] The game's soundtrack consists primarily of arrangements from the first Dragon Quest game, released in 1986. The game was initially announced in July 2015 to be under development for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.[13] It was released in Japan on January 28, 2016, and in North America, Europe, and Australia in October 2016.[14][5] An "Ultimate Hit" version was released in Japan on December 1, 2016.[15]

It was also released for the Nintendo Switch in North America and PAL territories on February 9, 2018,[16] and in Japan on March 1, 2018.[17]


Aggregate score
MetacriticPS4: 83/100[18]
NS: 81/100[19]

Famitsu's panel of four reviewers all rated it a 9, giving the game an overall rating of 36 out of 40.[20] IGN awarded it 8.9 out of 10, saying "Dragon Quest Builders admirably mixes the series' RPG traditions with Minecraft."[21] GameSpot awarded it 8.0 out of 10, saying "The excellence of Dragon Quest Builders illustrates the versatility of this 30-year-old franchise as much as it speaks to the engrossing appeal of Minecraft-inspired creation."[22] Kotaku listed it as one of 2016's top ten games, describing it as "an incredible RPG more akin to Actraiser" and "way better than Minecraft could ever be."[10]

It sold 700,000 copies in Japan across all three platforms.[23] In November 2016, worldwide sales surpassed 1.1 million copies.[24]


A sequel, Dragon Quest Builders 2, was announced for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in Japan on 20 December 2018, and will be released worldwide on 12 July 2019.[25][26][27] It includes cooperative gameplay for up to four players, and had developmental assistance from Koei Tecmo.[28]


  1. ^ Dragon Quest Builders: Revive Alefgard! (ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ アレフガルドを復活せよ, Doragon Kuesuto Birudāzu Arefugarudo o Fukkatsu Seyo)
  1. ^ a b "Dragon Quest Builders Directed By Etrian Odyssey Creator". Siliconera. Curse. July 21, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Sugihara, Takahiro (July 29, 2015). "30周年のアニバーサリーイヤーに向け、期待が高まる作品ばかり!". Famitsu (in Japanese). GzBrain. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Noriyoshi Fujimoto On 'Dragon Quest Builders' And How It Came About". Forbes. June 17, 2016.
  4. ^ https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/dragon-quest-builders-switch
  5. ^ a b Seto, Dan. "Dragon Quest Builders Confirmed for North America on PS4, PS Vita". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment America. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "ドラクエ版マイクラ?『ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ』PS3/PS4/PSVitaで発売決定". Weekly ASCII (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "アレフガルドをブロックで作るRPG「ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ」 PS向けに今冬発売". ITmedia NEWS (in Japanese). July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  8. ^ McWhertor, Michael (July 22, 2015). "First Dragon Quest Builders screenshots show off Square Enix's Minecraft-like RPG". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "Dragon Quest Builders: quando il mattone è l'investimento più sicuro". IGN. September 6, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Jason Schreier's Top 10 Games Of 2016". Kotaku. December 24, 2016.
  11. ^ Tairiku Shinchitsujo (July 29, 2015). 「ドラゴンクエスト新作発表会」詳報。「ドラゴンクエストXI 過ぎ去りし時を求めて」をはじめとする新作の数々を堀井雄二氏が解説. 4gamer.net (in Japanese). Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Dragon Quest Builders Is Set In The First Dragon Quest Game With Blocks". July 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "『ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ アレフガルドを復活せよ』今冬発売決定! ブロックで世界を創る"ブロックメイクRPG"". Famitsu (in Japanese). GzBrain. July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Krupa, Daniel (September 15, 2015). "TGS 2015: Dragon Quest Builders Coming in January for Japan". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ アレフガルドを復活せよ". Square-Enix (in Japanese). Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  16. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (December 18, 2017). "Dragon Quest Builders Digs Into the Switch on 9th February". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network.
  17. ^ "Dragon Quest Builders for Switch launches March 1 in Japan, demo launches February 1". Gematsu. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  18. ^ "Dragon Quest Builders for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  19. ^ "Dragon Quest Builders for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  20. ^ "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1416 - Gematsu". January 19, 2016.
  21. ^ Smith, Rob (October 7, 2016). "Dragon Quest Builders Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  22. ^ Concepcion, Miguel (November 16, 2016). "Dragon Quest Builders Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Sato (May 30, 2016). "Dragon Quest Builders Surpasses 700,000 Units In Total Sales". Siliconera. Curse. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  24. ^ "PS4/PS3/PS Vita「ドラゴンクエストビルダーズ アレフガルドを復活せよ」が世界販売本数110万本を達成!一部特典アイテムが無料配信". Gamer (in Japanese). ixll. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  25. ^ McWhertor, Michael (August 6, 2017). "Dragon Quest Builders 2 coming to PS4, Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  26. ^ Romano, Sal. "Dragon Quest Builders 2 coming west in 2019". Gematsu. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  27. ^ Lane, Gavin (February 14, 2019). "Battle And Build When Dragon Quest Builders 2 Launches On Switch This July". Nintendo Life. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  28. ^ Wong, Alistair. "Dragon Quest Builders 2 Is Set To Come Out On December 20, 2018 In Japan". Siliconera. Retrieved August 29, 2018.

External links[edit]