Parents' Guide to

Dragon Quest Builders

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Imaginative world-building game with mild cartoon violence.

Dragon Quest Builders Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 7+

Solid game and safe for all

I'm a gamer myself, and an artist. When my 5 year old daughter asked me for Minecraft, I had many reasons I didn't want her to start playing it. With Minecraft, the online conversations can get to unsafe places once she's reading, and I hate the aweful graphics, and I knew I would be assisting her. I did some digging and found Dragon Quest Builders was coming to the switch, and a free demo had just been released, so we tried it out and she loved it. I worked through the story mode to unlock everything in free building mode, where she could build to her heart's content, make friends with the villagers, and be safe from aggressive badguys. When she likes something I've built, I can save a duplicate save file (5 slots per account) so she can do what she wants and I don't lose my hard work. Once she is reading and a little more confident with cartoon fighting mechanics, I think she will enjoy the full depth of the game. I'd say it's great for about age 7, but still a wonderful game for ages 4-6 with some assistance.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
age 7+

Intriguing, diverse fun!

My niece (24) asked for this game for her birthday. While I was visiting, she encouraged me to create my own login and play it. Wow, what fun! I really like the combination of building, collecting resources, learning how to combine resources to make a wide variety of items (food, necessities, decorations, defense), and going on quests to learn and discover. I'm not a great gamer, so the fact that you can save easily and can't really die (you don't have X lives) is great for me. The quests are just challenging enough to keep you interested and challenged. There is no blood and you accumulate knowledge and resources as you meet up with stronger "monsters" (scorpions, knights, skeletons). I just can't recommend this highly enough for a wide variety of ages. Note that the villagers are quirky and some are downright weird! But it makes for a more realistic experience. Oh, and lots of summaries will start "If you like Minecraft"--I've never played Minecraft, but it sounds very open-world and DQB has quests and missions, so it gives you focus, which I like very much. If you want, you can just do whatever (nothing, build other stuff, create stuff in the workshop) rather than do the missions.

This title has:

Great role models
Easy to play/use

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

If you enjoy Minecraft, chances are you'll like this creative role-playing game. It has a very similar (but noticeably more modern) blocky aesthetic, offers an analogous resource-gathering mechanic, and provides nearly boundless opportunity to create whatever you like. All that, and it has an actual story filled with satisfying exploration and building objectives to boot -- which should prove a boon for anyone who likes the creative potential of a game like Minecraft but craves a little more direction and narrative. While this sort of a game might seem a stretch for the traditional Dragon Quest formula, it actually fits surprisingly well. Franchise fans will recognize monsters, music, and the series' trademark tongue-in-cheek dialogue and will be happy to know they can still grow and upgrade their character with seeds, new armor, and more powerful weapons. The Switch version's inclusion of "Pixels" as a crafting material to customize the look of the game even further toward the classic adventure is a great homage to the original series, while giving a bit of visual flair to the blocky environments.

There are a couple of minor quirks, though. For starters, the action is presented from a third-person perspective, which sometimes makes it a little tricky to target specific blocks for removal or placement (though as you learn more powerful area-damage moves, such as a spin attack, you'll be able to clear and harvest blocks quicker than you ever could in Minecraft). Plus, there's a little less freedom to experiment at the start, since recipes for objects are gradually provided through quests rather than stumbled upon by combining random ingredients. But once you've been playing for five or 10 hours, you'll be able to build everything from bustling towns to towering castles. This one earns an easy recommendation for kids with big imaginations.

Game Details

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