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Dragon Quest Builders 2

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Dragon Quest Builders 2 Game Poster Image
Terrific building game with positive messages and teamwork.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can experiment with construction with this game's Lego-style block building, snapping pieces together to create nearly anything they can imagine. They'll also acquire a basic understanding of how mined, scavenged, and harvested resources -- rocks, wood, plants, animals -- are used by artisans to create things. Co-op play fosters a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

Positive Messages

The story is focused on friendship, community, and people's capacity to change and embrace new ideas. Play rewards imagination and creativity. Cooperative play encourages kids to build, strategize, and work together.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player's fully customizable character is a beacon of light for others, a builder who helps everyone he or she meets by finding things, building things, growing food, and protecting innocents. Many non-player characters are similarly upbeat and intent on doing the right thing, providing guidance and assistance while working hard on their on projects. Even some villains end up changing their ways once they meet and spend some time around the hero.

Ease of Play

Building and fighting are both very straightforward. Menus are smartly designed, inventory is essentially limitless, and switching between and using tools, weapons, and building blocks is quick and intuitive. In-game instructions gradually teach players everything they need to know.

Violence

Players fight fantastical creatures including skeletons, slimes, and buzzard bats using melee weapons and magic. Enemies fall and quickly disappear when defeated. The action is cartoonish and presented from a raised perspective.

Sex

Certain outfits -- including towels wrapped around waist and chest -- might seem a bit provocative, but characters don't engage in any lewd behavior.

Language

Text dialogue contains occasional instances of mild profanity, including "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism

Sequel to 2016's Dragon Quest Builders.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Images of steins and flagons appear in the environment.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a creative building experience for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game is a sequel to 2016's Dragon Quest Builders, and has a focus on building wrapped within an old-fashioned Japanese role-playing game. The player's customizable avatar takes on quests -- such as building a house or sowing a field with seeds -- from non-player characters, then goes out into the world to gather resources and fight monsters using magic and melee weapons. Combat's mild and viewed from a raised perspective, with monsters disappearing quickly after being defeated. Strong themes of friendship, community, and providing help to those who need it run throughout the story, with subplots showing how people -- including villains -- can change for the better if they embrace the right ideas. Players also get to exercise their imaginations and be creative as they freely build not just what other characters have requested, but anything they like by crafting the elements they need and assembling them according to their whims.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byOzzyNeo August 4, 2019

Great good feeling game

The game is full of positive messages. It will be hard for a kid that can’t read because there is much reading to do. The writing is funny and engaging. The gam... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 7, 2019

Probably one of the best games I have played

Great game although something too know is that near the end there is a pool of blood and lots of dead bodies but the blood looks more like kool-aid and the game... Continue reading

What's it about?

DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 takes place about a century after the events of the original Dragon Quest Builders. Players take on the role of a builder -- someone who has a knack for harvesting resources, refining them, and putting them together in novel ways -- in a time when such people are outlawed by a villainous cult that would rather destroy than create. After washing up on a desert island alongside a mysterious boy with no memory, the player's character begins a journey that takes him or her to nearby islands to make new friends and help them achieve their goals, from building a sustainable farm to creating an entire village. These missions are broken into a series of smaller projects that see players exploring their surroundings, harvesting minerals and resources to use in construction, and fighting roaming monsters. You'll also solve building puzzles while making new friends and recruiting them to come back to their base and lend a hand. While players are sometimes requested to build specific things based on blueprints, they also have freedom to create whatever they like from scratch with the resources they find. This is especially true when playing in the new co-operative mode, where players work together in the same world to defeat monsters, gather resources, and build anything they can think of.

Is it any good?

If you like Minecraft but wish it had a story and concrete objectives, this is the game for you. Dragon Quest Builders 2 keeps everything that worked in the original -- including simple harvesting and building mechanics, a broad cast of mission-bearing non-player characters, and a cute anime aesthetic -- refines elements that needed some work, and adds new ideas for good measure. For example, you can now fast travel to previously visited locations in the blink of an eye, and there are some fun new ways to get around, including gliding on the wind to cross the ocean and swimming into pools of water to find hidden chambers. Players can also easily switch between the default third-person perspective and a first-person view, which comes in handy in some building situations and while moving around indoors. And the new co-operative mode, which lets kids play with up to three other people locally or online, provides an outlet for players who want the freedom and social elements they're used to in games like Minecraft.

But the real draw -- and chief differentiator from other games of this ilk -- remains the goal-oriented story mode, which provides a sense of forward progress and rewards for work done to players who crave such things. It's always easy to figure out what you need to do next to progress the story, and you'll earn plenty of new recipes along the way that will allow you to build more powerful gear and more sophisticated structures. Plus, the traditional JRPG story, while simple, is filled with positive themes, including the power of friendship and the potential for villains, in the right environment, to turn over a new leaf and become good, productive members of society. Dragon Quest Builders 2 won't replace or become as popular as Minecraft, but Square Enix's series has carved out its own little place alongside Microsoft's monumental building game by giving players a creative experience with a little more narrative structure and a polished look and feel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. It's easy for Dragon Quest Builders 2 sessions to stretch on for a long time, but since you can save your progress whenever you like, have you considered setting up a hard stop when you begin playing to help manage your screen time?

  • When people come together they can accomplish a lot more than when they work alone, so what sort of things are only possible when groups of people team up to support a common goal?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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