Dragon Quest Builders 2, a voxel based builder and RPG, is a direct sequel to Dragon Quest II and a spiritual successor to Dragon Quest Builder. You play as a builder as an apprentice builder going around with Malroth (hard to spoil this since it lays it out at the start, the big baddie in the original games but in Human form). You explore this large and vast world, learning how to build more and more things and upgrading bases to produce supplies for you.
Villagers will till the fields, sow the seeds, gather the crops and even cook the food for you. You’ll eventually be able to automate much of the base, including everything from its defense to its production. As you advance through the games you’ll unlock more and more recipes and in general, it’s a pretty good time.
Let me start off with the positives: it’s cute and fun. It builds on the first builders game really well, keeps all the fun stuff and has some minor improvements to combat like including NPCs that can fight for you. The gameplay loop has you basically running tons and tons of small errands for delightful NPCs who have quirky personalities and a lot of heartfelt thanks as you rebuild their cities that often times you found out they destroyed.
You’ll run out to often times explore some new area and then run back to find out your new task which usually involves building something for the town and then run back to explore somewhere else new. Enemies litter the land and combat isn’t the most fun thing out there, but you can avoid most fights and you’ll often have NPCs with you to fight.
It’s satisfying and easy to get lost into the world as you try to perfect each little area for each NPC. Decorations, which in other games are often just fluff, usually are a requirement to upgrade buildings forcing you to build somewhat aesthetically pleasing buildings.
On the negative side, the combat is pretty bad. It’s like mid-2000s top down action RPG with limited skills and options. The good news is, as I’ve said, Malroth is better at fighting than you are and most of the combat can be avoided beyond what you need to do to farm materials.
Keeping this review on the shorter side, I can wrap everything up with a simple: if you want a voxel based Minecraft-like game set in a cute world with lots of Dragon Warrior / Dragon Quest enemies and a cute storyline and lots of direction on where to go and what to do then this is the game for you.
If you don’t want to build things or if you don’t like Dragon Quest at absolutely all then this isn’t the game for you.
You don’t need to have played any Dragon Quest games or the original builders to enjoy Dragon Quest Builders 2, although the first game as of writing can be found as bargain bin prices.