Dragon Quest Builders 2 has a free “jumbo demo” that you can play right now before it launches on PC next week. The first Minecraft-y spinoff from the JRPG series Dragon Quest never made it off consoles so it’s nice that we get a small taste of the sequel to see what it’s about.
The cuter version of JRPG protagonists and the building based on crafting sims seem like an odd mashup at first glance. The story offers a bit more structure than something as open-ended as Minecraft though it does sound like a whole lot of JRPG tropes thrown in a blender. You wash up on a deserted island where you, the chibi-faced protagonist, need to thwart the Children of Hargon who want to get rid of all creators. Somehow that job has fallen to an apprentice builder.
Aside from that, Dragon Quest Builders 2 has all the bits you’d expect from a crafting game. You can build things, craft, plant, fight, and ride horses all over each island. You can also co-op with up to four players online.
Fortunately you don’t need to take my or anyone else’s word for whether or not you’ll enjoy DQB2. The demo lets you visit the first three areas of the game: “the tutorial area, the deserted Isle of Awakening, along with a large portion of the Furrowfield island,” Square Enix say. If you decide to buy the full game after, your save file can be transferred.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 hits Steam on December 10th for £50/€60/$60 but you can head to that page now to download and play the demo.