Dragon Quest Builders 2 makes me feel like a creative genius. It accomplishes this bold feat through use of brilliant game design. In summary, no, it is not a “Minecraft Clone.” I use plenty of fancy words to elaborate on that in this video.

Somehow I arrived at adulthood without ever learning to enjoy creativity. Every time my life requires me to be creative, I make a face like Judge Dredd and complain throughout the exercise.

Well, 2016's Dragon Quest Builders made creativity fun. By meticulously laying out learning tasks as goals along the winding road of an adorably paced epic adventure set in a deep cut of the Dragon Quest universe, the game lent me the joy of being effortlessly creative.

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As I note in my video, an ungodly percentage of comments on Dragon Quest Builders 2's trailer accuse the game of being a “Minecraft Clone.” This is like calling Breath of the Wild an “Adventure Clone.”

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a full-length Dragon Quest game, which just so happens to supplement its cutscenes, exploration, and combat elements with cutely robust city planning mechanics. And, yes, perfectly fleshed-out, endlessly rich Minecraft building.

I see Minecraft as pretty much productivity software for nurturing children’s creativity. I wish we’d had it when I was in elementary school. All we’d had in my house was a bucket of off-brand Legos. We only had one of the flat green pieces, and it was frustratingly small. The biggest structure I could ever build was a port-a-potty.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 is bigger, longer, deeper, and magnitudes more narratively exciting than the first. It has online co-op building. Its controls are spectacularly riddled with gargantuan quality of life improvements. For example: your townspeople can build for you, if you lay out the blueprints and dump the materials in a nearby chest. It’s hilariously satisfying to watch them build.

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If you played the first Dragon Quest Builders and loved it, yet the previous paragraph enthralls you, I personally cannot conceive of the possibility of this game disappointing you.

Dragon Quest Builders 2's in-game social aspects allow me to view thousands of other players’ creations—and effortlessly travel to and tour their islands, if I want. It fascinates me to see how creative other players can get. I realize I’ll probably never build a shockingly complex cathedral in Dragon Quest Builders 2. Though given that what initially hooked me about playing a “Minecraft Reskin” was its Dragon Quest wallpaper, I find it fittingly satisfying that my village, viewed from the top down, looks perfectly like part of an 8-bit Dragon Quest map.

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The Dragon Quest Builders series has taught me that all I really need from a game is Dragon Quest towns. Dragon Quest Builders lets me make my own towns. It’s unlimited Dragon Quest towns. This is enough to convince me that I probably don’t need another video game for at least a couple of weeks.

I go into specific detail about a few of the game’s systems in my video, so if that sort of thing excites you, you could slam your Builder’s Hammer down on the thumbs-up icon on our YouTube channel.

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About the author

Tim Rogers

I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!

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