Think of Minecraft and Zelda, now think of them being thrown into a blender, what you get is Dragon Quest Builders 2. What is great about this game is that it has most of the freedom of Minecraft, but with actual quests and a cast of characters that actually have a purpose.
A great feature which makes Dragon Quest Builders distinct from other block building games is that certain patterns when building create different functional structures. These are known as blueprints. When you discover new blueprints you can build a functional bedroom, restaurant, bathroom, and even a spa (and a lot more types of buildings). These buildings are actually used by the NPC’s in the game in order to process materials, keep the NPC’s happy, and help you progress through the game.
Fighting monsters when exploring is also very thought out and works very well. you have a choice of weapons and abilities you can use to fight with. Fighting comes with its own rewards in resources and experience. It honestly feels like the adventure aspects and the building aspects are both given equal attention and they both turned out really well.
For those who are used to building like in Minecraft though, there may be a steep learning curve. It is not as easy to place blocks in 3rd person as it is in first person. Dragon Quest Builders does have a first person perspective, but its aspect ratio/field of view feels off compared to Minecraft (its hard not to compare the two games, but Minecraft was the first and most popular block building game so there is a basis of comparison). The 3rd person perspective also makes roofs and second floors seem pointless to make, the materials to make a beautiful roof are in the game though for those who want to try it out.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 looks really good graphically. It has a cartoony style thats very Japanese but also very charming. The blocks are smoother than vanilla Minecraft and the lighting is very nice. The world is separated into different islands which each have their own biomes and items to scavenge for and build with. These different areas keep the game fresh and never boring.
There is multiplayer in Dragon Quest Builders 2, which is unlocked after the tutorial stage. It is very fun to see your friends island and compare it to your own, or just play through the game together. There is also an active contest scene to with monthly themes where you can show off your creative builds.
I would recommend Dragon Quest Builders 2 to a player looking for something more from their Minecraft experience when it comes to story and functionality of the world itself, however be prepared for sometimes frustrating building mechanics. Dragon Age Builders makes up for this draw-back with very engaging adventure gameplay reminiscent of Zelda and an interesting world to explore.