Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4; Square Enix
Like Minecraft but with more constraints, this gentle, humorous adventure game mixes world-building with exploration, puzzle-solving and combat
As anybody who ever sat blinking in front of a blank page or canvas knows, boundless creativity can be paralysing. Sandbox games such as Minecraft can have a similar effect. Building things without instructions can be liberating, but can also leave us feeling lost. Dragon Quest Builders 2 balances creative freedom with direction, and allows even the most imaginatively challenged of us a taste of the joy of making something.
Unlike the more open-ended Minecraft and its ilk, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is an adventure game, based around building, that gives you the option to flex your creative muscles if you so choose. Set in a world where any kind of building is banned by a destruction-worshiping religion, it drops you on to a mysterious deserted island, with an enigmatic amnesiac companion called Malroth. I was initially annoyed at the prospect of having someone following me around all the time, but Malroth endeared himself to me by fighting monsters and collecting materials at my side – and only very occasionally getting in the way of my masterful crafting.
Selected by softengoxford