‘Minecraft’-inspired RPG ‘Dragon Quest Builders’ hits US shores in October

Publisher Square Enix announced that its Minecraft-inspired sandbox construction game Dragon Quest Builders is headed to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in North America and Europe later this year.

Today’s announcement arrives on the 30th anniversary of the original Dragon Quest‘s launch in Japan, bolstering the long-running series’ latest push for stateside recognition.

Dragon Quest Builders offers an alternate-universe take on the original Dragon Quest‘s storyline, envisioning a dark future in which the game’s hero forms an alliance with the evil Dragonlord. The hero is subsequently betrayed and left for dead as the kingdom of Alefgard descends into darkness.

In the aftermath of the catastrophe, once-thriving villages are reduced to rubble, and according to Square Enix, “the few survivors scattered around the world no longer understand the concept of creativity and live through scavenging what remains among ruins.” Players must then restore the world to its former glory by rebuilding villages, brick by brick, in an RPG-styled quest.

Taking cues from Mojang’s indie hit Minecraft, Dragon Quest Builders features a block-dropping construction mechanic at its core. In addition to building structures by placing bricks in specific formations, players can craft items and weapons in order to fulfill requests from nearby villagers.

Though its main questline focuses on construction, Dragon Quest Builders also offers real-time combat and character-leveling mechanics, essentially transforming the Minecraft formula into an action-RPG. In order to gather necessary building materials, players must explore a vast wilderness in search of monsters and hidden treasure, adding an element of danger to an otherwise laid-back premise.

The PlayStation 4 version of Dragon Quest Builders will launch digitally and at retail in North America and Europe in October. The PlayStation Vita edition will skip a boxed release for its upcoming PlayStation Network-exclusive debut.

Square Enix is also readying a pair of Dragon Quest series remakes for North American release “later this year,” including upgraded Nintendo 3DS versions of 2000’s Dragon Quest VII and 2004’s Dragon Quest VIII.