I've had nothing but good to say about Dragon Quest: Builders over the past year. More than simply a Minecraft clone, Builders manages to combine the open-ended construction mechanics of that game with the structure and style of Dragon Quest.
Still, there's only so much you can glean from someone else's positive impressions, right? Square Enix seems to understand that the real appeal of the game lies in the playing, and to that end a playable demo for the upcoming DIY RPG arrives on PlayStation Network today. Although the company's announcement doesn't indicate how large the demo will actually be, it says that players "can explore a large open island, restore a town and battle hordes of monsters all while completing exciting quests." That suggests several hours of play time: In my hands-on preview of the game, I found the process of partially restoring the town of Cantlin gave me about three or four hours of play before I needed to warp to a new island to unlock new materials and tools.
Perhaps even more significantly, this demo won't simply be limited to the PlayStation 4 version my earlier impressions were based on; a Vita demo arrives at the same time as its console counterpart. There's been a lot of curiosity regarding the comparative performance of the handheld rendition of Builders, since it involves a great deal of customization and persistence that you might expect to tax the Vita's memory. I can't actually speak to how well the game turned out on Vita, but now you can see for yourself rather than waiting for the opinion of some random guy on the internet. Handy, no?
Builders launches in the U.S. for both platforms on Oct. 11. This demo probably won't hold you over until then, unless you're really good at squeezing play time out of an incredibly limited array of tools and spaces... but after falling hard for the preview build of the game, I definitely recommend fans of Dragon Quest and Minecraft alike take the demo for a trial run.