Dragon Quest Treasures from Square Enix and Tose released exclusively on Nintendo Switch last month, and I’ve been playing it for review ever since. In a lot of ways, Dragon Quest Treasures kept reminding me of Square Enix in the 3DS era. It feels like a spin-off game we’d be begging Square Enix to localize on 3DS in the best possible ways. It also has some elements of Square Enix’s mobile games blended in. I went from not being interested in Dragon Quest Treasures when it was revealed, to enjoying it a lot over the last few weeks. In my Dragon Quest Treasures Switch review, I will cover why it is worth your time, the few annoyances, and more.
Despite featuring Erik and Mia who Dragon Quest XI players will know well, Dragon Quest Treasures can be enjoyed as a standalone experience. It has a lot of callbacks to prior entries in the series, but is a lovely self-contained experience that can be a brilliant entry point into the world of Dragon Quest for younger players. It feels like a very accessible and charming action RPG aimed at a younger audience. It also brings in monster collecting elements, daily quests, and has a very addictive core gameplay loop.
After a long opening segment that is full of tutorials, you finally get access to your base and can start actually exploring for treasure, getting into dungeon-like locations, befriending monsters by defeating them, and improving your own base. As you befriend more monsters, they will help you find treasure which raises your vault value. I was surprised at the variety of locations you can explore. Dragon Quest Treasures is definitely bigger in scope than I was expecting despite it not being a very long game.
The combat in Dragon Quest Treasures is very simple. There also isn’t much of an equipment system here barring medals initially. You have access to special skills during combat and your monster party will help you, but there is one mechanic that feels tacked on. The catapult completely ruins the flow of combat, and you need to use it for buddy or offensive pellets on monsters or for restorative pellets on your party. Barring this, the combat is very straightforward.
As you collect more monsters, you also get access to special monster traversal abilities. I recently bought the Dragon Quest Treasures Digital Deluxe Edition upgrade to see if it was worth it for new players. You get access to a Great Sabrecat, Ruby Golem, and Icy Dragling. These will be very useful early on, but not so much when I bought the upgrade. You also get some bullets and bombs for use in the game. If you do end up liking the game through its free demo and want to play the full release, I’d recommend the upgrade since it isn’t expensive at all.
I mentioned Dragon Quest Treasures having some of Square Enix’s mobile game elements included. The core gameplay itself feels like something we’d see in a Japan-only mobile Dragon Quest game, but the daily quest system implementation feels right out of a mobile game with no free-to-play shenanigans here. The daily quest system is rather nice, and it incentivizes doing a bit of the game daily if you are stretching your playthrough over many weeks like I did. I always wondered how Square Enix’s mobile efforts in Japan would feel if they saved those ideas for a console game. I feel like Dragon Quest Treasures is pretty close to that in the best possible way.
I’ve praised Dragon Quest Treasures quite a bit, and I like it a lot, but it struggles on the technical side of things. It runs mostly fine, but the draw distance is quite bad. Things aren’t as bad as Pokemon Violet, but this is a step down from how polished Dragon Quest XI S was on Nintendo Switch.
Dragon Quest Treasures has some voice acting, and it is very well done with dual audio support. Barring the voice acting, almost everything in Dragon Quest Treasures feels like it has been taken from prior entries. There are some new tunes or ones I didn’t recognize from prior games, but a majority of what I’ve heard in Dragon Quest Treasures is from previous entries in the franchise. This is the norm for Dragon Quest spin-offs, but it was worth noting. The music is also the standard midi soundtrack and not the orchestral arrangements Dragon Quest XI S players might be used to so keep that in mind.
If you own a Nintendo Switch and like Dragon Quest, I’d recommend trying out the demo and seeing how you feel about Dragon Quest Treasures. The core gameplay loop is great, but I can see some bouncing off it. If it clicks, expect to enjoy the charm and plethora of content available for a few dozen hours in Dragon Quest Treasures.
In a lot of ways, Dragon Quest Treasures feels like a 3DS-era Dragon Quest spin-off we would be begging Square Enix to localize. It has all the charm of Square Enix’s games from that era, and it perfectly suits the pickup and play nature of the Nintendo Switch. While the technical issues are unfortunate, I’ve enjoyed Dragon Quest Treasures a lot over the last few weeks. It has been a lovely relaxing game with its excellent core gameplay loop and signature Dragon Quest flavor.