Dragon Quest Treasures Has A Great Demo

I almost missed a new Nintendo Switch favorite

Alex Rowe

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Dragon Quest Treasures demo title screen.
Nintendo Switch screenshot captured by Alex Rowe.

A demo is either a chance to try a game I’m already planning to buy, or a helpful tool to confirm that I’m not missing out by skipping something. That game demo dichotomy is typical for most players if you look at the few conversion statistics that have dripped out of the secretive gaming industry, which means they’re not always worth the production spend for game companies.

Dragon Quest Treasures is one of those rare games where I had dismissed it out of hand after a trailer, but then the downloadable demo fully sold me on it.

I love the core Dragon Quest franchise, but the spin-off games have never connected with me the same way that the main entries do. I know that the long-running Dragon Quest Monsters side franchise has a bunch of fans out there, and that some of them were hoping that Treasures would be a spiritual return to that series since it shares the same development team. Legendary “ghost studio” Tose worked on many of those older games and this new Treasures side game as well.

Monsters had turn based combat and monster collecting that you could charitably say was heavily inspired by Pokemon. The main trailer for Treasures that managed to break through into my awareness shows the returning collecting aspect, along with tons of menus and systems centered around finding different random drops of treasure and levelling up a base. Combat is shown for all of a few seconds, and those moments fixate on the traversal abilities that the monsters have, alongside a whisper of a slingshot.

I guessed from this video that Treasures would either focus on the turn based combat from the older Monsters games, or mostly revolve around ordering monsters to use their abilities while standing back. Combine that with a fixation on mobile game-looking loot menus, and it was easy to give it a pass. It also didn’t help that it came out about a month ago in a wildly crowded time where I was busy trying to finish other games and see family for the holidays.

Characters have a discussion in Dragon Quest Treasures.
Treasures has a surprisingly fun adventure story. Nintendo Switch screenshot captured by Alex Rowe.

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