The Dragon Quest series is no stranger to the mobile game realm, having released other titles including ports of its own numbered series to the platform in the past. Now, Square Enix is stepping up with a new, standalone spin-off titled Dragon Quest Tact.
As the name might suggest, Dragon Quest Tact is a tactics-based free to play role-playing game. Which means it has all of the typical mobile/gasha game-style bones but coated with its own strategy RPG and monster catching paint.
Recently we were allowed access to an early version of the game in English ahead of its Western launch in 2021.
If you’ve dabbled in any sort of free-to-play game, the setup and structure of Dragon Quest Tact will feel very familiar – or at least it did to me as someone who frequently plays the Dragon Ball mobile titles. The game leads with a base tutorial of sorts before dropping you into its menu where you’ll be able to get a start on the story content.
Enter the realm of Orchesterra – a place where a dormant evil threatens all. Well it wouldn’t be Dragon Quest without that element, and it’s up to you as the hero to keep peace among the world. It’s a simple story so far but it works in the greater context of the mainline series.
As the opening chapter sets up these notes, the rest is fairly simplistic in its design – mainly there to help you recruit several monsters to fill out your main party and get used to the game and the adventure your character (named by you) gets to go on.
This slow ramp up leads to the game’s battle system out the gate – which is a tried and true grid battle system. Moving your party members about the different squares within each turn is how things operate, with the ultimate goal of defeating the enemies on the field. They’ll of course have their own turns too so strategy comes into play when it comes to selecting the right units for the job.
Like many of its contemporaries, Dragon Quest Tact also offers up an automatic gameplay mode. Simply select the “Auto” button on the side of the screen during battles and the computer will fight for you. You can set up various “preset” strategies in the menu and adjust the battle speed between normal and fast as well. It’s a wholly convenient feature that allows for some quick play while on the go or multitasking.
Players are required to complete through Chapter 2’s first mission to unlock multiple menu items including Scout (the game’s version of summons) and Event quests. Further completion of the story then opens up Daily quests, Equip, Upgrade Ability options and Battle Road content.
All of these features can be accessed through the main menu along with Mission rewards and Present items – the latter of which houses Gems and other goodies accrued from battle and completing various quests.
Gems, long with tickets, can be used to purchase Scout tickets. Scout one time for 300 Gems and ten times for 3,000. The resulting summon will grant you a randomized chance at different monsters – ranked S, A, B, C in terms of rarity. The higher ranked, the better your monster will be.
Of course, that’s not the only way to obtain new units. As with the opening chapter, continuing your way through the story will also drop new cards – monsters who decide to join you after you defeat them. These tend to be lower ranked but can be leveled up and boosted using Experience items.
As the player you can rank up as well by completing missions and other events. Missions are slotted into several categories including Daily, Weekly, Feats and Event. Dailies and Weekly quests rely on their specific time tables, while Feats include missions such as “clear a stage 30 times” or “clear chapter 3, episode 7 one time”. You’ve got a finite amount of time to claim earned rewards so it’s best to gather them as soon as they appear.
There’s also a number of beginner missions available that earn an S-Rank Scout Voucher.
In the Party Members section of the menu, players can edit their party, upgrade units and learn abilities. Parties consist of one leader and four other members – the likes of which can be selected either manually or recommended by stats/rarity. It’s convenient for those who just want to enjoy the monster collecting aspect of the game or play casually. If anything it’s cool being able to see the various Dragon Quest monsters in a pocket 3D format.
I think right now my biggest take away is: where do I see this game going? Dragon Quest Tact is clearly being built on the monster collecting aspect as well as the tactical battle system and that’s fine. There’s a promised Arena feature coming at some point on the main menu, though details on what that will involve remain sparse for now. It simply says it’ll be unlocked in a future update.
On a personal level I’m most interested in where they’ll take the story/adventure updates, basic as they (right now) may be. I’m definitely keen on finding out more once the game properly launches early next year.