7 awesome things in the DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince demo

From starter monsters to synthesis, we take a look at some of the coolest features in the DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince demo
By Duncan Heaney

DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince is just weeks away! This highly anticipated monster wrangling adventure launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on December 1, 2023… but you don’t have to wait that long to play it.

A demo is available now, and it lets you play through the opening hours of the game. You’ll play through the start of the story, discover how Psaro takes his first steps on his quest to become a monster wrangler, and perhaps even the Master of Monsterkind!

It’s a massive demo with hours of playtime - and your monsters in your party will carry over to the full game! Here’s just a few things you can look forward to getting up to:

You’ll choose a starter monster

You can’t be a monster wrangler if you don’t have a monster, and the first big decision you’ll have in the demo is receiving your very first.

The monster caretaker Monty will ask you some probing questions about the type of monsters you like. Depending on your answers, you’ll be given one of the following new friends:

  • Platypunk
  • Mud Mannequin
  • Cruelcumber
  • Fright Bulb

Be honest and you’ll get a monster that matches your preferences. For example, I got a Cruelcumber - and I couldn’t be happier!

Don’t worry if you want something beyond those choices though - you’ll be out in the world and ready to scout for more monsters in minutes!

You’ll explore regions across two worlds

Before long, the game will let you loose in your first area: Terrestria Plains. This large area is a verdant land filled with rolling hills, roaring streams, dense woods, and monsters just waiting to be recruited.

You could theoretically lose hours scouting, battling, and exploring this vast region, but you’d only scratch the surface of what’s available in the demo. Continue your adventure, and you’ll also uncover loads of other areas to explore, from the paddock where your monsters are kept, your home base in Rosehill Tower and your first coliseum.

But that’s just the human world. From Rosehill Tower, you can also descend into the demon world of Nadiria. Here, you’ll discover new areas to explore, such as the massive Circle of Conquest - where lightning bolts illuminate the sky and poison swamps hide secrets.

Those aren’t the only locations, of course. This is a big, generous demo full of characters and places we can’t wait for you to discover. Who knows what treasures you may find…?

You’ll witness the changing of the seasons… and the world

The world of DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince is ever-changing - it moves through the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season is more than just an aesthetic change - it alters the landscape itself.

For example, in Spring flowers may bloom, in Summer, plant life flourishes and creates new paths. When Fall comes, the weather turns and the trees lose their leaves, and Winter freezes the rivers, allowing you to walk right over them. Also, different monsters appear depending on the season, so you might want to revisit some areas as the seasons change.

You’ll get to see the effect of the different seasons in the demo, so be sure to look around for new paths and new opportunities to find useful items and monsters!

You’ll take on iconic monsters…

Each of the large, open areas in the demo are absolutely packed full of monsters - from icons like the humble Slime and Dracky, to more weird and wonderful creations from throughout the series, like the brilliantly named Woebergine and Capsichums.

When you run into one of these monsters, you’ll enter a battle! You have four spaces for monsters in your active party (bigger monsters may take up multiple spaces) and set tactics on how they should behave in the fracas to come. For example, tell a monster to ‘Show No Mercy’ and they’ll hit their foe with everything they have. Or set ‘Focus on Healing’ and they’ll do everything they can to keep the rest of the party hale and hearty.

If you want more precise control, you can even give them orders to use specific moves on specific enemies. Whatever the approach, you’ll be rewarded with Exp and items to strengthen your monsters and let them take on even greater foes!

…or add them to the team

But of course, DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince isn’t only about battling monsters - it’s about recruiting them! The areas in the demo alone are teeming with dozens of monsters that you can add to your menagerie.

Getting them to join the party is easier said than done though. There are multiple ways to scout monsters. You could leave it to luck and wait for your foe to ask to join you after a battle or Scout it and persuade it to join the team. There are other ways to get monsters too…

You’ll synthesize your way to success

Progress far enough in the demo, and you’ll unlock the ability to Synthesize monsters.

This monster wrangling mainstay lets you combine two monsters together to create an entirely new one. You’ll be able to create some very powerful creations, and even inherit talents to make your creations even more capable!

Synthesis is the key to building a powerful party - and it’s also just fun to experiment with! Even in the demo, you’ll be able to discover some intriguing combinations…

You may even conquer your first tournaments

When you’ve built a strong party, you’ll be able to take them into tournaments. Some tournaments are featured as part of the story, such as the Endor Colosseum, where you’ll be able to test your monsters’ strength and face adversaries of increasing strength. And don’t forget to visit the Maulosseum in Nadiria to face off against fiendish foes!

Tournaments are a fantastic test for your party and monster wrangling skills. Will you enter with a powerful team of big hitters, or play a subtler game and equip monsters with healing skills and debuffs? The choice is yours…

Those were just seven awesome things you can expect to do in the DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince demo. It’s free to download, so go try it for yourselves!

The full game launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on December 1, 2023. In addition to the Standard Edition, a Digital Deluxe Edition is also available:

It includes:

  • Full game download
  • The Mole Hole (Includes the 'Gothic Vestment' outfit)
  • Coach Joe's Dungeon Gym (Includes the 'Cake-Maker's Clobber' outfit)
  • Treasure Trunks (Includes the 'Monstrous Mail' outfit)
  • Burgundy Gothic Vestment
  • Warrior's Ring x1
  • Beastie Bites x10

Players who pre-order or pre-purchase the game will also receive the Head Start Set which includes:

  • Stardust Earrings x1
  • Scholar's Specs x1
  • Bonus Ball x5

The game is available to preorder now:

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