• Publisher: Natsume
  • Release Date: Aug 14, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. Series fans will find that Rune Factory far exceeds their expectations. The inclusion of combat, magic, and other RPG elements greatly expand on an excellent game design that will feel familiar, if not significantly improved, to many players.
  2. A great game with an overwhelming amount of things to do giving you a lot of freedom to explore the little world and follow the main story at your own pace. [JPN Import]
  3. This game earns a spot next to Advance Wars DS and Castlevania: DoS as an essential title in the library of anyone who enjoys top-notch single-player experiences on DS.
  4. It’s unlikely that Rune Factory is going to make converts out of anyone who doesn’t already enjoy the series but it will certainly please longtime fans, especially those who felt like the series was growing stale.
  5. The good news is Rune Factory is long on farming, exploration, and relationships and short on the sillier aspects of the franchise. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the game is long, varied, and a great deal of addictive fun to play. Pick this one up especially if you have a long trip coming up.
  6. 85
    Rune Factory might not be perfect, but it's the first Harvest Moon game to be released on the DS that doesn't feel old hat.
  7. In the end, this meshing of two different styles of gameplay is what makes Rune Factory a worthy pickup for previous Harvest Moon-ers.
  8. 84
    For Harvest Moon fans, Rune Factory is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. The game balances a classic farming system (with some changes for the better) along with a full dungeon-crawling aspect, monster collection, and all the added goodies you’d expect from the franchise.
  9. 84
    It might be old, but Rune Factory is still very, very good - a welcome reinvention of the Harvest Moon series by a developer who clearly loves it almost as much as we do.
  10. Very fun indeed. [Dec 2007, p.62]
  11. Exploring Rune Factory's rural village of Kardia is like shaking a snow globe; the town is small but nuanced, perfectly preserved yet dynamic.
  12. A very entertaining game that was released in Japan in 2006 in Europe in 2009! Let´s hope the second part will be released sooner in the old world.
  13. Rune Factory does a good job of changing up the Harvest Moon formula many have grown bored with. Veterans may not like the changes at first, but give them a chance and you’ll likely find yourself enjoying it.
  14. 80
    The new elements all mesh perfectly to provide a more well-rounded farming RPG experience, and, as odd as that sounds to non-fans, this is an excellent DS adventure.
  15. 80
    Rune Factory is a great portable action RPG/sim with a vast array of activities and a great addictive vibe.
  16. 80
    Rune Factory successfully implements an engaging dungeon crawling aspect without sacrificing, or even significantly altering, the core Harvest Moon formula.
  17. Despite its complicated start, Rune Factory rewards the player with a really charming role-playing experience.
  18. Despite a totally different visual style and the introduction of combat, Rune Factory still delivers a relatively straight-ahead Harvest Moon experience.
  19. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    Great for fans, hard work for everyone - it's not bad, just really heavy going. [Feb 2009, p.80]
  20. Nintendo Power
    The play control is responsive, but sword swinging is hesitant and Raguna is unable to fight and walk at the same time. [Sept 2007, p.88]
  21. 70
    Rune Factory is a good experiment which introduces new concepts and refreshed gameplay , but it doesn't do a good job of using the DS' many capabilities.
  22. Rune Factory is an impressive advancement for the Harvest Moon series but you have to be committed to get the most out of the experience.
  23. Those who adore the franchise will most likely find this title worthwhile due to the steps it takes to advance the series into foreign territory, but these gamers have also stuck with the Harvest Moon games for a reason: they can cope with a bevy of flawed design choices to appreciate the redundancy of farming these casual titles provide.
  24. AceGamez
    It's safe to say that if you've never enjoyed the sedate pace of the Harvest Moon formula then Neverland's latest simply isn't for you - but if you're a fan of the series who's looking for a unique twist on the usual procedure then you need look no further than Rune Factory.
  25. This is a title filled with repetitive moments. If plowing your field and watering your plants doesn't sound like tons of fun, this isn't a game for you. But if you like the Harvest Moon series this title does offer a whole lot of tinkering and interesting ideas. The addition of monsters on your farm, upgrading tools and weapons, interacting with other characters and exploring dungeons does expand the experience a whole lot. If you're into the whole life on a farm concept you should definitely give this one a try.
  26. Just way more trouble than it’s worth.

Awards & Rankings

#11 Most Discussed DS Game of 2007
#28 Most Shared DS Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 54
  2. Negative: 5 out of 54
  1. JoshH.
    Sep 14, 2007
    Trevor R. states a lot of misinformed opinions on Rune Factory. For example: "Second, I can't keep track of my assets, like my money, Trevor R. states a lot of misinformed opinions on Rune Factory. For example: "Second, I can't keep track of my assets, like my money, and how much lumber i have, unless I visit a shop." Not true. You can check both simply by pressing start to access the menu and then hitting the shoulder buttons and checking the top screen. It's there. And this, "The love system is not present in this game, instead it is replaced by a terrible, 10 point love system, in a poor attempt, to tie the love aspect to the storyline." I wouldn't say the love system is GONE. Marriage is still an element in-game--so I really don't understand his opinion here either. Same goes for not "labeling" the wood shed, water, and supply bin. What Harvest Moon HAS labeled these? The best you've ever gotten was a little walkthrough by the Mayor. You're not making sense. While I would probably give Trevor's review a 2/10, I'd give Rune Factory a 9/10. It is simply the best Harvest Moon yet, with plenty of things to do and lasts VERY long--like most Harvest Moon--if you devote your time to it. Trevor, please read the game's manual next time. Full Review »
  2. Aug 25, 2010
    Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is a spin-off to the original Harvest Moon series and in my opinion a generally great game. It takes allRune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is a spin-off to the original Harvest Moon series and in my opinion a generally great game. It takes all the elements from Harvest Moon games and RPG games and puts them into one game. Harvest Moon fans will find the game a little bit hard to get used to and many RPG fans will criticise the slow pace but for others, this is a rare gem. The game-play is that of all the preceding Harvest Moon games and the battle system is similar to that of the Dragon Quest series. There are a few minor flaws however, one being the repetitiveness of the game. You will have to be very patient with this game to fully enjoy it. Another minor flaw is way too much back-tracking. Some dungeons can only be completed by going back to the beginning which can be annoying. This game isn't essential but it is one of the greatest Harvest Moon games to date and you might just truly enjoy this. Full Review »
  3. Nov 12, 2013
    A lot of the critics reviews suggest that someone new to the Harvest Moon games wouldn't enjoy this game: I must disagree. It was through thisA lot of the critics reviews suggest that someone new to the Harvest Moon games wouldn't enjoy this game: I must disagree. It was through this game that I got introduced to the HM games, and I absolutely loved it. The concept was amazing, the graphics and the controls lovely and easy to use, and the characters (mostly) interesting. I will admit however that at times I found the game tedious and took breaks from it, but I always came back to it whenever I felt in the mood, which was quite a lot.
    Later on I've discovered that it was the elements closest to the HM games that made this one tedious, and I haven't found a game I've enjoyed near so much as this one by them, and so I will give this game an 8/10 in comparison to the 4/10s I feel the others deserve (e.g. A Tale of Two Towns, etc).
    Full Review »