Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
Buy On
  1. This is one of the best games I've played on the Wii since we've gotten it.
  2. 88
    While Rune Factory Frontier is not without its flaws, it's definitely a solid step in the right direction for the series.
  3. Nintendo Gamer
    Engrossing freeform farm 'n' harm. [July 2009, p.58]
  4. Harvest Moon veterans and experienced dungeons crawlers with the will to interact with every NPC will fit right into the world of ‚ÄěRune Factory Frontier", yet all other friends of this sort of gameplay will find that playing at their own pace gives everyone enough time to learn all there is to know. A true must for fans of somewhat slow, but steady games.
  5. Many people will say that farming sims are the same experience over and over. While that may have been true with the main Harvest Moon series, Rune Factory's addition of RPG elements has given the sub-genre a welcome change that many will enjoy.
  6. The fusion of the classical Harvest Moon experience with the elements of the action-based RPGs is the key formula for a game which succeeds in catching the player and keeping his attention. Complexity in the gameplay is an option, not a rule, and Rune Factory: Frontier is one of the best examples, providing solid fun and a rewarding, deep experience. For all those who've never tried the Harvest Moon gameplay it's an occasion not to be wasted.
  7. There's simply so much to do that it will take many months to fully explore Rune Factory's true depth. The best part is it's fun to do so.
  8. 83
    A great package, and one of the deepest RPG's on the system thus far.
  9. Games Master UK
    Ace resource management like Animal Crossing but an agi-culture shock for action fans. [June 2010, p.75]
  10. There's a lot to see in Rune Factory: Frontier, and while the premise might sound a bit boring, it's well worth taking a look at.
  11. It's very long, it's well made, and looks fantastic.
  12. 80
    In terms of content and things to do, Frontier is a slam dunk.
  13. 80
    For Harvest Moon and Rune Factory fans, Frontier proves to be one of the best titles console titles in years, with pretty visuals, decent voice acting and as usual plenty of things to do.
  14. The mechanics and presentation are well-executed, and there is an absolutely intimidating amount of content.
  15. Rune Factory Frontier proves to be a very good game, capable of providing a fun and engaging adventure even after the first 20 hours of play. Beyond some little faults, the game's various activities will surely be able to attract the attention of both fans of the franchise and newcomers. A must try for any Wii owner.
  16. If you like Harvest Moon then this is the game for you. Lots of freedom only hampered by an annoying camera. Not an original game by any means, but an enjoyable experience nonetheless.
  17. This is arguably the most involving non-linear RPG available on Nintendo's flagship system.
  18. 80
    Serene but addictive, Rune Factory Frontier understands the age-old rhythms and mechanics at the heart of the Harvest Moon series' appeal and applies them to a new template.
  19. Rune Factory Frontier is both the best Harvest Moon game of this generation and an enjoyable dungeon-crawler too.
  20. Rune Factory is no less than a Harvest Moon or a typical JRPG game. Its outstanding graphics are just another way to justify the incredible amount of objects and diary labors that gamers will be able to live after day 1. Don't ask too much to the story though, it's quite simple, but it's still interesting enough to keep players focused on their main focus: earn a living.
  21. Neversoft Co. presents a very dynamic and long title, an excellent spin-off to Harvest Moon that should be considered as an expansion. The new addition of dungeons makes a very dynamic game, highlighted by its sound and graphical features.
  22. The cynic in me leads me to believe a combination of RPG and farming simulator will have little appeal to the fans of both genres, but Rune Factory: Frontier, like peanut butter and Marmite on toast, is an unlikely combination that works in ways better than I could have possibly imagined.
  23. The awful lot of stuff to do in Rune Factory: Frontier will be seen as a blessing by fans of the Harvest Moon series, but everyone else might find this a little bit too weird and repetitive.
  24. 78
    It is true that those who don't like Harvest Moon won't enjoy Rune Factory Frontier either, because they share most of the ideas, but it is a recommended title for those who want to approach the series, as it becomes more attractive because it includes combat.
  25. Nintendo Power
    Frontier isn't for everybody, but it delivers on its promise of providing a deep, engrossing experience while letting you live a relaxing life. [Apr 2009, p.88]
  26. So did Rune Factory: Frontier turn me into a full-fledged fan of the farming sim genre? No, not entirely, but it was definitely the most fun I've ever had with a Harvest Moon-like title.
  27. Rune Factory Frontier is a not entirely successful experiment. Newcomers might find it too complex, but the experience will be tough also for the admirers of the series, who will surely appreciate the full gameplay and situations.
  28. 70
    Rune Factory: Frontier can be somewhat tedious at times, but at the least it always gives players something to do.
  29. Rune Factory: Frontier is far from perfect. A lot of things could have been better, and especially the time management can become a nuisance. If you soldier on, this can still be an incredibly rewarding game. A sometimes fantastic experience marred by a myriad small issues.
  30. Rune Factory Frontier is an adventure of mind-blowing density, but you will need time and patience to fully experience it.
  31. Probably the best Harvest Moon game ever with a successfully odd mix of farming and dungeon crawling.
  32. Game Informer
    Even when it fails, though, Rune Factory: Frontier is packed with so many other activities that there's always more than enough to do. [Apr 2009, p.85]
  33. AceGamez
    Rune Factory is a classic example of a game that has bitten off more than it can chew. It tries its best to offer freeform, open-ended gameplay but only manages to provide an increased number of choices to the limited 'kill all enemies' mantra.

Awards & Rankings

#34 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2009
#22 Most Shared Wii Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 45
  2. Negative: 3 out of 45
  1. Feb 25, 2011
    Ever since I played this, I can't go back to Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town.
    The Farming, dungeon crawling, RPG stats and upgrading,
    Ever since I played this, I can't go back to Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town.
    The Farming, dungeon crawling, RPG stats and upgrading, make this a BIG improvement over it.
    Any fan of Harvest Moon MUST get this. It's too damn fun. Now let's hope they bring Rune Factory: Oceans to North America.
    Full Review »
  2. FigMan
    Mar 18, 2009
    This is the best Rune Factory game I have ever played. Anyone with a Wii, and has any liking for Harvest Moon must get this game. It is well This is the best Rune Factory game I have ever played. Anyone with a Wii, and has any liking for Harvest Moon must get this game. It is well balanced, tons of items to collect/make, and most of all it has that "it" factor that is crucial in these type of games. The translation from Xseed surpasses Natsume by leaps, and bounds. GET THIS GAME! Full Review »
  3. Jan 16, 2012
    This is an excellent game. Even if your not a fan of farming or sims, if you have a wii you ought to give this a shot. All the elements ofThis is an excellent game. Even if your not a fan of farming or sims, if you have a wii you ought to give this a shot. All the elements of harvest moon and a light RPG are meshed pretty nicely in this. If you've ever played Rune Factory for the DS, this is a perfect transition. You can tell there were some pretty high production values for this game, as the graphics are beautiful and a lot of hand drawn are and excellent cutscenes are strewn throughout the game. It falls shy of perfect for some nitpicky things like the inability to stack items (like in RF3), the absurd difficulty (takes at least 60 hours to complete the game with a focus on upgrading weapons and combat ability), and the fairly significant 5-10 second load time between areas that noticeably slows the pace of your day down. Still, its a great start for Rune Factory on the Wii, and it's pretty cheap (though its kinda rare) so pick it up if you can, you'll be surprised at how fun this game can be. Full Review »