Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon



Rich characters populate farming game; has combat, too.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As a half-human/half-monster hero of the game, your overarching mission is to unite two races that have hated each other for ages.

Positive role models

The in-game town of Sharance is filled with unique characters, who each have their own eccentricities. Some might be offputting, such as the family that always says the opposite of what they mean at all times, but they are, on the whole, an example of the joys of individuality.

Ease of play

Exploring the world is fairly easy, but combat in the game can be difficult if you're not carrying the right gear. Battles also move at a fast pace, so players have little time to consider their options.


You'll go into combat against plenty of monsters in this game, but there's no blood and when vanquished, they disappear in a flash of light and/or puff of smoke. When your character is defeated, you fall asleep and wake up at a healer's house. Weapons include hammers, swords, magic attacks, and garden hoes.


The game lets you marry and have children - but the courtship is innocent.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters can consume wine, but it has negative effects, including depleting their stamina and hit points.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon is an action role-playing game for the Nintendo DS. Players assume the role of Micah, a half-human/half-monster character who must unite two feuding towns and lead them against an opponent threatening to destroy them both. While combat plays a significant role in the game, it's quite benign, with enemies disappearing in flashes of light and/or puffs of smoke. The game balances the combat with a nearly equal focus on farming and social interaction. Players can spend hours planting and harvesting crops of plants that can help them (whether in battle or in making friends). A big part of the game's fun is to interact with the townspeople -- which can eventually lead to marriage and raising a family. Also, as players befriend townspeople, they will help in quests. The game does not feature online features, but up to three people can work together to conquer dungeons in local multiplayer.

What's it about?

In RUNE FACTORY 3: A FANTASY HARVEST MOON, the people in the village of Sharance have been involved in a long, bitter conflict with the horned citizens of Univir. When Micah, a half-human/half-monster literally drops into Sharance, he has amnesia, but quickly learns that he will need to unite the two sides to stop an evil force threatening them both. Along the way, Micah will do a lot of farming (an important element in the game) and will interact with the citizens of Sharance, eventually marrying one and raising children with them. He'll also fight a number of monsters as he takes on quests that take him to various dungeons. (The quests are found at the "town request board"- where citizens post errands and missions they need help with.) The combat is real-time and moves quickly.

Is it any good?


The Rune Factory series is a hybrid game that appeals to a niche audience. It's one part farming, one part finding a mate and one part action. That's an odd combination and won't appeal to some people -- but those who enjoy this type of title, they will find plenty to like here. The game offers lots of customization and numerous things to do (including tilling crops, cooking, crafting, fishing, or just wandering the town to talk with people). The town is actually one of the most interesting aspects of the game, as every citizen seems to have a distinct personality and their own quirks. That's vastly different than many similar games, where non-player characters are more robotic. Combat is challenging  -- characters move freely and in a very fluid method. It's anything but boring -- a common complaint in earlier entries in the series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss the relationships in the game. Why are the humans and monsters so mad with each other? Which character do you want to marry and why? Why do you think certain characters act as they do?

  • Families can also talk about how to manage the amount of time it takes to play a game like this one.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 8, 2010
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E for Fantasy Violence, Use of Alcohol

This review of Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byMan777 May 28, 2015

Really good, but a few problems.

I have been plying Rune Factory since the first one came out in like 2008. They are violent, due to the fact that you have to go , and fight monsters in the dungeons around the outskirts of town. You do not kill any of them due to all your weapons being enchanted with magic, that sends them back to the home of the monsters "The Forest of Beginnings." There is a monster named if I remember correctly, a "Hell Hornet." Ever since the first game in the series, when the game goes into the summer months, the beach opens. However starting in this game people actually go to the beach. Several girls wear revealing bikinis. There is a girl named Pia who is a mermaid, that when on land has legs. However when it starts to rain she grows her tail again. However she also wears a revealing outfit when she is in her mermaid form. Eventully if you date a girl long enough in the game, you reveal your secret to her, which is that you can turn into a monster, known as a Wooly, think sheep in a high fantasy setting. In this form you can use a variety of hand-to-hand combats maneuvers on enemies. Yet going back to the date part of it, if you take Pia on the date where you reveal your monster form, she readily accepts it, BUT however when you get back to the inn where Pia lives, her adoptive mother Shino asks where they have been, Pia mentions that you showed her your "secret". However due to Pia saying that, Shino takes it a diffrent way with it being implied that Shino takes it that you showed Pia your penis, or tried to have sex with Pia. There is alcohol in the game, but there is no screen blurring when it is drunk, it acts like other food items.
Adult Written byRiu_Chan November 3, 2012

Good game.

Personally I love this game. I played both Rune Factory 1 and 2 and hoping to play Rune Factory 4. It's a fantasy Harvest Moon meaning not only can you grow crops, farm, get married and have 3 or 4 kids, but you also battle monsters who you can befriend.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byApplepeach December 22, 2011

It's a Good Game! :D

This game has no issues, it's a great game.
What other families should know
Great role models


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