Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon Game Poster Image
Rich characters populate farming game; has combat, too.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 gro... Continue reading
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 dun... Continue reading
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'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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Natsume
  • Release date: November 8, 2010
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: E for Fantasy Violence, Use of Alcohol
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love games about taking on roles

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