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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rune Factory 4 Special is a fantasy role-playing/simulation game available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. The game is a remastered remake of the original 3DS Rune Factory 4, as well as a spin-off of the popular Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons series. Players split their time between running a farm, building up relationships within their community, exploring dungeons, and fighting monsters. While combat is a part of the game, there's no blood or graphic violence. Some characters occasionally make mildly suggestive comments and use mild profanity over the course of their dialogue. Parents should also note that characters can craft, sell, and consume alcohol.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
RUNE FACTORY 4 SPECIAL is a re-release of the original 3DS classic, Rune Factory 4, enhanced for the Nintendo Switch with brand-new cutscenes and artwork, a new and more challenging difficulty setting, and a special Newlywed mode where players can join with their spouses for all-new adventure. After literally falling into the world of Selphia with no memory of who you are or how you got there, you're given the opportunity to help run the town and to build a new life for yourself. It's not going to be an easy task, though, as you'll need to grow crops, cook meals, craft goods and equipment, raise creatures, and fend of the occasional monster, all while helping the town and the community it represents. You'll build lasting relationships, and maybe even find true love. It's the adventure of a lifetime, and it's your life to live any way you see fit.
Is it any good?
When Rune Factory 4 was originally released in 2013, it quickly became a favorite for fans of both the Rune Factory and the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons franchises. Rune Factory 4 Special gives fans a chance to revisit the adventure on the Nintendo Switch, while also introducing the series' unique blend of life simulation and fantasy adventuring to a whole new audience. And even though the game can get a bit overwhelming at some points and repetitive at others, it still manages to feel both rewarding and relaxing.
The basic gameplay in Rune Factory 4 Special is relatively easy to learn. There are a few menus to navigate, but generally everything is laid out in a straightforward manner. Most of the game's difficulty comes in trying to multitask, managing the various side quests and villager requests while simultaneously tending to your farm and harvesting resources. But once you put in some time and find your groove, the game gets ridiculously hard to walk away from. After investing so much effort into building up your place within the community and the relationships that develop, you can't help but want to keep going. And while the stress of daily life in Selphia ebbs and flows much like it does in the real world, there's rarely a time you can't wait to see what adventures the next day has to offer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about building relationships with others. What are some positive ways to work on creating and reinforcing relationships with others? What are some ways that relationships can develop over time?
What are some good ways to help manage multiple tasks? How important is it to prioritize tasks, and how can you keep from taking on too much at once?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Subjects: Hobbies: cooking, gardening
- Skills: Communication: friendship building
Responsibility & Ethics: honoring the community, making wise decisions
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Xseed Games
- Release date: February 25, 2020
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Cooking and Baking, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: June 2, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.