It has certainly been a good couple of years for these life simulations. It wasn’t so long ago that it was just Harvest Moon and Rune Factory flying the flag, but now everything from Stardew Valley to the recently released Harvestella is giving people real choice in this delightful genre.
Rune Factory as a series has been around since its first instalment’s release back in 2006 and has even experienced a change in hands of development teams, complete with an almost decade hiatus between 2012 and 2019. It’s back now, though, with Rune Factory 5 releasing just last year.
For the next entry in the venerable series, XSEED Games and Marvelous Europe, the western publishers for this title, have Rune Factory 3 Special on the way. As the name suggests, Rune Factory 3 Special is a remaster and standalone extension from the original, released back in 2009.
You play as Micah (no, not the DDNet mascot!), a typical young and plucky adult male protagonist with the supernatural power of morphing into the form of a monster. And after a short introductory sequence and a brief bout of classic amnesia for the sake of the plot, you quickly task yourself with acting as a bridge for peace between monsters and humans alike.
Alongside your monster-human questing, you can tend to your crops, partake in some leisurely fishing, and even mingle with the townsfolk and find yourself a wife and family! Anything is possible!
Rune Factory 3 Special is only set to release for the Switch, and while a Japanese release has been scheduled for March 2, 2023, all we know is that a western localisation will come soon after – we don’t have a specific date just yet, unfortunately. Nonetheless, this is one to look forward to. Though everyone has their own individual favourite Rune Factory titles, Rune Factory 3 does stand out in the estimation of many of the long-term fans.