Rune Factory is a role-playing farming simulation franchise developed by Neverland, and first released in 2006.
The player takes on the role of a farmer in a fantastical world, where they must grow crops, care for livestock, and explore dungeons.
The initial game was titled Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon and was released for Nintendo DS as a spin-off to the Story of Seasons franchise on its tenth anniversary. Today, there are 5 main-series games with 2 spin-offs available on PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, and Wii.
When you first start in Rune Factory, you need to make a character (Check out our list of cool character names here!)
Once inside, the player can explore, craft equipment for crops, and much more.
The game also features monsters that you encounter in dungeons. You can explore these dungeons and be faced with monsters that you can counter and tame for your own benefit. Upon taming, one of the things that the monsters can help with, is maintaining the farm.
One of the draws of the series is the focus on relationship-building, as the player can choose to develop a romance with any of the non-player characters.
Rune Factory is a great game to play with multi-genre themes, open-ended gameplay, and an excellent storyline. However, if you’re reading this it’s likely that you already played the game. If not, you can read Nintendolife’s indepth review on Rune Factory here
Today, we’re bringing you 11 different games that are like Rune Factory, due to their RPG and farming features
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, PS Vita, Android, iOS, macOS
Release Date: February 26, 2016
If your love for Rune Factory is because of the farm, you will undoubtedly like Stardew Valley. Like Rune Factory, Stardew Valley is an RPG farming game that allows you to play as a character who has to manage a farm. This brings along some excellent multitasking entertainment.
You will be given an empty plot where you need to build a farm by crafting equipment, growing crops, and selling them.
Besides farming, you can also do fishing, mining, and slaying monsters, just like you do in Rune Factory.
Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, GameCube, iQue Player, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Wii, Wii U
Release Date: April 14, 2001
Animal Crossing is a social simulation and “Iyashikei” game, developed and released by Nintendo.
The game revolves around the player character living in a village taken over by anthropomorphic animals, where you can engage in various activities, such as fishing, bug catching, and hunting.
Animal Crossing and Rune Factory are similar in their simulation genre and open-ended gameplay. Both games allow you to explore the world as you want and create your own story along the way.
Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Wii, Windows, GameCube, Game Boy
Release Date: August 9, 1996
Harvest Moon, currently known as Story of Seasons, is another farming simulation RPG with a storyline similar to Stardew Valley. The players start on an old farm that they need to turn successful through their farming skills.
Besides farming, gamers can also grow crops and livestock, become friends with other characters, and even marry to start a family, similar to Rune Factory, where you can befriend others and even engage romantically with them.
Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Adobe Flash
Release date: 24th February 2012
Township is a construction and management simulation game. It was developed and released by Playrix. The gameplay revolves around farming and city-building, where the player has to produce and harvest crops and also manage livestock for ingame currency.
The game’s simulation genre and farming aspect make it an excellent alternative to Rune Factory.
Atelier Annie: Alchemist of Sera Island
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Release Date: 12th March 2009
Atelier Annie is a single-player simulation RPG that revolves around the story of the protagonist Annie. Annie is a lazy character who is tasked with completing a resort project.
The game is similar to Rune Factory as it focuses heavily on crafting new items that you need to progress the development of the resort.
While Rune Factory has an open end, Atelier Annie: Alchemist of Sera Island has 7, based on the actions and decisions that you make in the game.
Release Date: 15th November 2003
Tradewinds is an adventure, simulation game developed by Sandlot and published by WildTangent and Astraware.
The game sets you out on an exciting adventure where you explore the world to become a savvy business person. You will face various pirates and creatures on your journey, that you need to defeat on your path to success.
The game is similar to Rune Factory as both are simulation RPGs and focus on building and crafting.
My Free Farm 2
Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS
Release Date: 3rd April 2018
My Free Farm 2 is a free-to-play online farming simulation game. It was developed and published by Upjers.
In My Free Farm 2 the player needs to take care of an agricultural farm. You will have to cultivate the land, harvest crops, and sell them in the market. You can also rear animals and produce goods from them.
Both Rune Factory and My Free Farm 2 allow players to cultivate crops and raise livestock, and games have a strong emphasis on ressource management.
In addition, both games feature a vibrant cast of characters with whom the player can interact, and both offer a wide variety of side quests and mini-games to keep players engaged.
Platforms: Android, iOS
Release Date: 21st June 2012
Hay Day is a farming simulation game developed and published by Supercell. It is similar to Rune Factory, Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, and My Free Farm 2 in that the player has to cultivate crops and rear animals. The game also features a trading system where you can sell your goods to other players.
FarmVille 2: Country Escape
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone
Release Date: April 17, 2014
FarmVille 2 is another farming sim RPG, developed and published by Zynga.
In Farmville 2, you walk in the shoes of a farmer and do various related activities such as plowing, planting, growing, harvesting, and selling. You will also be taking care of livestock and building your relationships with other game characters to make your farm come alive.
Rune Factory and FarmVille 2: Country Escape hold similarities through the RPG genre and farming aspects.
Platforms: PS4, Windows, Wii U, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Release Date: March 11, 2004
If you love Rune Factory because of its monster-slaying gameplay, Monster Hunter is something you are bound to like.
It is an action-RPG developed and published by Capcom. You will take on the role of a monster hunter who will face and slay enormous monsters as a part of different quests. Killing these monsters will give you loot that will help you gather resources to craft better weapons and face more difficult and dangerous monsters.
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Release Date: 1st November 2008
Avalon Code is an action RPG developed by Matrix Software and published by Marvelous Entertainment.
The game is centered around the Book of Prophecy, a record book that allows you to record anything in its pages, from a person to a monster.
The storyline in the game is about a protagonist whose current world has undergone several reincarnations. The protagonist is now tasked to deem the people and things in the present world as worthy of being taken to the next world before another reincarnation.
The game has a similar monster-slaying aspect as in Rune Factory. Another primary concept that is similar in both games is romance. Since Yoshifumi Hashimoto is the mastermind behind both games, they focus heavily on relation-building and romance.
Luckily for us, there are many games available today that are good alternatives to Rune Factory to sate those RPG cravings. All the games mentioned in this list have something in common with Rune Factory; role-playing, farming, simulation, or romance.
However, all these games add their own, unique tweaks to the genre, which is what makes them so special.
Whether you are done playing Rune Factory or want something similar, you will indeed find an excellent secondary option on this list.