Rune Factory 4 (ルーンファクトリー4, Rūn Fakutorī 4) is a Simulation/Roleplaying game developed by Neverland Co. and published by Marvelous AQL for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. It was announced in Famitsu on June 29, 2011. It is the sixth game in the Rune Factory series, and the first to be released on the 3DS.
As with Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny and Rune Factory 2, Rune Factory 4 has two protagonists: a male and a female. In Rune Factory 4, however, the protagonist's gender is chosen at the beginning of the game, and the same character is used for the entire storyline. By default, the male protagonist's name is Lest, and the female protagonist's name is Frey.
There have been many improvements to the game system such as the addition of pajamas for bachelors and bachelorettes, slumber parties, a new request system, and much more. The plot has also been divided into three arcs; with the first and second arcs being the main plot, and the third arc adding a bonus plot and an additional dungeon.
Marvelous AQL has announced that Rune Factory 4 will not be released in Europe in the foreseeable future, stating that, "While MarvelousAQL has made every effort to secure the title's release for this territory, it is, unfortunately, not possible to do so at this time." However, XSeed has announced plans to release an eShop only version in PAL regions and as of December 11th, 2014, the game has been officially released in Europe.
- Rather than having "heart events" with love interests alone, RF4 also has events that include multiple characters and serve as a way to get to know the characters better.
- Unlike the previous handheld titles, RF4 allows for two travelling companions.
- Combat is the smoothest to date (aside from Tides of Destiny).
- With the exception of the bed and diary placement, your living space is completely customizable (with multiple expansions available).
- Features the largest home farm yet.
- Three new seed types - sword, shield, and dungeon. Swords and shields can have tremendous attack and defense abilities and dungeon flowers are randomly generated dungeons with varying degrees of difficulty and rewards.
- It is now possible to tame boss monsters.
- New to the series, you - the player - have a role in "developing" your town and that is handled with Prince/Princess points, which are earned through requests, talking to villagers, defeating enemies, and other things.
- Cooking and Recipes
- Ingredient Effects
- Magic and Rune Abilities
- Dating and Marriage Requirements
- Random Events
- Blogs and secrets
- Shipping List
- Status Ailments
- Upgrading Armor/Weapons
- World Map
- Rune Factory 4 is the first numbered entry to not have "A Fantasy Harvest Moon" labelled under it.
- Rune Factory 4 is the only Rune Factory game so far in which the player is able to choose the gender of the main character at the start of the game.