Fantastic match with Iffy graphics

Rune Factory 5 combines classic mechanics from previous games with an interesting story and characters, but suffers from rough images and animations.

Runefabrik 5 is a fantasy simulation and JRPG that combines slice-of-life agriculture and social structures similar to The history of the seasons with combat systems in real time. Developed by Hakama and published by Marvelous Inc and XSEED Games, the story and the character’s backstory make it possible to unravel the mysteries of Runefabrik 5 exciting and rewarding. But a mix of poor graphic quality and glitchy character animations gives the game a dated feel that does not seem to fit the power and capabilities of the Nintendo Switch console.

The story of Runefabrik 5 brings back a classic trope seen in the past Rune factory game. The main character, who can either be a man or a woman no LGBTQA-inclusive character customization options, shows up outside the city of Rigbarth in time to rescue a young girl who is being attacked by monsters. After fainting and being rescued by the residents of the city, it is discovered that the main character suffers from memory loss and has to help around the city until their memories are restored. During this time, the protagonist builds relationships with the city’s residents, helps the city’s task force known as SEED, and explores the many strange places in and around Rigbarth.


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Agriculture in Runefabrik 5 requires more effort and planning than what is required in many agricultural simulation titles. Players start with a piece of land behind the SEED building and must complete tasks posted on the questboard to obtain the necessary farm tools and seeds. While a handful of basic seeds will be available for purchase in the General Store, players are encouraged to start harvesting what they grow for seeds right from the start of their farming project, with high-yielding seeds like tomatoes and toy herbs to collect. early gameplay. Players will also have access to a Farm Dragon early in the story. This dragon contains additional crop fields and places for storing tamed monsters.

Rune Factory 5 Farm Dragon Field Tamed Monsters

Players will spend much of the day battling monsters in areas outside Rigbarth and in dungeons found in ruins in the city. Battle takes place in real time and offers several weapon options to master. The combat mechanics are simple and reminiscent older Kingdom hearts game, where the “B” button is used for general attacks, and the “X” button offers a more powerful attack. Players can also hold down the “B” button when they reach the required skill level with a weapon to perform a charged attack. Although the difficulty levels of the enemies vary depending on where they spawn, players will often find themselves fighting multiple opponents at once. Despite Runefabrik 5 offers a lock-0n feature, it does not work as well as other combat-driven JRPG games, making it easier to snap mash through a swim of enemies, instead of risking trying combinations or more powerful moves.

Building relationships with the romantic candidates living in Rigbarth is an important part of the gameplay progression and includes both the romantic characters and general NPCs. Runefabrik 5 offers LGBTQA-inclusive romance options that allow players to date any of the romantic candidates, regardless of the gender of the main character. While this is an important step for AAA farming simulation games, Runefabrik 5 have a problem with the age group for romantic characters. While ages are never explicitly stated, the protagonist and numerous dating candidates appear to be very young. Although there are a few characters that seem older, they appear to be significantly above the protagonist’s dating age. Because the player can date, marry, and have children with these potential partners, the age ranges and gaps create awkward progression that can leave many players uncomfortable.

Rune Factory 5 male dating character Cecil

The biggest setback for English publication of Runefabrik 5 are the graphics and animations. While the 3D character models are detailed and crisp, players do not often see them outside of walking bikes, as Runefabrik 5 replaces animated intermediate sequences with 2D static images of characters during interactions. In addition, the protagonist’s animations are often erroneous, with the character model slipping along the grass if they equip an agricultural tool while running, or cutting through objects scattered around the city and in buildings. Because the game has already been out for a year in Japan, it’s frustrating that these types of bugs have made their way to the English release.

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The landscapes of Runefabrik 5 are also problematic, with distant mountains seen as lumpy, textureless shapes in the background, and water appearing as a flat blue with minimal animation. While these areas probably would not have been so noticeable on the Nintendo 3DS console, they are staring at large OLED Nintendo Switch screen, and are even worse when set up on television. The lack of textures and details is especially noticeable when exploring outside the city of Rigbarth, where areas mingle no matter where the player travels. These images are likely to be a disappointment to those who look forward to the same graphic quality seen in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town.

Despite this, Runefabrik 5 offers a surprising amount of detail in its level building, farming progression and combat systems. Players who enjoy simulation games with in-depth mechanics are likely to find the complex system of upgrades and growing demands in the game satisfactory. Runefabrik 5 also offers some of the best character backstories in a Marvelous / XSEED game since Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, where each character possesses an intriguing and rewarding story. Because of this, fans of social sims and narrative progression in visual novel-style can find each story rewarding and satisfying. Runefabrik 5 well suited to longtime fans of Rune factory series and could be a fun way for slice-of-life players to combine enjoyable combat with relaxation in agriculture.

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Runefabrik 5 releases for the Nintendo Switch in North America on March 22, 2022. Screen Rant was provided with a Nintendo Switch code for the purpose of this review.

Our evaluation:

3 out of 5 (good)

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