Famitsu has recently reported that Rune Factory 4 will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS. For the first time in the Rune Factory series, players will be able to choose between a male or female protagonist at the beginning of the game. The male character is named Les and the female character Frey, and thus far it appears that both will experience the same basic story. The game is currently about fifty percent complete and is due to be released in Japan later this year.
There will be a town building component in the game, as it appears that the player will be a prince or princess for at least part of the story. Prince or princess "points" can be accrued, then used to commission buildings that attract tourism to the town. As the game is on the 3DS, the town and field exploration screens will be in 3D, and crop planting is no longer confined to a grid system like it has been in every previous Harvest Moon and Rune Factory game.
Les and Frey's love lives will be enhanced in this game as well. Instead of going simply from being friends to being engaged, the main character can officially date the various available love interests once their affection is high enough, and more than one NPC can be dated at a time. For important scenes in a character's love life, the camera will zoom in and allow facial expressions to be clearly seen. We're sure to learn more about the story, characters, and features of Rune Factory 4 in the months to come.