Unicorn Overlord Review: Another Vanillaware Classic

Be right back; gonna spend fifty hours trying out some whacky class build trying to break the game.

I was never the type of player who constantly looked out for recent tactical games until I played Unicorn Overlord. This title reignited my dormant and lost love for strategy games like Advance Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics, and FFXII: Revenant Wings.

Recommended Videos

It's rare for a game to change my mind about a specific genre, but Unicorn Overlord did it so well and overcame my expectations with flying colors. Here's my entire review for Unicorn Overlord.


Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The best aspect of Unicorn Overlord is its gameplay, as it doesn't constrain the player into completing a specific set of objectives. Instead, you have free reign on what quest you would like to complete. Whether you want to conquer multiple sidequests scattered around the open world or proceed with the main campaign, your options are limitless.

The side quests are not your typical and boring fetch quests, either; they either contain a character arc for your members or introduce a new one to the Liberation Army. Side quests are what make Unicorn Overlord come to life with its close-to-perfect narration of every story and game-changing decisions that may bite your behind in the long run.

In addition, there are towns you can rebuild to strengthen your flourishing army and a few minigames here and there. With so much interesting stuff packed into the game, you could easily spend hundreds of hours in a single playthrough.

Gameplay: 5/5 stars

Related: How to recruit all characters in Unicorn Overlord


Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

We've all heard the cliche story about a castaway prince whose kingdom is taken away by an evil and malicious traitor. This trope is nothing special when it comes to RPGs (Ni no Kuni II's premise comes to mind).

Unicorn Overlord uses a get-out-of-jail-free card to justify why former allies joined the evil general. It's uninspired, and the fact that you can still recruit them afterward leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I would have preferred a more thought-out explanation of why your allies turned their backs against the kingdom.

On the other hand, side quests give a whole new perspective on Unicorn Overlord's land. Each character has a unique story and rapport that solidifies their personality through a series of backstories and interactions with others.

Story-wise, Unicorn Overlord is not technically bad; it's more of a worn-out trope that doesn't work for me. The main storyline had potential but never lived up to it. Luckily for them, the character arcs and side quest narratives saved the game.

Score: 3.5/5 stars

Character Customization

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Reinventing the wheels and giving a fresh new take on the tactical genre came from Unicorn Overlord's mechanics. While yes, there are still your typical effective vs ineffective class matchups, the amount of customization per character is simply astronomical.

Say you want to hire a Warrior mercenary. You can choose from 18 Growth Types or stats that primarily increase as you level up. Your mercenary can be as wacky as you want, all without the worry of RNG (I'm looking at you, Fire Emblem).

You have an endless amount of flexibility per character, which means you can experiment on multiple builds in a single class! It's really exciting for a min-max player like myself to see how I can maximize each character class for my units.

Score: 5/5 stars

Visuals and Sound

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Divine is how I'll describe Unicorn Overlord's pleasing visuals. Each character has a distinct look that makes them stand out from the background. Don't get me wrong; each background scenery is full of details and gives full context on the state of the location you're in.

The animations look smooth, with each attack feeling smooth and heavy. Although I generally skip all battle scenes, I feel drawn back to them from time to time, especially during boss fights, just because of how beautiful the game is.

Eargasmic background music and fantastic combat sound effects round out this remarkable package. Even when you're casually exploring the wilderness and going through different towns, the background music conveys the feeling of a great expedition.

The sound effect transition from the preparation screen to the battle itself gives a sense of determination to overcome any challenges in your way, further adding to the enjoyment.

Score: 5/5 stars

Related: Unicorn Overlord Switch performance vs Xbox and PS5

Verdict: Top-tier strategy with a so-so narrative

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

I have a love-hate history with strategy games, and Unicorn Overlord made me want to finish another one. I've tried countless new releases, including Fire Emblem Engage, Valkyria Chronicles, the Disgaea series, and so many more, but I always keep putting the games down as my interest drifts to other genres.

Even with a lackluster main story, Unicorn Overlord's gameplay is enough to make me stay and complete the game; I expect I'll also spend hundreds of hours trying to break the game with overpowered class builds.

Unicorn Overlord is a game I can recommend to anyone (even to those new to the genre), as it doesn't overload you with mechanics from the get-go. Instead, it introduces new ones in a timely manner—right when you feel the gameplay is going stale.

A free copy of the game was provided to PGG by the publisher for review purposes.

If this review had you set your sights on Unicorn Overlord, check out How to level up fast in Unicorn Overlord only here at Pro Game Guides!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get updates on your favorite games!

About the Author

Jay is a Weekend Senior Staff Writer for PGG and has been playing video games for over two decades now. He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate who transitioned into writing as he realized that his passion truly revolved around video games. With over two years of dedicated experience as a writer specializing in the video gaming industry, Jay's passion for video games is seen through his art of crafting meticulously detailed video game guides, news, and reviews. His expertise spans a diverse range of gaming genres, most notably ARPGs, JRPG,s FPS, and TPS. Jay's favorite titles and franchises include Final Fantasy, Dragon's Dogma, Soulsborne, and Call of Duty.
Find Jay Vijuan On: Twitter - YouTube

Write A Comment

Unicorn Overlord Review: Another Vanillaware Classic

Comments are on moderation and will be approved in a timely manner. Please read the following rules before commenting:

  • All comments must be on topic and add something of substance to the post
  • No swearing or inappropriate words
  • No asking or begging for anything free
  • Do not attempt to start a poll in the comments
  • Comments in all CAPS will be removed
  • We reserve the right to remove a comment for any reason
  • Do not impersonate a staff member or influencer

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.