Unicorn Overlord is Engaging as it is Promising, Making the Demo a Must-play

Tactics games have become a rarity in recent times, especially those with real-time mechanics. While strategy RPGs still garner attention—think of titles like Persona 5 Tactica—other gems like the Ogre Battle series have almost faded into obscurity, save for the recent Tactics Ogre Reborn release. However, there’s a new contender on the horizon, and it’s poised to make a significant impact on the genre.

Unicorn Overlord, an upcoming tactical role-playing game, harkens back to a classic feel with sprinkles of several titles here and there, with much success. With a playable demo available right now, this game promises an engaging experience that warrants your attention.


In Unicorn Overlord, you step into the shoes of Crown Prince Alain, tasked with avenging his mother, Queen Ilenia, and reclaiming the kingdom from the treacherous General Valmore. The Zenoiran Empire’s tyranny looms large, and Alain’s journey is one of betrayal, liberation, and strategic warfare.

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The game introduces a cast of characters who share Alain’s mission—to dismantle the oppressive regime. But don’t be fooled by the charming aesthetics; beneath the surface lies a darker narrative. The hauntingly beautiful world was forged through bloodshed, and your role is to reclaim it through war.

Unicorn Overlord managed to fly under the radar for many, given the deluge of major titles in early 2024. From Persona 3 to Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth and even Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the gaming landscape was crowded. Yet, booting up the playable demo revealed a pleasant surprise in the form of a game that has me utterly enamored and left me intrigued and eager for more.

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The exquisite and seamlessly animated visuals unmistakably bear the hallmark of a Vanillaware production. Drawing parallels with their previous titles, such as Odin Sphere and Muramasa, it’s evident that Vanillaware has poured considerable effort into crafting Unicorn Overlord, particularly when it comes to the intricate backgrounds and well-defined characters.

This is war!

Unicorn Overlord evokes a sense of nostalgia for those who remember playing the Ogre Battle series. While it may appear reminiscent of real-time strategy games, it diverges from the typical resource-gathering and base-building mechanics. Instead, it immerses players in a wartime setting where deploying units from a central base and maneuvering them across expansive fields takes center stage.

Units in Unicorn Overlord can comprise one or more characters, and as you level up a unit, you gain the ability to assign more members. The positioning of characters matters significantly—some excel in the front row, while others thrive in the back. Surprisingly, when opposing units clash on the battlefield, you relinquish manual control; the forces engage in automatic combat.

While the game streamlines certain aspects, it doesn’t handhold players entirely. The outcome of battles hinges on how well you equip each character within a unit and their overall level. Additionally, each unit operates on limited stamina points; once depleted, they become immobile. Resting units are vulnerable to enemy attacks, so strategic placement is crucial.

Missions present diverse objectives. Whether capturing enemy strongholds or defending against opposing units, your tactical prowess is put to the test. You decide unit movements, combat engagements, advances, retreats, and even rest periods. The complexity of managing multiple tasks within a single mission can be overwhelming yet exhilarating for genre enthusiasts.

Beyond combat, Unicorn Overlord embraces RPG elements. Players can explore the map, interact with NPCs, visit towns for trading, and undertake delivery quests. These seemingly mundane tasks contribute to your renown and honor, essential resources for strengthening your army. Keep in mind that all this insight is based solely on the playable demo—a tantalizing glimpse into what awaits in the full game.

More to come…

Approaching Unicorn Overlord without preconceptions turned out to be a wise choice. The game reintroduces a genre that has been absent for some time, catching players off guard with its return. Even in its playable demo state, the game offers a wealth of content, making it a potential delight for fans of real-time tactics games. The captivating visuals and immersive sound design further enhance the experience.

The game’s seemingly straightforward premise—centered around Prince Alain seeking vengeance for his mother, Queen Ilenia—quickly draws players in. Within the first few hours, you’ll find yourself emotionally invested, rooting for Alain’s success in toppling the oppressive Zenoiran Empire. The blend of personal stakes and epic conflict promises an engaging narrative.

Unicorn Overlord emerges as a promising title, combining strategic gameplay with RPG elements. If you have the time, the free playable demo awaits—an opportunity to explore whether this genre revival aligns with your gaming preferences.

Unicorn Overlord is scheduled to release on March 8, 2024, for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series, and Switch.

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