Unchained Blades is a Wizardry-type RPG where the player navigates a variety of dungeons through the first person. Battles are random and turn-based and you can have a party of up to four characters. In addition to the standard cast, players can also recruit supporting monsters to join their cause, the eponymous "Unchain" ability, in a manner not unlike Final Fantasy Tactics. Each character can have up to four of these monsters as "Followers", which have their own unique stats, level, elements, and bonuses conferred onto their master. Followers can also block attacks for their master or assist with both normal and special attacks. Their participation in battle is determined by their mood, which can be raised through short after battle talking events not unlike a similar system found in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Character leveling and progression is very similar to the Sphere Grid concept introduced in Final Fantasy X. The 3DS version features a full map on the bottom screen, whereas the PSP version has a map overlay with the option to toggle it on or off.
The highly-reputed music artist Nobuo Uematsu contributed some music to the game, although most of the music was contributed by a colleague named Tsutomo Narita. Each of the game's main characters was also drawn by a different anime/manga artist.