Maglam Lord is a fish-out-of-water story in which you assume the role of a demon lord named, ahem, Killizerk. Stripped of your once great powers and pushed into a world where everything seems a bit too peaceful, you embark on a quest to restore your former glory. The only problem is that in order to retain what's left of your godlike strength, you'll need to let others do most of the fighting — and so you end up forging relationships with a number of colourful warriors.
Right off the bat, it's clear that Maglam Lord doesn't take itself seriously. Plot twists are often played off as jokes and characters routinely react in comedic fashion to increasingly daft scenarios. It's a similar sense of humour to what you'll find in the Disgaea games, and it's pretty much the best thing about Maglam Lord. Characters are likeable as a result of their flippant attitudes, and loads of dumb dialogue choices let you role-play — at least to a degree — as your ideal demon lord.
Romance can also play a part later on, but to get that far, you're going to need to stomach the title's decidedly rough gameplay. When it's not being an entertaining visual novel, Maglam Lord throws you into top-down dungeons and tasks you with completing various quests. Meanwhile, combat takes place on side-scrolling stages, where you smash your enemies with oversized weapons and easy combos.
Battles are rather brainless, and you'll have to endure a lot of them in order to hoard monster-dropped materials that are needed to craft better equipment. The controls are clunky and the best way to deal with most enemies is to repeatedly smack them into submission — but combat isn't outright bad, it's just monotonous. The grind can become oddly addictive, but some players simply won't stick around long enough to find enjoyment in it.
The graphical style of these action sequences doesn't help, either. In its visual novel form, Maglam Lord looks lovely, with cool character art and nicely drawn backdrops. But when you're dunked into a dungeon, you're assaulted with ugly 3D assets — the kind you'd expect from a low budget mobile title. It's a real shame that there's such a gulf in quality.
Maglam Lord's got heart, but it's encased behind some disappointingly shoddy design.