Makai Tenshō is an dungeon-crawler RPG based on the 1967 novel of the same title by Fūtarō Yamada. Similar to Chunsoft's Mysterious Dungeon series, the player controls the hero Yagyū Jūbei through randomly-generated "floors", which are filled with enemies, items, and traps, searching for the exit and attempting to survive. Movement and actions are turn-based, with all enemies taking a turn at the same time as the player. Weapons will degrade with use, though new ones of varying types can be found within the dungeons. After clearing a certain number of floors, the player reaches a village, where they may rest and save.