The Castlevania series, like Dracula, is coming back to life — at least in Japan. Konami has announced the iOS game Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, a 2D action-platformer that looks to be inspired by Koji Igarashi’s “Metroidvania” games.
Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls takes place in a world where Dracula has “completely disappeared,” but a magic book appears to have revived the world’s most famous vampire, sending our planet into turmoil once again. The story features a grab-bag of Castlevania characters, including Dracula’s son Alucard as well as original series protagonist Simon Belmont. The version of Alucard we see is from the original line of games rather than MercurySteam’s Lords of Shadow series, as is Simon.
Grimoire of Souls will support up to four players in a cooperative mode, with numbers-based combat that looks like a match made in heaven for fans of Symphony of the Night. It also includes a four-on-four competitive multiplayer battle mode, as well as a “boss rush” mode and a selection of music from the past — “Vampire Killer” from the original NES Castlevania can be seen in a promotional screenshot.
The translated Japanese page for the game also calls the game “the beginning of a new story of Dracula,” suggesting this could be the start of something new for the series. With the animated Netflix Castlevania show getting a good reception from fans, now is as good a time as any.
Unlike most other 2D Castlevania games, Grimoire of Souls uses 3D character models and environments. It looks quite similar to the style used in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to the series that Koji Igarashi has been developing for several years. Unlike Grimoire of Souls, Bloodstained is planned for release this year on PC, Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and even the PlayStation Vita. A Wii U version was previously in the works as well, but has since been canceled.
If you have a Japanese Apple account and are interested in a closed beta test for Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, you can sign up here. You’ll need an iPhone 6S or later, and must submit your application by the end of April.