It was more than 3 years ago in April of 2018 that Konami first announced Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, a new mobile-exclusive entry in their legendary Castlevania series. The game was something of a “best of" mashup featuring a roster of protagonists, enemies, bosses, and environments from throughout the game’s history, all sewn together into one mobile-friendly free-to-play game.
In January 2019 it was confirmed for a worldwide release, and in September of that year our own Shaun Musgrave went hands-on with the game at Tokyo Game Show. Just about a week later the English version soft-launched in the Canadian App Store.
It was at this time that I tried the game for myself, as I had access to a Canadian iTunes account. My feelings were that I thought Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls did a great job at paying homage to the series, with visuals that were updated but still faithful to the source, and that the gameplay itself was fast-paced and satisfying. More importantly it actually played quite well on the touchscreen.
On the negative side of things, the game was just free to play to the extreme, to the point that I actually stopped playing it. Not even in a “ew this game wants my money" kind of way, but in a “holy MOLY there are a dizzying amount of menu screens and sub-systems and other crap shoved in my face" kind of way. Despite liking actually playing the game it was just too much trying to figure out how all that crap worked, so I sadly said bye bye to Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls.
Well, I’m guessing I wasn’t alone in feeling that way because in July of 2020, not even a year after soft launching, Konami pulled the plug on Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls. They shut down the servers even before the game got a chance to launch on a worldwide scale. It was a shame because, as I keep saying, it was a very cool game if not for its atrocious free to play model.
But there is hope to salvage that cool game that was buried under a headache-inducing free to play system, as today Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls popped up in the Coming Soon tab of Apple Arcade of all places. This was definitely the very last thing I would have expected to see today.
As we all know there are no ads or in-app purchases in Apple Arcade games, so it’ll be interesting to see just how much Konami has rejiggered this game, if at all. If it’s still the same profoundly confusing system just with IAP disabled, that would be a shame. But if it’s a more streamlined game with a more natural progression curve, that could be just the ticket to unlock the potential that Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls always seemed to have.
I really have my fingers crossed for this one. According to the App Store’s meta data, which oftentimes changes, the release date for Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls on Apple Arcade is September 17th so we’ll have to see how everything shakes out when it launches next month. In the meantime feel free to discuss this one in our forums.