Konami announced on Tuesday that it would be releasing a new Castlevania game on iOS. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls will have several playable characters and will feature multiplayer cooperative and competitive modes.

According to the official website, the game will have the more typical solo campaign, but will also feature a four-player co-op including a "boss rush" mode. There will also be 4v4 competitive multiplayer where players can battle each other as their favorite character.

Speaking of characters, the game will have a variety of different protagonists in the lineup. Familiar personalities include Simon Belmont, Alucard, Charlotte Aulin, Shanoa and Maria Renard. There will also be two new characters unique to the game. Genya Arikado is a secret agent working for the government and Lucy, who works for a research organization fighting against Dracula.

Graphically the game looks beautiful, as you can see from the screenshots (more can be found on the website). Its appearance and Harmony of Despair-like gameplay is what I would have expected from the next game in the series. What I did not expect was it to be an iOS exclusive.

While I have nothing against mobile games, I was hoping that the next Castlevania game was going to be something I could enjoy on a bigger screen. Also, I prefer a physical controller for platforming titles. Screen buttons and control schemes have never impressed me with this type of game.

However, it might be too soon for us to start griping about Konami's choice of platform. Right now the website and screenshots are in Japanese, so it is probably going to only be available regionally in Japan --- at least at launch. If it does well it may become available to a wider market.

Konami did not announce a specific release date or a price, but there will be a closed beta in May, so it is highly likely the game will be available before the end of the year. Players have until around the end of April to put their name in the hat for the closed beta trial. Konami will notify those selected sometime around the middle of May.