REVIEW: Grim Guardians Demon Purge

MSRP: $24.99 DigitalCategory: 2D Pixel-Art Metroidvania
Reviewed on: Xbox Series SAlso on: PS5 & 4, Xbox One & Series X, Switch, PC/Steam

Released Feb 23, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: When a demon’s castle darkens the land, two sisters challenge its halls. Together they can break the curse. In order to save their school after it turns into a massive demonic castle, two “Demon Hunter” sisters slash and shoot their way through this 2D action adventure.

Players can swap between control of both characters on the fly, each with entirely different skillsets. Proceed through the castle while confronting the demonic bosses that await deep within.

Each boss yields new weapons to wield, allowing for more varied exploration and opening up new routes.

Grim Guardians (since release renamed to “Gal Guardians” due to licensing conflicts) has great looking, well animated 2D pixel art that harkens back to the best days of the SNES and Castlevania Symphony of the Night.

The actual game looks excellent, with the only potential drawback (depending on your preference) being the anime-looking character drawings during dialogue which look a bit generic and don’t really fit with the overall look of the rest of the game.

Sound-wise the game has “good enough” sound effects and music to compliment the experience. Nothing will likely have you humming it well after the game has finished, but it doesn’t detract from the experience either.

The gameplay of Grim Guardians (or Gal Guardians…whatever) is one of its highlights, with the ability to seamlessly switch between the two female protagonists, each with her own life bar, and use either traditional Castlevania-style whip action, OR…(and this is one of my favorite parts) use a machine gun to tear through enemies. I never knew how much I wanted a Castlevania/Contra crossover until I played this game.

You can view some of my gameplay from Grim Guardians in the video below:

In terms of fun, Grim Guardians has lots of it. The environment looks like it came straight out of the Castlevania series (in a tribute / spiritual sequel way – not in a copyright infringement way), the controls are tight and well executed, and the dual character system is great. Also, like I already mentioned, the ability to use a machine gun or switch to a more classic weapon really takes the gameplay to another level. I never realized how much fun it would be to inject guns into classic Castlevania, but here we are.


Grim Guardians (or “Gal Guardians”) is an excellent 2D pixel art Castlevania-esque game that keeps just enough elements of its inspiration to feel familiar, but injects enough new elements (two female protagonists, machine guns, demons) to keep things fresh. Fans of retro-style games, side scrolling action / adventure games, or Castlevania-style games should definitely pick this one up.


  • Great looking pixel art graphics
  • I never knew how much I wanted a machine-gun in Castlevania
  • Gameplay is tight and enjoyable


  • Anime girl dialogue and cut scenes might turn off some Castlevania fans


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