Pixel art RPG SOULVARS debut on Microsoft Game Demo Collection

Written by Marcello TBL


SOULVARS, the captivating pixel art deck-building RPG from ginolabo and published by SHUEISHA GAMES, is making its debut in the Microsoft Game Demo Collection at GDC 2023. Players can enjoy an exclusive hands-on experience with SOULVARS and compete in a limited-time speedrun contest for a chance to win Xbox keys.


In SOULVARS, players are plunged into a dystopian world where humanity’s technological progress has led to the emergence of Dominators, grotesque creatures that terrorize cities. To combat these creatures, elite units of Soulbearers, next-generation humans born with alternate Souls, are dispatched to intercept and counter Dominator attacks. Players take on the role of Yakumo, a freelance Soulbearer who handles assignments for the private military contractor “DDO”.

In this exclusive demo, players must master the map layout, min-max their characters, and perfect their combos before confronting the first boss. After defeating the boss, players can check their score, RPG playstyle analysis, and clear time. Players who share screenshots of their results on Twitter with the #SOULVARS hashtag will be entered into the speedrun contest. The top three fastest times will receive a key for the Xbox version, and another key will be given out randomly to one of the participants.

SOULVARS draws inspiration from classic Japanese RPGs and combines turn-based combat with an innovative deck-building system to create dynamic and strategic battles. Players can use the “Soulbit” system to combine different abilities in their deck and pull off over 100 breathtaking moves.

SOULVARS Characters

Originally released as a mobile game in January 2022, SOULVARS quickly climbed the ranks to become the #1 paid RPG app and #2 paid game app on both Google Play and iTunes in Japan. The new version boasts an enhanced UI for wide screens, intuitive controller input, support for 12 languages, and updated localization. SOULVARS will be released on Xbox Series S/X and Steam (PC) later this year.

Below an overview via Steam and the Japanese Trailer.

◆ A future where human souls can be digitized…

Humanity faces the consequences of its technology with the sudden appearance of grotesque Dominators.Elite units consisting of Soulbearers, next-generation humans born with alternate Souls, are dispatched day and night to intercept and counter Dominator attacks.
The story follows Yakumo, a freelance Soulbearer, as he handles assignments from private military contractor “DDO” (Dominator Disposal Organization).

◆ Deep, exhilarating battles and character growth

Experience the best of both worlds – dynamic pixel art animations and turn-based tactical planning.Each enemy is a puzzle to solve, a challenge to overcome!
Identify their weaknesses and combine Soulbit actions to unleash powerful finishing moves!
Explore the cityscape and hunt unique Dominators for rare and powerful gear on your path to mastering the ultimate Arts!

◆ Super-enhanced port of acclaimed mobile original

The original mobile version, released in January 2022, soared up the rankings to #1 for paid RPG apps and #2 for paid game apps on both Google Play and iTunes (in Japan), and continues to garner wide acclaim (4.6 score average on iTunes, 4.8 on Google Play as of Sep 2022).The Steam version offers an enhanced horizontal UI and intuitive controller input, combining the speed of SOULVARS with full dynamism on your favorite display!


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Marcello TBL

Italian Dad in love with Turn-Based RPGs and Indie Games. In 2018 he started Turn Based Lovers and now he can't live without it.