Set in the early 19th century, this installment of the long running Castlevania series takes a slight departure from the typical series storyline. A secret monastic organization, Order of Ecclesia, is charged with finding alternative ways of combating the hordes of undead summoned by the ever-returning evil lord Dracula, as the Belmont clan has apparently gone into hiding. Shanoa, a young acolyte of the Order, is chosen for her extraordinary magical abilities to wield Dominus: the ultimate spell against evil. As she is about to complete the ritual to absorb Dominus a rogue acolyte named Albus steals the three tomes containing the spell. Shanoa is then dispatched to track down Albus and return him and the spell back to the Order.
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia changes up the formula established with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by partially reverting to the series' action game roots, introducing a series of small, mostly linear areas connected via an overworld map. Shanoa no longer has a native attack, nor can she equip a weapon; all her actions are executed via equipping glyphs (essentially souls in the previous Castlevania games). Three glyphs can be equipped, two action glyphs and a support one, allowing for great levels of player customization, as combinations of different glyphs allow Shanoa to execute devastating combos and special attacks. The game still retains its RPG leveling up system that rewards player with experience points for killing enemies, as well as the need to find HP and MP expansion capsules occasionally hidden just off the main path of the game areas. As Shanoa rescues villagers in the game's levels they will appear in the hub town and give her quests, such as hunting down rare materials or lost cats.
The multiplayer competitive race through timed courses returns from earlier DS Castlevanias, and is playable both through Wi-Fi and wireless connections. Also available on Wi-Fi and wireless is a shop feature, allowing you to select a cat middleman to sell any extra items you have as well as browsing items that other players' cats have made available.