Classic Karateka game coming to iOS

As any retro gaming aficionado will tell you, Karateka is a classic even among classics. It was built on an Apple II computer by Jordan Mechner and released in 1984. And now it's coming to iOS. The goal is still to save Mariko from the evil Warlord Akuma, but instead of one hero with one life, you now get three heroes with one life each, including the True Love, the Monk, and the Brute. According to Samit Sakar at Polygon:

Player skill comes in during combat. Instead of forcing players to learn complex button inputs, Liquid implemented a unique rhythm-based combat system. You'll have to time your attacks to the score from Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin; Mechner characterized the setup as a cross between Guitar Hero and a conventional fighting game. According to Mechner, "This rhythm-based combat mechanic translated really well to iOS," a version that's simpler than the console and PC experiences but still offers most of the same features.

Art design was by Jeff Matsuda, who designed the Jackie Chan and The Batman cartoons, and worked on comic books at both Image and Marvel. The video above was made by Adam Lisagor, of course.

I'm not typically a fan of remakes. It's incredibly hard to improve on the originals, especially the classics, and if not done well you get... most of what's coming out of Hollywood these days. So consider me skeptical unless and until the new Karate proves me wrong.

Karateka is available on XBox Live Arcade now for $10, and is coming later this month to Steam and PlayStation Network for $9.99, and iOS for a price to be set later.

Source: Polygon

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Anthony is an IT administrator, retro gamer, and accessory reviewer for iMore.

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Reader comments

Classic Karateka game coming to iOS


OMG, how old I feel now. I used to play Karateka on my Apple IIe all the time on a green and black screen hahaha. Then I had to stop when my 128KB/80 column card Screwed the graphics hahahahahaha.

Loved that game. The occasional times when you landed 4 hits at once...the first time you heard the bird come at you...getting surprise killed by somebody coming through the door near the end and having to start over. Good times.

Now all of you, get off my lawn.

This game was the shyz. And just as frustrating.

25-year-old tip: when you defeat everyone, run directly into the princess. Don't walk.

Or she will kick your ass. Not kidding. Game over.

Apparently walking is too much like the fighting stance so she drops her arms, no longer trying to embrace you. And when you get close enough, she kicks you in the head and you DIE.

Now, I wonder if I could have kicked her instead. But at the time, I was devastated.

Ah. The terrible joys of childhood.