International Karate + (aka IK+) was a karate fighting game produced by System 3, back in the 1987, for the three 8bit home-computers, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and Spectrum ZX. In 1988 it was converted for the Atari ST and Amiga (1 Disk 3.5"). In 2003, following the retro-gaming trend, Maclean's Ignition Entertainment released IK+ for the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation in Europe.
Story/Gameplay: Three karatekas are fighting on the same screen (and the same backdrop), in order to proceed in gaining belts. After gaining some points there are frequently two bonus games where you must either kick bombs away (before they explode) or you can deflect fireballs holding a shield. A second player can join the game as well and the third can be controlled by the CPU. IK+ was one of the best and more fun to play karate games during the 8bits and 16bits home computers era. Win points, get the highest belt and be the new master!
Graphics/Sound: The graphics are cute and the character animation is nice and smooth. Although the background detail does not change, there is a wonderful animated sunset near a temple. There a few short animation found at the background too (birds flying, leafs falling from a tree, fish jumping! etc). Note that the overall visuals are identical between the Amiga Atari ST here! What is really impressive here, are the sounds FX which were produced using high-quality digitized samples from karate/fighting movies and Bruce Lee-style cries. More on that, the Amiga version features a great main menu music in 4-channels stereo, composed by Dave Lowe and performed several years later at the Symphonic Game Music Concert III in 2005 as well! The game was voted Best 16-bit Soundtrack of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs