International Karate + (aka IK+) is a karate fighting game produced by System 3, back in 1987, for the three 8bit home-computers, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. In 1988 IK+ was developed for the Atari ST and Amiga (1 Disk 3.5") and became one of the best fighting games for the 16 bit home computers. 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 further their belts and skills. After gaining some points there are frequently two bonus games where you must either kick bombs away (before they explode) or you deflect fireballs holding a shield. A second player can join the game and the third is controlled by the CPU. The first of the three players to score six points is the winner and is awarded extra points for every second left. The player with the lowest score at the end of the round is out of the game. One of the most impressive aspects of this game is that punches and kicks are fast and furious, I mean really fast! There are twelve attacking moves and a handful of defensive styles at your disposal. Some details are taken directly from the original International Karate, plus a lot more, such as reverse face kick, double head kick (for hitting both fighters) and so on. IK+ is one of the best and more fun to play fighting games for the 16bits home computers. Win points, get the highest belt and become the new karate master! IK+ is everything a fighting game should be. It is intense, spectacular, loud and great looking!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Atari ST version offers the same quality in details as the Amiga version, although the number of colors here is reduced (up to 40) and the main difference between them can be spotted in the sunset details. The character animation is smooth, funny and impressive. The background image is a wonderful sunset near a temple and although it does not change, the sun rays reflect in the sea as it laps the shore! Much like the Amiga version, the Atari ST version features digitized sound FX of punches and kicks taken from karate/fighting movies and battle cries that remind us of Bruce Lee's blockbuster movie "Enter The Dragon". The music is awesome, composed by Rob Hubbard and is a 3-channel chip tune similar to the 8bits Amstrad computer music.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).