The major innovation in this follow-up to International Karate was the addition of a
third opponent, controlled either by the computer or a second player.
Access to the various martial arts moves (including flying kick, head butt,
and a sensational split kick) is via the usual combination of direction with or
without fire pressed. One or two points are scored for knocking down either of
your opponents, depending on how good the move was.
The round ends when one fighter scores six points, or when the time runs out,
in which case the fighter with the higest number of points wins the round. Whichever
fighter has the lowest number of points is knocked out of the game, so even if you
finish second, you're still in. However, if the two losing fighters have equal points,
they both stay in.
After every two rounds, there's a bonus section where each fighter, in turn, uses
a shield to deflect balls which bounce on from both sides of the screen. The
round ends when he's hit or if he successfully manages to deflect all the balls -
a very difficult task indeed.
IK+ must stand as the best beat-'em-up ever made. It's almost too good to be
true with beautifully animated fighters, great oriental music and FX, and a superb
two-player mode. The action is fast and furious with an extra dimension added by the
The computer fighters are fairly tough to beat and if it's too easy (or hard)
you can alter the speed of play. Even the bonus round is immensely playable and over
quick enough not to interrupt the great beat-'em-up action too much (unlike the
painfully slow Spectrum version!).
The desire not just to get a high score, but to improve your karate belt colour
will keep you playing this timeless classic for ages - it hasn't dated at all in the
two-and-a-half years since its original release. If yoo overlooked it first time
around, at a mere £2.99 you simply can't afford to miss it now.