Archer Maclean’s IK+ (International Karate Plus) ushered in a new wave of fighting game on the Commodore 64, back in 1987.
Gone were the days of sluggish beat ’em ups, and in came an altogether faster and cleverer fighting game. This one being somewhat dignified with the martial art of karate.
It is still – to this day – very satisfying to deliver a perfect punch to the gut, or land a flying kick to the face. The skill interludes in-between bouts are pretty maddening fun too.
But it is the core of the game that makes International Karate Plus so good. The rules and moves are simple. You’ve got to be good to pull them off.
Rob Hubbard wrote the memorable music too.