Some games are old, and some games are really old. Karateka falls into the latter category. This side-scrolling karate action game was first developed in 1984 by the creator of Prince of Persia, and today a port enters the Play Store nearly 30 years later. Android gamers can now experience one of the grandfathers of the beat 'em up genre.
Karateka first appeared on the Apple II, and is the product of a time when the number of colors your monitor displayed could be counted on your hands and feet. Games didn't have much in the way of plots back then, and most of them were the same. In Karateka, players assume the role of a lone hero fighting to save the princess from the evil warlord Akuma. Sound familiar?
The gameplay is surprisingly less rehashed. Gamers must first switch to a fighting stance before engaging enemies. The hero can then deliver various punches and kicks in between dodging attacks. There are punishing environmental hazards that can end the game immediately, making this game an early platformer and fighting game combined, as well as a reminder of how unforgiving video games used to be.
Karateka Classic is available below for 99 cents, and anyone who wants to learn more about this gaming relic should consider picking up The Making of Karateka by Jordan Mechner while it's still available for cheap as part of the latest StoryBundle.