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Best on 8bit micro!
International Karate + - Commodore64
Xyphoes Fantasy - AmstradCPC
Arkanoid II - AmstradCPC
Pang - AmstradCPCPlus
Wrath of the Demon - Commodore64
Night Hunter - AmstradCPC
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Turrican II - Amiga
Shadow of the Beast - Amiga
Jim Power - Amiga
Turrican 2 - AtariST
Project X - Amiga
Super Frog - Amiga
Flashback - Amiga
Wrath Of The Demon - Amiga
Dark Seed - Amiga
Flashback - Archimedes
Warlocks - Archimedes
Cannon Fodder - Amiga
Turrican II - PC
Universe - Amiga
Hurrican - PC
Tyrian - PC
Super Stardust - AmigaAGA
Pac-Mania - X68000
Best on 8bit consoles!
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Jim Power - snes
Donkey Kong Country - snes
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Comix Zone - Megadrive
Alien Soldier - Megadrive
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Game info

International Karate

International Karate
DeveloperSystem 3
PublisherSystem 3
Reviewed byndial
The critically acclaimed and globally adored Commodore 64 fighting game first appeared, to universal praise, in 1986. International Karate (or IK for short) set the standard for all fighting games. Released only for the 8bit Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Apple II and the 16 bit Atari ST. The PC (MS-DOS) conversion came out 3 years later, which is rather awkward. Note that, the Amiga version was not to be released as the Amiga computers were new in the market back in 1986 (who owned an Amiga 1000 back then?). System 3 has later released its successor, the all known IK+.
International KarateThe idea is simple: you have 30 seconds to defeat your martial arts expert opponent by pull off points-scoring moves from the Karate handbook. Whoever scores 2 points first wins and if the counter times out before the points are scored, the person with the highest score wins!
Two wins will then earn you a new belt and move you onto the next stage in order to face off against an even more skilled opponent. So, no health bars here, just fighters score points on one another. Attacks can either score a half point or full point depending on the attack. There also a two-player mode where you and a friend battle it out in 90-second bouts of vengeance!
International Karate is great, offering a lot o stages to fight against an opponent. The game offers 16 different Karate moves. During an attack movement you need to keep the joystick pressed into the corresponding direction until the fighter has ended the move. It is possible to block breast and head kicks / strokes of the opponent by backing away (foot sweeps cannot be blocked and avoided only by get out of the opponent's reach).
Each stage resembles famous pieces of scenery from different countries such as Mount Fuji (Tokyo), Sydney Harbour (Sydney), Statue of Liberty (New York), Forbidden City (Beijing), Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro), Palace of Westminster (London), Venice (Italy) and the Great, Parthenon (Athens) and Pyramid of Giza (Cairo). All stages found in the original Commodore 64 version.
International Karate is great and the PC (MS-DOS) version, although converted 3 years later, made a complete success by turning mostly to the gameplay and animation.

Well, the game here runs in CGA mode only. Graphics are, naturally, worse than on C64, but still backgrounds drawings look nice. Note that the Atari ST version is quite different in background and sprite drawings and look cartoonish! As mentioned above, the fights take place against a variety of backdrops representing different locations in the world, and the PC version offers the 8 offered in the original (the ST offers 10 in total). Sprites are wonderfully animated and move relative fast. You may notice that in the PC version (and as in the original C64), sprites look much like the successor title (IK+) whilst in the ST version sprites look different.
The sound is good, offering the original cute introductory tune during gameplay but without SFX here.
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Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms
Atari ST
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
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