Chop N' Drop
Description official description
International Karate + (IK+) is a simple side-on beat 'em up. 3 characters appear on the screen - either 1 player and 2 AI, or 2 player and 1 AI - and proceed to kick seven bells out of each other via various karate moves.
Each of the moves scores a different number of points and if you come last in a particular round you are eliminated.
There are some sub-games too, involving your karate-master holding a shield and defending himself against bouncing balls from both directions, and kicking bombs off the screen before they explode.
All in the pursuit of that elusive black belt...
Credits (Commodore 64 version)
Average score: 82% (based on 34 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 98 ratings with 1 reviews)
Controls can be tricky at first but once you master them you will be rewarded with some exquisite moves. Graphics are very good and there are plenty of extra silly stuff such as the pacman which flies across the background and the head which appears in the deflect the balls game. Animation of the characters is top notch. Sounds are excellent for this era of gaming with digitized shouting and crunching effects when a move connects.
Can get a little repetitive as you basically do the same stuff round after round.
The Bottom Line
As with all of Archer Macleans games this is a polished product with gameplay very much at the top of agenda.
Amiga · by Neepie Lantern (524) · 2003
|IK+ backflip from movie Grease, here's proof||BdR (7108)||Feb 16th, 2015|
1001 Video Games
International Karate + appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Atari ST version of IK+
As Archer Maclean was not impressed with Andromeda's Atari ST conversion of International Karate, he decided to do it by himself - although never worked on the ST before (source: The One issue #1, 1988/10).
The 1988 Atari ST release has new cover art (also used on the 1990 Hit Squad budget release), depicting popular action movie stars/martial artists of the time. Recognizable are Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
- Many sound effects (e.g., the whining when someone's struck down) are sampled from the 1973 martial arts movie Enter the Dragon, featuring Bruce Lee.
- The backflip animation was based on the fairground scene at the end of the movie Grease, where one of the background dancers performs a backflip. Archer Maclean placed cellophane over the TV, drew the dancer outline frame-by-frame (using a special video-recorder) and then put the result over a computer screen to recreate each image in pixels.
- Inspiration for the game's backdrop came from two sources. The first one was an animation called "Carla's Island". Professor Nelson Max created it at Lawrence Livermore labs in the US using a Cray 1 supercomputer. It had a rippling sea with a moving sun, a moon cycle passing overhead and simulated all the actual lighting effects. The second one was "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt" - a 1941 "Bugs Bunny" cartoon. This scene was entirely re-created in the 2001 PC game "Jimmy White's Cueball World". (source: Retro Gamer 23)
Easter Eggs and Cheats
In Retro Gamer 23 Archer Maclean stated that there are 45 cheats and easter eggs to be found in the whole game. Among many they include: * Six karate men dance to a beat made up of sound effects by doing a two-stage cheat. Press SPACE bar to pause the game and get all six men jumping about in synch on the screen. There are two modes of it. Then press P key and hear loads of sound effects. Press F6 through F10 keys to speed it up or slow it down. The cheat doesn't work too well on emulators. * Fighters trousers falling down (T key) * The sound track of the game goes on for around ten minutes. To debug it Archer Maclean needed a way of "fast forwarding" it rather than sitting and wating. So he devised a FAST way. Just keep typing these letters and hold the last one down - the music will speed up. * There are dozens of messages and animations triggered by typing different words like FISH, PERI, PAC, BIRD, WORM. You need to look carefully on the screen because depending on number of attempts they occasionally like to do different things. * The invincibility cheat is more like a genuine bug. It's due to the pause mode incorrectly resetting a timer and an "ignore" flags for each fighter. Normally when one has been knocked out they have to wait a few seconds before they stand up again, and the AI's hit-detection ignores attacks on them during that time. Archer Maclean forgot to re-enable it after the pause mode had been exited. The cheat works only for the rest of the round. * Typing DATE shows up a message of which version of the game the player is playing. There were number of magazine review copies with unique messages identifying which reviewer/magazine it went to. The production version says 20th December 1988. Any other version people were in possession were leaked from magazines or reviewers. * Messages shown on the screen from the Judge can be in English or German. Typing GERM or UK toggle between them. * Fighters' shadows slant away from the position of the setting sun. If you failed to notice it, type SLAN to see a slanting text message. * The Kanji script engraved on the big wooden Japanese Torri gate doesn't translate into anything. These are just random pixels Archer Maclean drew at that time.
In 2001 Wolfram Sang - german C64 scener known as Ninja/Dreams - decided to make a fan made remake of IK+. His version, entitled IK+ Gold, makes possible to control the third fighter by a human player (originally the third player can only be controlled by AI). In order to do so a special adapter is required. There are couple of such device than can be bought as "ready 2 play" or DIY. On the patched game disk, Wolfgang managed to put information how to build a SNES-controller-to-C64 adapter.
This was the biggest selling reissue on the Hit Squad label ever. Considering that their range included, to name but a few off the top of my head: Rainbow Islands, Bubble Bobble, Power Drift, Batman: The Movie, Head Over Heels (including the initial release of the Amiga/ST port) and New Zealand Story, this says something about the game's popularity.
Tapping the "T" key makes everyone's trousers fall down. Just goes to show that a black belt is only for display... * The reason for this was Archer Maclean's dissatisfaction with C64 and Atari 800 static look of the game if the player didn't do anything in particular that there was no background scene animation. To give it a bit of life, the fighters occasionally try and attract the players' attention by looking out of the screen and beckoning or their trousers falling down. Author's inspiration came from his attendance to the karate tournament where his friend was competing in. Half way through a round friend's kit fell down round his ankles. * This move was so popular that, when the Amiga version was ported to the CD32 console in 1994, one of the controller's buttons was used to activate it. In Ignition's 2003 PlayStation port, it was also included. It can be activated with the Select button. This was also included on the Game Boy Advance version, also by Ignition, and is activated with the Select button as well.
- Amiga Power
- May 1991 (Issue #00) - #60 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
- Commodore Format
- March 1991 (Issue 6) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
- July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Beat-'em-ups
- November 1994 (Issue 50) – #7 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
- Computer and Video Games
- Issue 06/1989 - Winner Golden Joystick Award 1989 for Best 16-Bit Soundtrack (reader's vote)
- MobyGames ID: 7471
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Famine3h.
Game Boy Advance added by Lance Boyle. Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. Amiga CD32, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST added by Martin Smith. PlayStation added by Yearman. Wii added by samsam12.
Game added October 19th, 2002. Last modified September 16th, 2023.