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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...


Chop N' Drop Commodore 64 The top 30 scores.
Chop N' Drop Atari ST I won
Chop N' Drop Amiga CD32 Attract mode.
Chop N' Drop Commodore 64 Between rounds, you must avoid balls with a shield

Promo Images

Chop N' Drop Screenshot For C64.
Chop N' Drop Screenshot For Amiga.
Chop N' Drop Screenshot For C64.
Chop N' Drop Other Header.

Alternate Titles

  • "International Karate +" -- European title
  • "IK+" -- Game Boy Advance title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Fast and furious beat em up action Amiga Neepie Lantern (535)

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Nov, 1987 10 out of 10 100
The One for ST Games Atari ST May, 1991 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Dec, 1988 93 out of 100 93
Génération 4 Atari ST Dec, 1988 90 out of 100 90 (UK) Wii Jul 28, 2008 9 out of 10 90
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Jan, 1989 88 out of 100 88
Amiga Power Amiga Jun, 1991 85 out of 100 85
Amiga Computing Amiga Feb, 1989 82 out of 100 82
New Computer Express Atari ST Dec, 1988 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
All Game Guide Commodore 64 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70


Topic # Posts Last Post
IK+ backflip from movie Grease, here's proof 3 chirinea (46464)
Feb 16, 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 1990 release on the Hit Squad budget label has new cover art, 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.


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.

Trouser Move

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)
Information also contributed by Bas de Reuver, FnordPerfect M4R14N0, Martin Smith and Terok Nor
Contributed to by Lance Boyle (1451), Quapil (4852), Famine3h (405), Kabushi (243285), Martin Smith (67695), Yearman (24891) and samsam12 (732)