Karate Blazers is a beat-em-up where four disciples are out to avenge their masters death, retrieve some stolen scrolls and save their masters daughter who has been kidnapped over various levels. The four guys are Mark, Glen, Akira and Gil, and you can choose to play as one of them while up to three other players can choose one as well, as four players can play on screen at the same time. The game is viewed from the side and after a wave of baddies are defeated the screen scrolls to the right a bit further until the end of the stage. At the end of a couple of stages you face a boss who has a energy bar which needs emptying. If you are hit by a baddy then you lose part of your energy bar. When it empties you lose one of two lives. When you lose both lives it's game over but you can continue where you last die and you can choose another character.