User Reviews

A Pioneer: Before all the fighting games there was KARATE CHAMP! NES Oblio (108)
An instant classic! NES Da Pur Insanitee (38)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Apple II Awaiting 5 votes...
Arcade 5 3.0
Commodore 64 Awaiting 5 votes...
iPad Awaiting 5 votes...
iPhone Awaiting 5 votes...
NES 19 2.5
PlayStation 4 Awaiting 5 votes...
Wii Awaiting 5 votes...
Combined User Score 24 2.6

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
ArcadeAll Game Guide (1998)
Against the computer, Karate Champ: Player vs. Player has all the charm of the single-player version, but also all the problems. The backgrounds and storyline are different and the difficulty level is jacked up, but the basic gameplay is the same. But with two players, the game really shines, as playing against a human neatly sidesteps the cheap difficulty curve. As such, the versus version of Karate Champ is enjoyable even for gamers who have played the one-player game extensively.
iPhoneApp Spy (May 24, 2010)
This is definitely a title for old school gamers, but casual gamers might enjoy the somewhat zen style of fighting that requires more than just smashing buttons repeatedly. A classic treat well executed for any iDevice.
iPhoneModojo (Jun 08, 2010)
Even though it's not as fast paced as other fighting games, we heartily recommend Karate Champ. It's fun to play (even though you'll need a few rounds to get used to it), and a great reminder of how great retro games used to be, and in some respects, still are. Now if only Revolutionary would work on Bad Dudes, we'd be set.
iPhoneIGN (May 24, 2010)
If you have fond memories of Karate Champ, there is no reason you shouldn’t grab this immediately. Revolutionary Concepts not only lovingly brought this 1984 classic back to life, but made sure it was instantly (and extremely) playable on the iPhone. And if you’ve never heard of Karate Champ before today but really dig on fighters like Street Fighter, then get yourself a history lesson and download it.
iPhoneSlide To Play (May 25, 2010)
It’s easy to see why Karate Champ is a classic. It may look like just another old-school arcade game, but once you dive in you’ll find a surprising amount of leg-sweeping, jump-kicking depth. Casual players will find it frustrating, but if you give it some time you’ll eventually earn that black belt.
There’s a steep learning curve, but if you stick with it, you can learn at least to hold your own. If players win a match, they are treated to a bonus round, which is usually difficult due to the exact timing required, besides attempting to remember which button combination pulls off the proper move. It requires patience, but there’s some enjoyment to be had with a solid port of the game that established the fighting genre.
iPhone148apps (May 25, 2010)
Overall, the game is much more about retro gaming relived than a good new gaming experience. If you hadn’t played the game at all in the past, you probably won’t be too interested in this version. The controls are a bit tough because of the joystick layout, but they are certainly workable. Just try to think of the good ol’ days when you would mindlessly sit in front of your Atari thinking “man, is this great or what!”.
Commodore 64Zzap! (Jul, 1987)
A mediocre conversion of a dated and uninspiring arcade game.
16 (Jun, 2012)
Unlike modern fighting games which have life bars, Karate Champ is mildly realistic: one solid hit and you’re down. Two solid hits and the round is over. Two rounds and you either advance because you won or it’s game over. One redeeming aspect is the early use of a garbled, granulated voice saying “Begin!” at the beginning of each round. I’m assuming your sensei’s speaking. He should probably cut back on the opium.
NESHonestGamers (Nov 02, 2003)
I'm guessing that at one time this was a fun game. When the competition was Pong and the like, and when graphics weren't stunning like they were later when games like Super Mario Bros. 2 hit the scene, this game might have been something of a showpiece. Presently, though, I have nightmares that I'll invite a buddy over to my apartment, he'll see the game lying on the carpet, and I'll have one less friend. Stranger things have happened.
There was a point in time where people might have liked this game, but now it is a steaming pile of shit that should never be touched. I remember playing the original arcade version before and enjoying it for what it was worth. A unique game for one quarter of game time at local arcades. This…just do the right thing and stay away from the Nintendo version of Karate Champ.
NESThe Video Game Critic (Sep 16, 2001)
With all due respect to this early pioneer of one-on-one fighting games, Karate Champ hasn't aged well. The game features two fighters and a scorekeeper presiding over the action. The graphics are plain, but it's the animation that really kills this game. The fighter movements are extremely choppy, and the jumps are ridiculous. The control is terrible in general with hard-to-execute moves and fighters that tend to get stuck facing the wrong direction. Karate Champ may have been intriguing in 1986, but for those of us who cut our teeth on Street Fighter II, there's no turning back.