Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner is releasing a new version of Karateka, his first published game. The original game came out in the early '80s and featured side-scrolling beat 'em up action. What changes are in store for this updated fighter?
The classic tale of a karate-fighting hero out to save a beautiful princess named Mariko is getting an update that's headed to the App Store. This re-imagining is going to be a rhythm-based fighter in which players can play one of three heroes. They'll attempt to rescue Mariko from an evil warlord, using their masterful martial arts moves.
You'll go one-on-one with a variety of enemies ranging from the brawny to the bulgy. Timing one's kicks and punches will be important when trying to defeat enemies, lest they beat you and trigger a cutscene that shows you tumbling down a mountainside. Ouch.
Jordan Mechner chose to release the game as a downloadable and worked with an indie team to bring about this new iteration, designing it in a way he couldn't with the original because of 1984's technological restrictions.
On his blog, Mechner said,
I want to show that a game can be simple fun while also telling a human story in a way that’s emotional, atmospheric, and beautiful. I’ve been encouraged to see gamers embrace downloadable titles like Limbo and Braid — games that stand out because of their design integrity and strong artistic choices, although they were made on modest budgets and don’t represent technological breakthroughs. The industry is changing fast. It’s an exciting time for indie.
Karateka will be released on XBLA on November 7 for $10. Other platforms include Steam and PSN. No word yet when the iOS version will drop, but it shouldn't lag too far behind the other releases. Check out some screens below!