Karate Champ
Copyright/Publisher: American/Berkeley Softworks, Licensed from: Data East,
Programming By: Simon Pick, Music By: Mini Spock, Graphics By: Robert
Whittaker, Release Year: 1985, Genre: Fighting Sports, No. Of Players: 1 or 2

Listen up all you karate fans! If you want to become a true Karate Champ all you have to do is travel to nine locations around the world and challenge the karate master who lives at each. Battles are fought over three bouts, with the winner being the first to score two points.

There are 16 available moves, accessed by use of the joystick and fire button. A successful hit or punch scores either a half or a full point, depending on the effectiveness of its execution. Points are automatically added to the relevant player's total.

A 30 second timer ticks down throughout, and when one of the battling pair finally scores two points the time remaining is converted to points. If the timer reaches zero before either player scores two points, the one with the highest score wins.

In the case of a draw the judge gives his verdict. Having won a bout, the player progresses to the next level, however the game ends if the computer wins two bouts.

Every third screen contains a bonus game where bonus points can be earned. The first requires the player to dodge or break tiles which are thrown towards him, the second is a brick smashing contest and the third involves punching a charging bull.

Karate Champ is yet another mediocre addition to the beat'em up scene. The graphics are small and ineffective, and though the music is similar to that in the arcade version, it's till not up to much.

If you want a straightforward oriental beat'em up, try International Karate - it's superior to this tepid conversion in all aspects... especially playability.

I thought we'd seen the last of the beat'em ups months agon - but obviously not! Previously releaed in America, Karate Champ is two years old now, and looks every day of it. It's still moderately entertaining - for a while at least, but with so many similar games on the market, this seems to be a bit on the late side.

Comparisons to International Karate are inevitable, and in this case Karate Champ ain't so hot. If you do insist on buying this, don't bother with the two-game pack with Tag-Team Wrestling, as this is the better purchase by far, and it's only three quid.

Julian Rignall
This 'official' conversion of an arcade game inspired a complete new genre of computer software - however, it looks a bit dated these days. The simplistic graphics and sound aren't anything to write home about, and the gameplay has been seen many time before.

The multi-load is a bit of a detraction, but if you're prepared to bear with it, and still enjoy this type of computer game there's plenty of cheap action to be had. If not, forget it.


Good on the whole, but the multi-load is a chore.
Unremarkable sprites fight over simplistic but colourful backdrops.
Weak tunes and reasonable spot effects.
Easy enough to pick up and play, and fairly addictive with it.
Lack variety and lasting appeal.
One of the cheapest fighting games around, but far from the best.
A mediocre conversion of a dated and uninspiring arcade game.