If you were a gamer with an Apple II in the mid-'80s, there are a few names likely to stir nostalgic echoes somewhere deep in your heart; names like Choplifter, Hard Hat Mack, Ultima, and (most relevant to this review) Karateka. The first-ever game by Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, Karateka finally reappeared as a rhythm-based remake in late 2012, but now Mechner's giving old-school Karateka fans what they really want: the unvarnished original, adapted for iOS and fitted with tweaks designed to tug at our sense of nostalgia (while also making the game less frustrating).
A few years before he became known as the creator of Prince of Persia, a university student named Jordan Mechner created the Apple II classic, Karateka. Telling the story of a nondescript karate guy out to save a princess from the clutches of an evil warlord (and his awful, awful pet hawk), Karateka was a big leap forward for in-game storytelling and animation, and essentially invented fighting games as we know them. Now, 28 years later, Mechner’s finally revisited his roots and produced a Karateka remake, and it’s… not quite what we were expecting.