Karateka on iOS stays true to the '80s original, says creator Jordan Mechner

The iOS port of classic fighting game Karateka stays true to the 1980s original in terms of the size of the game and the simplicity of the platform, creator Jordan Mechner told Touch Arcade.

Mechner discusses the differences between developing titles thirty years ago compared to the present day. While the original Karateka was released on a 143K floppy disk and designed for the Apple II, a platform with 48K and a 1MHz processor, the iOS release is roughly 1GB in size. According to Mechner: "I wanted to be true to the original Karateka in the size of the game.

"We talked about, before, how there's now a gigabyte of data but, as a playing experience, the original Karateka was a game where you could experience a story from beginning to end in a single play session. Today there are games that give you a story that you can play through in a week. And, especially on mobile, there are a lot of games that are an addiction you can pick up and play anytime, and they just loop forever. I really wanted to try to create a game for the iPhone that, if you had half an hour or 40 mins, you could play through a story get to the tragic ending or happy ending, and that's a complete experience. And yet, even after you've finished the story and rescued Mariko, you might still want to pick it up later that day and just play it again to try and reach a happier ending."

Mechner calls iOS devices "the right platform" for Karateka. The simplicity of iOS devices makes them accessible to children, a reminder of the roots of Karateka as a game played by kids in the '80s, he explains.

"We were kids when we were playing Apple II games," says Mechner. "I wanted Karateka to be simple enough that former Apple II gamers could enjoy it and also share it with their kids."

Check out our interview with Mechner on the re-imagining of this classic game.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker