Mad Karate Man Game

Mad Karate Man

If you’d like to relive the outrageous, over-the-top beat-em-ups of the 80s and 90s, you don’t need to have an emulator and a ROM of games like Streets of Rage or Street Fighter. You simply have to turn to NinjaKiwi’s Mad Karate Man, a modern take on the martial-arts beat-em-up genre that has a multifarious and modern approach to gameplay mechanics and an upgrades-based progression system whilst still possessing the visual style of the old-school arcade game.

Though most of the best 2D martial-arts beat-em-up games were produced back in the late 80s and 90s, there are still some developers giving the niche genre the attention it deserves. NinjaKiwi, known for their quirky and unique exploration of a variety of flash game genres, are also responsible for Mad Karate Man. This karate game is a simple beat-em-up with just a slight hint of RPG involved. Instead of long levels with multiple enemies, NinjaKiwi have instead opted for the single-opponent, short-level approach that involved a multifaceted gameplay mechanic. Part launch game, part beat-em-up, and part RPG, Mad Karate Man is unlike any beat-em-up you’re likely to have played before whether past or even future retro stylished fighters like Karate Master 2.

The gameplay’s unique appeal comes from its three distinct sections, each split into minigames. The first is an initial timing game where you have to click on the screen with the mouse in order to time your grab of your opponent as close to the green section of the indicator bar at the top of the screen. The closer you get to the green section, the more time you get in the air with your opponent. The second dimension is the in-air beat-em-up part in which you have to frantically click on your opponent’s various body parts in order to pummel them (it’s not quite Tekken but it will suffice); he’ll protect himself with his briefcase so you must work around this. The last dimension of gameplay is the final blow, which must be struck at the correct time, preferably when the rapidly-moving arrow in the graph on the right of the screen is in the green zone.

The three components above add up to a total damage, height, and distance tally – you’re then awarded “Mad Points” which can be used to upgrade various things like your power in any of the three sections, as well as upgrades to slow down the speed of the arrows to make landing in the green zone a lot easier. Couple the gameplay with a wonderfully-designed retro look and matching sound effects, and you’ve got one of NinjaKiwi’s greatest Beat-Em-Up titles.

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