Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. Nov 13, 2012
    Karateka steps beyond its simplistic gameplay with exceptional production values.
  2. Nov 12, 2012
    Karateka is a perfect for for anyone that played the original as well as those that appreciate more daring and unique games.
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    Three decades later, Karateka is back to kick Akuma's ass! The good news is that this is a good looking action game with a few genuinely clever ideas. Unfortunately, it's also a repetitive remake that never quite hits its potential. The rhythm-based gameplay is unique, but it would have been nice to see a few more enemy types and deeper gameplay!
  4. Nov 9, 2012
    It's a straightforward game, then. The capacity for expression and technique is limited to the exacting rhythms of blocking.
  5. Nov 19, 2012
    Karateka is an attractive remake of a classic, but simplistic combat and limited replay value keep it from greatness.
  6. Nov 14, 2012
    Karateka remake is a solid effort with casual audience in mind, there's very few challenge for the player. Game is unbelievably short and simplified, rhythmical parry is a nice idea overall, but we expect something more ambitious from this reboot.
  7. Nov 12, 2012
    Karateka is a good remake HD with improved graphics and OST, but the same gameplay mechanics. Simple and fun, but too repetitive and easy to complete.
  8. 60
    Fun, but far too easily mastered. [Jan 2013, p.97]
  9. Nov 12, 2012
    If we look at it as a remake, then it's an excellent job. If we look at it as a present-day game, then it's quite limited, very short and doesn't really ask for a second playthrough. Still it's recommended for the fans of the original one.
  10. Nov 12, 2012
    Those looking for a stroll, a punch, and a bow down memory lane will enjoy the many throwbacks to the original, but even those gamers will likely come away at least a little disappointed.
  11. 60
    Because all three characters play the same despite stylistic differences, and only the final battle proves much of a challenge, there's little reason to get excited about shaving seconds off speed runs or climbing scoreboards. Karateka is fun and beautiful while it lasts, but it's over all too soon.
  12. Dec 18, 2012
    This one's for nostalgia-soaked veterans only. [Jan 2013, p.79]
  13. Nov 12, 2012
    Karateka shouldn't cost 10 Euros, at least not in its current form, without any sort of challenge beyond the one it offers if you want to finish it with only one life. And even that isn't as challenging as it should be in such a short and completely linear experience devoid of any extras. Karateka is a game completely oblivious of its time and environment. Beautiful, fun even, for those few times you play it, but Karateka ultimately overstays its welcome all too quickly.
  14. Nov 12, 2012
    Maybe the issue here is whether or not a remake was a good idea, because the new Karateka has too many issues and too little substance to compete against current peers.
  15. Nov 12, 2012
    A disappointingly direct reboot of the ground-breaking original, with none of the same ambitious appetite for innovation.
  16. Jan 20, 2013
    Offers little more than the free trial vision can provide. [Issue#93, p.88]
  17. Nov 16, 2012
    Overall, Karateka is not a fun experience. The whole game feels more like a mini game and less like an action title. Clunky controls and limited gameplay hurt this one badly. Before you know it, the game is over almost before it began. Even if you enjoyed the original, I can't recommend this one.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Dec 4, 2012
    OK, really fast review time...

    ...A Karateka reboot is a very good thing indeed! Karateka was the first game Jordan Mechner created, and
    is the game that lead directly to the legendary Prince of Persia franchise. The 2012 version is true to the original, and the reboot is lovingly crafted into a artistic and intelligent fighter-game. Starting with the base hero, Mariko's True Love, you ascend the cliff to rescue the girl, and meat out some punishment on the minions and their master, Akuma. As you progress along the path towards your final confrontation, you deal with minions, bosses, and Akuma's pet falcon. Each fight is increasingly tougher, and the enemies have a variety of moves with which to attack your character. After every few fights, players are offered Mariko's Flowers to gain health, and should they fight well enough to fill their power symbol, they receive special attacks which shorten the fight. Gameplay relies on the fighting mechanic to propel the character along, and should players lose all health a cinematic death scene passes the story from the True Love, to a Monk character, and finally to a Brute as Mariko's rescuer should the player lose all heath a 2nd time. Victory is declared when Akuma is defeated, but victory sweetens as players compete for achievements and on leaderboards, ultimately attempting to fight a perfect fight to rescue Mariko without taking a single blow as the True Love character.

    The game is worth the money (only $9.99 on Steam), appealing to both male and female players, and a lot of fun to play. My only complaint was the lack of anti-aliasing feature on the PC version; it's a minor aesthetic thing. Button-mashers fans need not apply, as this is a thinking person's fighter. Jordan Mechner has triumphed in his goal to bring a near 30y/o classic into the modern era. Simple, elegant, smashing.

    ...patience Daniel-san...the way of the Karateka is achieved not by haste, but in keeping an ear for the sound of attack and watchful eye on the stance of your opponent. Always respect your opponent, never turn your back on him!
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 4, 2012
    I just played the game through... took me 34:33 minutes.
    While the comic style character design (the princess looks like MULAN) looks good, I
    would have preferred something more "sincere" - as in the original.

    I must say, although Jordan Mechner himself was involved in its production, the game is utterly disappointing.
    While the 1984 original was won through tactics and using timed high mid and low punches / kicks, the 2012 version is a mere series of QTE (quick time events):
    First block the enemy's attacks - then attack.
    You just hit the punch/kick buttons - it does not really matter which.

    Funny how it seems today's computing power often hinders great game design & balance nowadays...
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 13, 2012
    Three decades later, Karateka is back to kick Akuma's ass! The good news is that this is a good looking action game with a few genuinely clever ideas. Unfortunately, . The rhythm-based gameplay is unique, but it would have been nice to see a few more enemy types and deeper gameplay but a game like this should not be missed Jordan mechner and his team work hard on this game looking at the making of this game. Full Review »