Mad Karate Man


KyleMad Karate Man Martial artists have for centuries honed their bodies, minds, and souls to the very height of human potential. Entire lifetimes are dedicated to the understanding and perfecting of the human form and all for one very distinct purpose. If the new launch game, Mad Karate Man, is to be believed, then that purpose is to waylay cell phone yapping, briefcase lugging, penny-loafer on casual Friday wearing businessmen, and kick them so hard they actually go into orbit.

In this interesting take on the old launch game mechanic, you exact your frustration on the hapless businessmen in a series of steps. First you juggle your victim into the sky by clicking the mouse when the location arrow reaches as close to the center of the meter as possible. Now it's time for you to get in some choice combo action by clicking on various locations of the businessman's body. The bigger the combo, the more power you build up, but be sure to avoid the briefcase since every time your strike is blocked, your combo counter is reset to zero.

Once you've landed, you are finally ready to launch your khaki-clad foe by clicking when the angle meter comes as close to the forty-five degree mark as possible. If you were able to build up enough power during the combo portion of the game, you can click on one of two special attack icons on the left to prolong the businessman's flight. A flying kick will send him upwards while the fireball will speed him along horizontally.

As if you weren't given enough to deal with already, you'll also want to work on keeping your living projectile from getting slowed down by the many obstacles hurled at you. Oh, and ninjas. You might want to fend off the ninjas while you're at it. Use the mad points you build up from launches to upgrade your fighter and improve your stats in between launch, rinse and repeat. Maybe, somewhere along the line, you might stop to figure out exactly why Mad Karate Man is so mad, but that's up to you.

MadKarateMan.pngAnalysis: As you have likely figured out by now, what sets Mad Karate Man apart from other launch games is the complexity of the launch process. Where most other games are merely point and shoot, here you have to go through this multi-layered process where each action has a profound impact upon later steps and the subsequent flight. This process brings with it both positives and negatives. On the upside, the complexity involved is what makes Mad Karate Man an interesting game. More to the point, the process is genuinely fun once you have gotten the hang of things. One of the successes at work here is how each step along the way impacts the following steps and the over all launch itself, forcing you as the player to invest yourself throughout its entirety. No step is a wasted step.

Another thing that Mad Karate Man gets right is its visuals. These graphics are a perfect blend of parody and homage to the Street Fighter II era of fighting games complete with rippling pectoral muscles and melodramatic stances that mimic the discomfort of constipation. My one qualm here is that on the vertical scale, the graphics just quit. Once you leave the skyline there's a brief star field and then nothing but blackness.

Mad Karate Man's real flaws, though, come at the very beginning of play and towards the end. It's common for your opening launches in these kind of games to be fairly weak, but here the learning curve is quite steep and your first few launches will likely be frustratingly pathetic. Conversely, on the back end the game can get too easy and therefore boring. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of an ultimate goal to keep working towards.

But in between the rough start and ambivalent ending, Mad Karate Man is an excellent example of its genre. Learning the game once you've broken through the frustration barrier is a rewarding experience, and the depth of the gameplay gives this launch title perhaps more longevity than you would find among others of its type.

Play Mad Karate Man

18 Comments

Great review - I played the game without reading it, then came back and saw that the review perfectly echoed my own experience. Great launch mechanic, slow start, disappointing "end-game", and sorely in need of a better star-field - but nonetheless, great fun, superbly made and very well designed.

Makes me feel that a Mad Karate Man 2 with a bit more depth would be terrific.

Took a while to pick up, but afterwards, fairly good game

If there's any ending, ambivalent or otherwise, i was unable to find it.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious here, but I can't get in any hits while in the air. Clicking everywhere (face, chest, crotch, karate man, etc...) doesn't do anything. Help?

Hrm. Once you maxed out the skills, it becomes like any other launch game. If you elect to use the Mochigames front end, you can submit high scores, which is the point of most games of this mechanic.

Unfortunately, the ones where you "level up" skills usually have a driving story or end point to make all the "progress" relevant. I don't know how I feel about this one, having played it through to the end.

Also, it was okay to play on a touch pad, which I can't fault. Probably easier with a mouse, then.

when hitting mid-air, aim for where the briefcase isn't. aim for the head and groin, i found those two gave me the most power. also you have to be pretty spot on with the mouse. a difference of a pixel width determines if you do or don't hit him.

What an incredibly ignorant game! A muscle bound tool walks down the street and grabs some wimpy looking dude to take out his frustrations on!

If there is anything potentially good in the programming of the game, it could have been presented in a better fashion... doncha think?

What a loser.

Honestly, I played for about 20 levels without getting anything other than a single kamehameha blast. Grab, jump, get 1 or 2 hits maybe, watch the guy bounce, see some stuff ALMOST come in and blow up.

Am I missing something?

I had the bug where it showed everything around the actual screen which did sort of make it a lot easier. I could just keep clicking the pile of dead ninjas above and to the right of the screen for power.

I thought the avoiding the briefcase was nice but incredibly difficult on a touchpad. When you have 0.4 seconds to react then move accurately with a touchpad it's almost impossible.

The fireball thing is incredibly useless, the various things on the ground don't get used and I wasn't sure what the various power ups even did.

Some nice concepts and a nice style but disappointing.

The game needs some tweaking though. Once you get max energy and max out the flying kicks you can keep the business man in the air indefinitely (not kidding) if you just spam the flying kicks right after you launch the guy until you are out of energy, kick every ninja, and use the flying kick every time you get enough energy. You'll continue to gain height and speed at an exponential rate every time you kick.

And once you max out punch power, speed, and lower the briefcase health you can max your energy nearly every time by just madly clicking until the briefcase breaks and then pound the guy afterwards.

There is no end but it was cute

That had the slooooooooowest start to a launching game I've ever seen. I must have played it fifteen times or more, easy, without getting the dudes any further than a few feet. But man, once you get going, you get going. The upgrade thing was more addicting than I expected.

Not bad overall. Kyle's right - once you're powerful, it's kinda lame spending half your time staring at a black screen because you out-paced the vertical art.

Yay I got a distance of 44 million meters, height of 43 million meters, and 176 million points from one round once I got everything maxed.

Mad Karate Man II really needs an endgame. Once I had essentially infinite power, I got bored when the businessman had circumnavigated the Earth a few times.

This is a pretty good game. It is nice to see a twist on the launch genre, though I agree with the above that it could definitely use some type of end game scenario. Also, I agree with Jeff above that once you get maxed out you can literally go on forever kicking the guy into the air as long as you keep killing four or five ninja's in between each kick. I finally gave up after I hit heights and distances over a billion. Overall, it is a good idea, but it just kind of becomes an equation of how much time, how bored you are, and how long you are willing to let it sit and let it go on in the end though. :)

I hit my guy the equivalent distance to the moon and and dozen times round the world

Final highscore for me (no cheating):6862197674
distance:1394899204
height:2036163233
kills: 36400

Neato.

how do you get kills?
i click on noja but i always have 0 kills.

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