Were you alive and mostly aware of your surroundings in 1984? Good, this article is for you! Karateka Classic is a mobile re-release of the original combat game created by Prince of Persia guru Jordan Mechner. Akuma has kidnapped the princess and you're going to fight your way through every one of his minions until you get her back. Bam! The music, the floppy drive loading sounds, the scan lines... it's all there. With some more modern features to accommodate touch screen controls, of course. But apart from that, it's all retro.
The combat in Karateka Classic is all about studying your opponent, finding an opening in their attacks, then taking advantage of that with full force. You have both punches and kicks to unleash, each available in three different heights, and can also move back and forth a bit to control distance. Spamming the attack buttons will (usually) get you nowhere, so don't even try it, bub. If you do and you die, a handy rewind feature lets you undo previous bumbles. Just remember that's a new-fangled feature that wasn't available in the good old days, you lucky/cheating human of the 21st century.
When looked at from a modern perspective, Karateka Classic doesn't quite live up to the modern ideal of a strategy-based fighting game. It's shockingly good after 30 years, but yeah, it shows its age. If you want something a bit more polished there's always the remake available on iOS as Karateka. But if reliving the days of Apple II is more your style, Karateka Classic definitely delivers.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 3. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.