Karateka review

Karateka review

The brute, the monk and the true love.

Mariko, just like every winsome princess trapped against her will in a castle, longs to be rescued. But being rescued isn't her only longing. There is, of course, the delicate matter of the rescuer.

Salvation is all well and good, but the specifics of the saviour are just as important. Who's the face behind the silhouette in the doorway; what's the torso beneath the shirt? A/S/L? Oh, there'll be smiles and grateful flutters of eyelashes no matter who topples the guard and bursts triumphant into the bedroom, but the man (or woman) should match the moment. Anyone else - unmentionably, unthinkably - might bring disappointment as well as freedom.

'Rescue the princess' is a premise as old as video-game time; at least as old as Karateka, a game originally released in 1984 when its maker, Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, was a student at Yale University. But Karateka plays with the premise in a way few of its descendants have dared - ensuring this remake still feels unfamiliar some 30 years later.

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Prince of Persia creator unearths fan letter from teenage John Romero

Doom legend asks Mechner to hand over Karateka secrets.

Here's one for the history books. Jordan Mechner, the veteran game designer responsible for Prince of Persia, has dug up a fan letter he received nearly 30 years ago from a 17-year-old called John Romero - the very same guy who'd go on to create FPS touchstones Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake at id Software.