A Matter Of The Big Balls

No matter who I’ve ever spoken to about IK+ the one thing everyone remembers is the big multi-coloured balls.
I’m not entirely sure that it’s a genuine test of a warrior, but who cares?
I sunk hours in to this game competing against my brother once we had two joysticks and I’m fairly sure the big balls broke a few of them. (For the record: I know how that all sounds, but I’m not changing it!)

For those not in the know, IK+ (Chop N’ Drop in the States) was a side on fighting game which took place on a single fixed with screen. No scrolling.
After defeating two opponents in a round you’d have a bonus round where you had to stand in the middle and deflect balls that bounced in from both sides and would then hit you at any one of three levels on either side; high, middle, or low. You had a shield and simply had to defend yourself as they got faster and faster.
In fact, that could make a decent mobile game. (Anyone???)

On the Amiga there was also a bomb kicking round, but I’m a C64 man for my sins, sorry.

The actual fighting rounds were fun too.
Three opponents on the screen, white, red and blue with two controlled by joystick.
First to six hits or the most after the time ran out won providing you’d hit a certain threshold or a Mr Miyagi look-a-like popped up to tell you you’re crap but in a sympathetic way. Keep fighting.
There weren’t buckets of blood being chucked on from both sides of the stage like these days.
It was good, clean fun, apart from the ability to drop their trousers by pressing T, and the big balls. Hold on a sec?!?!

It wasn’t like Street Fighter which came out in the Arcades in the same year, 1987, but that didn’t matter.

The creators, System 3, spent a fair bit of time getting the humour just right. It’s like watching a kids film and having the hidden adult jokes in there.
The animation of the background is superb and the little characters that appear in the scenery are great.
For ages you’d second guess yourself wondering if something had just moved, so having a second player there to spot the moving spider was good for the sanity check.

Thank you System 3 for this and a series of games that I’ll talk more about in my next article.
It seems you guys really liked the chop sockie action. So did I. Chuck Norris would be proud.

For those wanting to relive the wonder that is IK+ go to http://ant.simianzombie.com/files/flashgames/ik/ and click on the download link at the bottom.
I’d advise playing it on the slowest setting if you’ve got a decent PC.
For those with a Wii, jump on to Virtual Console, spend some points and whip out an old controller. Classic or Game Cube, your call.


Leave a Reply