The player takes part in a series of one-on-one karate matches, all overseen by a wise old expert who appears somewhere in the background. Once the player defeats an opponent they move up to the next stage and a more difficult adversary. Fights were not won using the energy-bar style found in modern fighting games but instead the player needed to get two complete yin-yangs. Any move that connected with the opponent would end the round; a loosely timed or borderline kick or punch would obtain half a yin-yang icon, while a well-executed move would obtain a full icon. Two complete icons ended the bout and progressed to the next level.
This system of scoring, known as shobu nihon kumite, is used in real life in many traditional styles of karate. A half yin-yang represents a waza-ari and a full yin-yang represents an ippon score (full point).
Control works using joystick or direction keys and a “fire” key. You can achieve up to 18 different movements, including jumping kick, roundhouse kick and a variety of punches and kicks, high and low. There are also defensive moves including blocks and somersaults. There are 16 ‘regular’ movements – initiated by the 8 possible joystick directions, with button pressed and 8 without the button pressed. The 17th move, used against the bulls mentioned below, is made by first pulling the joystick downward, then ‘rolling it’ forward to the down/forward (forward being whichever way the player’s fighter is facing) diagonal, The character will first crouch (as achieved by moving joystick downward) then proceed with a low punch from the crouched position. The 18th move is done by initiating a roundhouse kick (simultaneously pressing button whilst moving the joystick left if the fighter is facing right, and vice versa, but instead of completing the kick, if the button is released midway, the fighter will instead spin 180 degrees and face the other direction.
The amstrad cpc version featured very good graphics, minimal sound effects and the same fantastic gameplay as the Commodore 64 version