Ikari Warriors Review

Ikari Warriors was a great arcade game, and this is a great version of that arcade game.

Ikari Warriors is a classic arcade game from SNK. The original game saw two Rambo types running up the screen while blasting enemies with bullets and grenades, occasionally hopping in a tank, and generally causing a ruckus. What set it apart from other similar games, like Commando, was a rotating joystick that changed your firing direction. This let you move in one direction while firing in another, which certainly came in handy. Shortly after, the game came to the NES. From there it was released in a couple of other formats over the years. Now, it's come to Danger's Hiptop--perhaps better known as the T-Mobile Sidekick and Sidekick II. It's not a two-player game anymore, but it's still a great, fast-moving arcade shooter.

It's got the gameplay you're looking for, but you'll probably miss the music.
It's got the gameplay you're looking for, but you'll probably miss the music.

The game is broken up into multiple levels, which act as means to save your progress, because you can begin new games from the most recent level you've played. That's handy. The general action boils down to pushing up, gunning down soldiers as they come your way, and tossing grenades at explosive caches and barriers that get in your way. You'll also be able to hop into tanks, which shield you from bullet fire and let you fire more-powerful projectiles, but the movement controls are still exactly the same. Getting hit once kills you, causing the game to pause for a quick reload before placing you back where you were hit. You'll also collect power-ups that make your shots and grenades more powerful. There are slightly different power-ups to be found, depending on whether you're playing the revised game mode or the original game mode, but the difference is insignificant.

Controlling the action is great on a Sidekick II. The scrollwheel is used to rotate your aim, and pressing it in fires. You also have a grenade button, and the directional pad on the left side of the unit moves you around. In addition, the game runs at a nice, smooth speed, which definitely helps. Graphically, the game is similar to the arcade version, though the difference in screen orientation means that you don't get to see very far ahead of the action, which can lead to some nasty surprises. On the sound side, Ikari Warriors has good sound effects, but it's missing the arcade version's great music.

Ikari Warriors isn't a terribly long game. You'll be able to burn through it in a few hours--if you stay focused. But if you're a fan of the arcade original or are just on the hunt for a solid action game, you'll find this one to be better than most.

The Good

  • Great control
  • Good sound
  • Solid graphics

The Bad

  • No music
  • Two-player option would have been nice

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Ikari Warriors

First Released 1986
  • Amiga
  • Amstrad CPC
  • Apple II
  • Arcade Games
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 7800
  • Atari ST
  • Commodore 64
  • Mobile
  • MSX
  • NES
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
  • PlayStation 4
  • PSP
  • Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum

Ikari Warriors places you squarely in the middle of a conflict in a South American jungle and features scrolling shooter action.


Average Rating

478 Rating(s)

Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Everyone 10+
Fantasy Violence