Ikari Warriors Review (1987 NES)

SNK’s Ikari Warriors was a great game in 1986. This is one of the first games for the Nintendo NES that two players can simultaneously compete against the computerized enemies. This was a new and exciting innovation in two dimensional action games, and that is the crux of the enjoyment offered by Ikari Warriors.

Ikari Warriors is based on a popular American fantasy of the 1980’s. Vince and Paul are American soldiers of fortune who crash into the jungles of a fictional Latin American Nation. These two brave men walk forward through screens and screens of mindless enemy soldiers (or moving targets) and defensive barricades. Eventually and with a bit of sweat, these two heroes save the enslaved nation of Ikari and return its people to freedom.

The graphics look very nice in this game. The enemies and the heroes are well defined and shoot in eight directions. However, occasionally the NES can’t keep up with all of the bullets and moving characters. This mini-glitch results in a flicker and a slowdown that is a bit frustrating. The only other problem with Ikari Warriors is that Paul and Vince depend on each other to advance forward. For instance, if Vince is stuck behind an L-shaped wall and Paul scrolls the screen upwards, it is possible for Vince to be irreparably isolated. Because of the well-known cheat for unlimited continues, many games of Ikari Warriors end with a trapped hero.

If you like a blast from the past and you have a friend handy, then Ikari Warriors is a classic well worth your effort. From a historical perspective, it is a real joy to view that state of the art 1986, and then to compare it with your favorite top down shooter of today.


Looks nice, but can’t always keep up with the action.




Great two player simultaneous action.

Replay Value

A long game with infinite continues.



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