This mission-completion game offers a fresh and intriguing blend of play elements. The joystick-controlled Bruce Lee must jump and climb to negotiate the tri-level, three-screen playfields, collect prizes (hanging lanterns) and battle against a black-clad ninja wielding a bokken stick and the deadly Green Yamo.
Bruce Lee is playable solitaire or by two computerists, who can either compete directly head-to-head or take turns against a machine opponent. As the now legendary star of martial arts movies, Bruce Lee, garners can reap untold riches and learn the secret of immortality — booty worthy of any cinematic hero! — by penetrating to the heart of a many-roomed fortress to confront its mystery master, the wizard.
Combining joystick movements with use of the action button, the control system makes it possible for Bruce Lee to run, jump, kick, punch, climb and duck. The on-screen battler can survive a total of five combat losses to the ninja and Green Yamo. Bruce Lee can take an extra fall once the gamer accumulates 40,000 point, and he gains another at each 30,000-point milestone thereafter. There's even an easy method for re-orienting the joystick to make command input simpler for lefthanders.
Although Kelly Day's graphics are good, even excellent in spots, there's a pretty obvious trade-off of visual brilliance for dazzling play-action. Bruce Lee is a good-looking game, with nice animation of the principal characters, but the real attraction is the varied playfield environments which designer Ron Fortier has created. By collecting the right combination of lanterns, Bruce opens gates which allow him to advance from room to room on the way to the final showdown with the wizard. Every phase is completely different, which keeps the program stimulating through untold replays.
The instruction manual is curiously haphazard for such an otherwise well thought-out game. The information isn't well organized and providing more data about the game situation would make it a lot easier for home arcaders to get into the swing of things.
Bruce Lee won't be mastered over-night because playing well requires learning how to combine a wide assortment of moves and strategies. But learning when to leap for safety and when to duke it out with Yamo and his shadowy pal gives the disk an aura of excitement that's tough to beat. This is a truly unique program that takes garners on a wild — and dangerous - trip into nonstop heroics. So put on your black belts and let's go!