Bruce Lee (video game)
Commodore 64 title screen
|Publisher(s)||Datasoft Inc, U.S. Gold, Comptiq|
|Designer(s)||Ron J. Fortier|
|Composer(s)||John A. Fitzpatrick|
|Release date(s)||1983 / 1984|
|Genre(s)||Platformer, beat 'em up|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Bruce Lee is a video game designed by Ron J. Fortier, with graphics by Kelly Day and music by John A. Fitzpatrick. It was originally developed in 1983 and published in 1984 for the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 by Datasoft Inc and for the ZX Spectrum by US Gold.
Bruce Lee is a platform/beat 'em up hybrid, in which the player controls Bruce Lee. The plot involves the eponymous martial artist advancing from chamber to chamber in a wizard's tower, seeking to claim infinite wealth and the secret of immortality. There are twenty chambers, each represented by a single screen with platforms and ladders. To progress, the player must collect a number of lanterns suspended from various points in the chamber.
Each chamber is guarded by two mobile enemies; The Ninja, who attacks with a Ninjatō sword and The Green Yamo, a sumo wrestler who attacks with punches and kicks. A multiplayer mode allows a second player to control Yamo, or to allow two players to alternately control Bruce. The Ninja and the Yamo are also vulnerable to the screen's dangers, but have infinite lives so they always return. If the player playing the Green Yamo is inactive for a certain time, the computer takes over.
Later chambers include more hazards such as mines and moving walls, as well as a "comb-like" surface that has an electric spark racing along it. Skillful walking, climbing, ducking and jumping are required to negotiate them. On the twentieth screen, Lee finally faces the evil Fire Wizard.
On its original release, the ZX Spectrum version of Bruce Lee received enthusiastic reviews. Computer Gaming World stated that the game "delivers all the foot kicking, kick jabbing, quick ducking action-packed adventure you'd expect from a good grade B, martial arts movie". CRASH magazine awarded 91%, highlighting zesty graphics, enjoyable fighting action and addictivity. Sinclair User also found the game enjoyable, awarding 4 out of 5 stars, but felt that sound was underused and a larger variety of tasks could have been included. Your Spectrum were more critical, pointing out that it only takes a few games to complete all 20 chambers. In a 1990 retrospective, Your Sinclair found that Bruce Lee was still too easy to complete and the graphics had not aged well. In addition, it was felt that the fighting moves available to the player lacked impact and were too limited for a beat 'em up. However, it was described as a historically important game, being the first to combine the platform/collection and beat 'em 'up genres. Home Computing Weekly praised the graphics and movement.
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