I have mixed feelings about a game based on the life of a dead movie star. It smells of opportunist money-grabbing which usually results in the purchaser ending up with a raw deal.
Happily, Bruce Lee certainly doesn't fall into that category. A lot of thought and hard work has gone into the program to make it as professional and playable as possible.
The game is set in ancient Japan. You play the part of martial arts expert Bruce Lee who is in search of the secret of eternal life and fabulous riches. The only man who possesses the secret of immortality is a wizard who lives high up on Mount Fuji in a fortified, underground palace.
The palace is guarded by two of the Far East's most fearsome warriors. The huge green Yamo is a particularly dangerous foe and must be given three bone-crushing kicks before he is killed. Your second opponent, The Ninja, is far more agile and ducks and sidesteps your kicks and punches, wielding a terrifying arsenal of weapons. He can cut a man in half with ease.
The two men track you relentlessly throughout the entire 20 levels of the game.
In each of the screens, you must collect all the hanging lanterns so that the doorway to the next level will open up.
One annoying habit the game has is to let you take a lot of publishment without being given even the slightest chance to escape. One instance of this is when you get hit into a corner by Yamo and try to get up again. He is so close to you that you are repeatedly knocked back down again and eventually killed. Usually though, if you are skilful enough, you can escape from almost any situation.
Bruce Lee is yet another American triumph for the Atari which leaves most British games in the shade. The graphics are brilliant and the playability is better.
Bruce Lee is also available on the Commodore 64 and Atari. I'm assured by the importers of the game, US Gold, that the Commodore version of the game is every bit as good.