Many games found in the arcades make the transition to home computer software. Unfortunately, a large proportion of these arcade copies fall well below the original quality. Thankfully, Way Of The Exploding Fist is not one of them.
Based around the popular Kung Fu games, Melbourne House's version for the Amstrad is graphically excellent. The chunky fighting characters, twist, turn, duck, kick and punch with great detail. I particulary like the expression of pain, nay, agony on the face of the victim when he is caught by a perfect pointscoring whack.
Under keyboard or joystick control, your man can perform 18 different moves from flying kicks to backwards and forwards somersaults. Many of the arcade games feature two joysticks so it was quite an achievement to get all the moves onto one joystick. The control of the character is tremendous - within an hour I felt that I had complete control of my man and the wide range of moves available.
You fight 30 second bouts with either a second player or a computer-controlled opponent. If you manage to obtain a winning score of two perfect faIls or four competent hits then you win and progress on to another fight. Usually two wins are enough to move you up a dan (the martial arts' measure of attainment), though the competency of the computercontrolled opponent seems to get better and I think it is very difficult to get past fourth or fifth dan. If a win is not achieved at the end of the bout, then the referee gives a decision either way.
There are four different backdrops, all very oriental in design. I found the game much fun to play particularly with a human as the second player as the computer becomes a little predictable. All in all, a vastly entertaining game that should make it to the top of the Amstrad charts.