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Bruce Lee
The ZX Spectrum port of Bruce Lee. Bruce and The Ninja are fighting at the bottom centre; Yamo is preparing to fall from the left-hand platform.
Developer(s) Datasoft Inc
Publisher(s) Datasoft Inc, U.S. Gold, Comptiq
Designer(s) John A. Fitzpatrick
Platform(s) Atari 8-bit family, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, C64, MS-DOS
Release date(s) 1984
Genre(s) Platformer, beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) N/A

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 published for the Apple 2[1], Atari 8-bit[2] and Commodore 64[3] by Datasoft Inc in 1984.



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 bokken stick and The Green Yamo, who attacks with punches and kicks. A multiplayer modes 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 wizard.

Other versions

Bruce Lee was converted to the ZX Spectrum[4] and Amstrad CPC[5] and published by U.S. Gold in the same year. An MSX version was published in 1985 by Comptiq.[6]

Critical reaction

Commodore 64 title screen

On its original release, the ZX Spectrum version of Bruce Lee received enthusiastic reviews. CRASH magazine awarded 91%, highlighting zesty graphics, enjoyable fighting action and addictivity.[7] 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.[8] Your Spectrum were more critical, pointing out that it only takes a few games to complete all 20 chambers.[9] 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.[10]


  1. ^ "Bruce Lee" (video). Datasoft.  >
  2. ^ "Bruce Lee". Atarimania. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  3. ^ "Bruce Lee". Lemon 64. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  4. ^ Bruce Lee at World of Spectrum
  5. ^ "Bruce Lee by US Gold". CPCZone. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  6. ^ "Bruce Lee (1985, Comptiq)". Generation-MSX. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  7. ^ "Bruce Lee review". CRASH (16). May 1985. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  8. ^ Edgely, Clare (May 1985). "Spectrum Software Scene 2". Sinclair User (38). Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  9. ^ "Joystick Jury". Your Spectrum (14). May 1985. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  10. ^ "The YS Complete Guide To Beat-'em-ups". Your Spectrum (53). May 1990. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  


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