Bruce Lee for the Commodore 64 was originally published by Datasoft back in 1984 and has long been considered as a classic must have game for the system that features addictive and enjoyable platform fighting action. Fans of the franchise have been fortunate to receive a couple of tributes to the game with the releases of Bruce Lee 2 (originally a Windows title ported to the C64) and Tiger Claw (recently ported from the C64 to the Amiga), with both titles rightly receiving praises for doing a great job in closely mimicking the original Bruce Lee game.
Vidar Bang, who happens to go by the moniker of dmx, has been a long time obsessive fan of the Bruce Lee game and has successfully reversed engineered the original title to the point where he will soon release what can be considered to be something similar to an expansion pack in the guise of Bruce Lee: Return of Fury.
By reverse engineering the game, dmx has put in a new game world and rewritten the code controlling the hazards within the game, but has pretty much left everything in the game untouched. Bruce Lee: Return of Fury retains the graphics, music and sound effects composition from the original Bruce Lee, along with the character collision detection and state machine including all of its ‘glitchy’ characteristics which form part of the original game’s charm and playability, providing an authentic game play experience.
dmx has also added support for 4 player adapters, allowing 3 players to play at the same time, and a couple of difficulty settings with the normal mode allowing for up to 3 continues.
Playing through the new screens, you can see immediately sense that Bruce Lee: Return of Fury looks and sound very faithful to the original game. The new game map features some good level design and introduces a number of ‘new’ hazard layouts that ensure that you are receiving a different but familiar gaming experience.
Moving Bruce Lee around the screen is the same as what you would experience playing the original game and is sure to bring back a lot of fuzzy warm feelings of playing the game back in our youths. The ninja still requires two hits two be eliminated while the green sumo character of Yamo, requires three to see him off.
Just like the original, you will have to guide Bruce Lee around to collect lanterns (there are 90 in total to collect) which in turn open up locked doors and opens up the game map further. Those of us who found the original Bruce Lee a little difficult to complete will appreciate the three continues, which makes it immediately accessible to all players. Those of you who consider yourselves as hardcore arcade gamers will appreciate the high difficulty setting with the faster re-spawning of the enemies and removal of continue plays.
As you have your Bruce character running, climbing, jumping and fighting across the new game world, you will eventually make you way to meet up with the evil Sorcerer once again, providing the only boss battle of the game. Suffice to say that if you like the original Bruce Lee then you will definitely enjoy Bruce Lee: Return of Fury.
Bruce Lee: Return of Fury will be released to the scene by Megastyle via their itch.io site for free on 1st of March 2019. In the meantime you can also check out a video preview of the game below.
It looks and sounds like the original Bruce Lee and it plays like the original Bruce Lee. The new game map is well executed to provide fans with a new authentic Bruce Lee experience.
Founder of RetroGamerNation youtube channel and regular contributor to a number of online blog sites and printed publication. Strong supporter of the modern gaming scene for vintage personal computers. Specialising in the Commodore 64 scene with a growing appreciation for the Commodore Amiga and Amstrad CPC. If you would like your game or hardware reviewed, please get in touch with me via email.