Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
This isn’t the Enter the Dragon game. This isn’t the Game of Death game. This is the Bruce Lee game. This is a celebration of the martial arts icon’s entire body of work, and that palpable sense of enthusiasm and reverence for its subject powers through some of the gameplay's shortcomings.
When dealing with the legacy of its title character, Bruce Lee: Enter the Game smartly opts for a more old-school approach - in more ways than one. The gameplay is classic beat ‘em up and has players swiping the screen to clobber goons with fast fists and feet of fury. It’s not the deepest fighting style, but it unfolds at a blistering pace that feels great to execute. In fact, it’s when the system awkwardly tries something more complex, like charging special moves to take down guarded opponents, that it stumbles. Players can also augment Bruce with limited shields and health boosts as well as a power-amplifying fury attack. They can even give him outfits lifted from his films, each with their own bonuses.
But honestly the gameplay is just a vector for the Bruce Lee fan service. The game has a fantastic, exaggerated, throwback cartoon art style with killer animation that really sells the impact of each strike, all while scored to period-perfect music and a cacophony of Bruce Lee noises. Meanwhile, there’s a 70s film grain layered on top of the action, and the various mooks players fight - from bodyguards to construction workers - have 70s designs that are special in their own wonderful ways. The game is even structured like a movie, with each level representing a scene like “beat up the henchmen,” “protect the old master,” or “take down the boss.” But there’s an endless endurance mode to try out too, once the credits roll.
Even for non-fans, Bruce Lee: Enter the Game is a stylish, if slight, action game in its own right. But as a mobile game tribute to a legend, it’s even better. It’s Jeet Kune Do on the go.