Despite the obvious limitations of playing a fight game by sliding your fingers across a touchscreen, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior ($4.99) makes all the right moves on its way to being perhaps the best fighter iPhone game around.
The iPhone game uses Bruce Lee's likeness to create a suitable atmosphere for the game. Backed up with the mythology of the Bruce Lee stories, Dragon Warrior has an instant credibility; though its story mode is fairly superfluous, given the real action is in the fighting, it at least shows the developers have made an effort to inject some character into the game.
And there are plenty of places to see that character. Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior is packed with modes, from the aforementioned story mode, to a no-frills arcade fighter, a survival mode where you’ll have to keep fighting on your original health bar, and a time attack. It’s an impressive package -- as well it should be for the $5 price tag.
The modes would be meaningless without a solid core game; luckily, Bruce Lee doesn’t disappoint. The virtual analog stick you use to move your fighter feels natural quickly and allows for legitimate 3D movement.
The two attack buttons are more than enough when combined with the directional movements, and although in early fights you’ll find yourself blindly punching and kicking just to stay alive, there is actually a fairly deep fighting engine here if you choose to learn in. Special moves can be accessed, as well, making for some very cool sweeps and back-breaking knees that look exceptional for an app game.
Playing Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior on your phone isn’t going to be exactly like playing a great fighting game on your Xbox360, but that’s to be expected. It wouldn’t be right to judge the game on that scale. Instead, when comparing it to other 3D games or fighters in the app store, Bruce Lee packs quite a punch. If you enjoy fighting games and can handle the price, you’ll get your money’s worth here.