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 Ninjatō sword and The Green Yamo, a sumo wrestler who attacks with punches and kicks. A multiplayer mode 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 Fire Wizard.