A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1989 by LJN for the NES. It’s a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is based on two different Freddy Krueger movies, A Nightmare on Elm Street part 3: Dream Warriors and part 4: The Dream master.
The goal of the game is to collect Freddy’s bones and burn them in the boiler at Elm Street High School. Freddy’s bones are scattered all over the place in each level.
You start out on Elm street and your first goal is to go into a house (NOTE: not all houses are open even if the door looks open) . You need to collect all the bones in order to unlock a boss fight at the end of the level. If you have missed a bone or two and get to the end of the level you will have no choice but to go back through the level to find the missing bones. Once you fight the boss you will get a key that lets you in another house.
The gameplay also has a twist in that your character can fall asleep. In order to stay awake you need to find coffee. There’s a meter in game that shows how close you are to falling asleep. If you do fall asleep the gameplay shifts to the “Dream World”. In the dream world the monsters are more powerful but you also get to use your special Dream Warrior abilities. There are three different Dream Warrior abilities based on which one you have collected: A ninja who can throw ninja stars and jump kick, an Acrobat who throws javelins and does a jumping somersault and a magician who shoots fireballs and can hover.
The controls can be touchy but they’re pretty easy to master after some practice. Some of the levels have spots where enemies will spawn out of nowhere (bats mostly) and you can get some cheap deaths. It’s not a huge problem but when the screen gets crowded it can be frustrating.
The graphics are good for a 1989 NES game. The graphics for the Freddy boss fights are good for its time.
The music is well done. It’s catchy and it fits the mood of the game. Some have complained because LJN has used some of the music before in different games. I don’t see what the big deal is because it’s not bad music. I could see criticizing LJN if they reused bad music. That’s not the case here.
Another unique thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street is you can play up to four players simulataneously if you have a NES Satellite or NES Four Score.