Little Nemo: The Dream Master is an NES game that is based on the animated film, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. Like the film, Nemo travels to Nightmare Land in his dreams to rescue the King of Slumberland, Morpheus, from the King of Nightmares.
Little Nemo: The Dream Master is a side scrolling, puzzle oriented platformer. The object of the various levels is to unlock a door at the end of the stage. Each door has six locks, and the keys are scattered throughout the stage. Stages are not as straightforward as other platformers of the era, and have multiple rooms below and above the primary screen. Nemo has to dive underwater, climb trees, and scale hills (among other obstacles) to reach secret areas within the game.
Alone, Nemo isn't very tough. He can jump, swim, and throw candy (later on, he gets a wand). His candy stun enemies, but other than that, he's vulnerable to take a beating from his foes. There are many areas in the game that are too high or far for Nemo to reach. To progress, Nemo must utilize many animal friends, which live in each of the dreamworlds Nemo travels. Each of the animals will give Nemo a ride, which helps him jump higher, fly across chasms, and fight enemies. In order to get these animals, Nemo must feed these animals some of his candy. Once he has fed them enough, they will fall asleep, and Nemo can hop on their backs.
Each of the animal friends, along with their special powers, grant Nemo increased stamina. Aside from the fish, frog, and hermit crab, no animals can swim. Nemo hops off an animal's back by pressing the select button.
- Gorilla: The Gorilla can punch enemies when the B button is pressed. The gorilla can also climb walls. It has the highest amount of Life of any animal.
- Bee: The bee can fly when the A button is pressed repeatedly and shoot stingers with the B button as it falls. The bee will die if it gets wet.
- Frog: Nemo will hop inside the frog's mouth, and can jump higher and swim faster but walk very slowly on land. Nemo can also knock enemies out by jumping on them while inside the frog.
- Lizard: Nemo hops on the lizard's back, who runs a bit faster, and can climb up walls. The lizard is also shorter, allowing him to enter tight spaces.
- Hermit Crab: The hermit crab can burrow under sand, and travel safely below the ground. It can also use it's claws to attack.
- Flounder: The fish is the fastest swimmer in the game.
- Mole: The mole can dig underneath the ground, blazing his own trail.
- Mouse: The mouse can attack enemies with his mallet, climb on walls, jump high, and can knock down certain walls.
- Mushroom Forest: The first level, where Nemo is introduced to many animal friends.
- Flower Garden: This level is tricky, requiring Nemo to ascend a tree.
- House of Toys: One of the more unusual levels, with no animal friends. Nemo must dodge obstacles on a speeding toy train.
- Night Sea: An underwater level with sunken ships, the hermit crab, and flounder animal friends.
- Nemo's House: A very tricky level in Nemo's own home.
- Cloud Ruins: One of the more linear levels, all of the keys are at the end of the stage.
- Nightmare World: The final level, with three tough bosses!