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LJN's NES version of the classic horror series casts the player as a teen searching the houses on Elm Street for Freddy Krueger's bones. Once they are all collected, they must be thrown into the high school furnace to destroy Freddy once and for all (a plot similar to 1987's A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors).

Nightmare has two worlds. In the red-tinted "real world," players fight snakes and spiders while navigating standard platform challenges. The players here have a "sleep meter" that depletes with every hit taken. If the player's sleep meter drops to empty, the game transitions into the blue-tinted "dream world," where enemies take on the appearance of skeletons and ghosts. An invisible timer also starts, counting down until Freddy appears and forces the player into a brief boss battle. The sleep meter becomes a standard life gauge in the dream world, and deducts a life from the player if drained.

Players can find and collect three different icons in the dream world to become "Dream Warriors" with special powers and projectile attacks - both of which give a significant edge when fighting Freddy. Collecting all the bones in a level takes the player to a final level boss, usually taking the form of a monster with Freddy's face or trademark razor glove. Players move back and forth down Elm Street, and a new house opens up as the previous one is cleared.

Nightmare is compatible with the NES Four Score accessory, allowing up to four players to play at once using the same screen.


A Nightmare on Elm Street NES Skeleton and flying skull
A Nightmare on Elm Street NES Dealing with creatures in Nightmare mode.
A Nightmare on Elm Street NES In game play screen shot.
A Nightmare on Elm Street NES Collect all bones

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

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User Reviews

A Nightmare on LJN Street ETJB (480) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
A Pretty good game Mike Jay (35) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

Critic Reviews

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 2016 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
1UP! Oct 31, 2012 75 out of 100 75
Retroage Nov 07, 2013 7 out of 10 70
Classic-games.net Apr 13, 2020 6 out of 10 60
SwankWorld 2004 6 out of 10 60
Defunct Games Oct 21, 2016 C 50
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Jun, 1990 19 out of 40 48
Just Games Retro Aug 08, 2002 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40
Questicle.net Nov, 2012 D 25
GameCola.net Nov 01, 2005 2 out of 10 20


Topic # Posts Last Post
Alternate version 5 BurningStickMan (18024)
Jan 11, 2011



Like Friday The 13th (also developed by LJN for the NES), the game is separate from the movie storylines, in that it doesn't follow any one of the plots established.

Original game concept

The original concept of this game varied greatly from what was eventually released. In the original concept, players were to take on the role of Freddy Kruger himself, and kill the teenagers who were attempting to gather his scattered bones in order to rebury them. Not surprisingly, this idea was scrapped and now only a few blurbs in Nintendo Power and a Nintendo of Europe poster with a few screenshots of the planned game exist.

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BurningStickMan (18024) added A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES) on Jan 19, 2010
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