Little Nemo – The Dream Master, Not The Fish

Little Nemo:  The Dream Master, was an acid-trip of an NES game.  Released in 1990, it was an adaptation of Little Nemo in Slumberland, a popular comic strip from the early 1900’s.

The titular comic strip character, Nemo, is a young boy who is always having fantastic dreams.  The comic always started with Nemo going to bed, and then waking up in the final panel.  The dreams varied from out of the ordinary, to downright terrifying:

Little Nemo Dream Sequence
Little Nemo Dream Sequence

The NES game that was released in 1990 was meant to be a movie tie-in to a Japanese-American film about Little Nemo and his adventures in Slumber Land.  However, for some reason, the film would not debut in America until 1992, leaving The Dream Master as a stand-alone Little Nemo experience.


The game itself is a platformer with RPG elements.  It follows the adventures of Nemo in various stages, on his way to rescue Morpheus in Nightmare Land from the clutches of the evil Nightmare King.

Little Nemo Box

You progress through the game by moving side-to-side and up-and-down around each level and collecting keys.  Nemo can feed candy to certain animals in each level in exchange for rides.  The animals from a frog, to a gorilla, or a mole. Each has its own skills needed to complete the level.

Overall, the game was regarded as being very difficult for it’s time.  Ask most gamers who grew up with Little Nemo, and they will probably tell you that they never completed it as a youngster.  Capcom was no stranger to tough platformers in 1990, having already published Mega Man in 1987, and churning out 8-bit adventure games with fury.

Despite the difficulty, the game was highly praised.  The gameplay is responsive and fun.  The music is memorable and catchy.  Today, it still clocks in at #68 on IGN’s Top 100 NES Games of All-Time.  We say, give Little Nemo a spin if you haven’t yet!  We recommend it!

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