Little Nemo: Dream Master (Adventures in Slumberland)

Last night I enjoyed reviewing Stella Glow Game. This Game is something Straight off the bat: this game has so much innuendo in it even before the title screen, I wonder exactly whose dreams we’re supposed to be witnessing here, Nemo’s, or those of a perverted game designer. Direct quote from the game: “Anyone who is smart enough to give me candy can’t be all bad”. That’s Nemo himself telling that to a rather fey looking guy in a pretty gay pointed hat.

A bit of history: The game is based on a movie. Or, to be more accurate, the game is based on a movie, which is based on either an animated series or theater show, whichever way you go, which was based on a comic series. Basically, any bit of media that was around before the conception of the NES got to touch this intellectual property, much like that designer wishes that he was able to do. The movie was released by Studio Ghibli in Japan in 1989, after being in development hell since 1982, with the corresponding game being released in 1990. As the movie didn’t make it to America until 1992, they weren’t really able to hit on the demographic that movie games usually go for, but instead focused on, and were able to get, plenty of gamers who would later watch the movie in response, making it one of the rare games that developed a market for a film, instead of the other way around.

As far as gameplay, you are exploring the twisted dreams of a young boy who is trying to live out the fantasies of every child, yet is being beaten down by creatures created by the evil Nightmare King. Your ultimate goal is to defeat him and rescue the princess, standard game fare. You accomplish this by moving through each level looking for keys, then using them to unlock the doors at the end of the level to move onto the next. You never know how many you will need, so sometimes you have to backtrack to complete, which gets annoying in the larger levels. The enemies are constantly coming too, and will continue to do so throughout the game, being repeated after each is defeated.

To ease your journey, and indeed a necessary function in some levels, you can ride different animals by feeding them “candy” to make them complacent. They seem to fall asleep before you try to ride them, so I can only imagine what’s in the candy that these game developers have given to this child. Also, when I say “ride”, I really mean “squeeze inside of the body of and move for them as if wearing the animal.” You slip into these animals like a glove, and use them to jump, dig, climb, and generally traverse the courses that you are in better than a boy who is able to control his own dreams could do on his own. Some of the creatures do have different health systems than you though, which can help you a bit in some of the more challenging levels, and being able to change your powers by dosing an unsuspecting animal is fun too.

The game can get rather difficult at times, what with the seemingly endless stream of enemies, and the inability to even list the number of keys needed on a level in order to know when you are done looking or not. Some enemies are hard to avoid running into, and despite the many different animals that you can inhabit, jumping on enemies is really all you can do to kill them; no fire flower or tanuki tail in this game, just good old stomping action. It does end up being an enjoyable quest that I could waste the better part of a day on, so I guess in the addictive gaming sense, it excels.

Playability: 9/10

Pedophilic Innuendo: 8/10

“Silence of the Lambs” skin wearing: 9/10

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