Total time played: 6 Hours
Short review: A unique platformer allowing you to travel through dreams controlling animals that each have unique powers.
Interesting links related to Little Nemo The Dream Master
I have fond memories of playing this game as a kid. I also thought I had beaten it before but I definitely haven’t. Even though the game has a very kid friendly feel it is no walk in the park. In fact, when playing through its 8 levels I only have memories of the first two. So, I hadn’t even played 25% of the game.
The gameplay is a straight platformer but with a twist. You control Nemo who through the first 7 levels only has one ability, to jump. But, he also carries what appear to be pieces of candy that he can feed to animals he runs across throughout the game. After feeding 3 pieces of candy to an animal he takes control of the animal.
Throughout the game you will take control of a frog, a lizard, a mouse, a bee, a mole and a gorilla. Each with their own abilities. In each stage you must use the strengths of your animal to collect hidden keys to unlock the door at the end of the stage. The keys vary in number so you never know how many you need until you get to the end of the stage. This is an interesting game play mechanic that gives you incentive to explore every corner of every stage.
In order to beat some levels you have to use multiple animals. You may use the frog to jump to a high ledge where the bee is located. You then control the bee to a higher ledge and pick up the lizard who can walk on walls and crawl through tight spaces. You may have to backtrack back to the where the frog is because there is a tight space that the lizard sneaks through to get a key. If you die you have to start all over again. It is frustrating but gives a nice puzzle element to the game.
Each level has its own unique charm. You may be in a forest climbing trees during one level and riding along the top of a train or flying through the clouds on the next. The game stayed fresh throughout.
Between each level (dream) you wake up and your mother complains that you need to go back to bed. Once you fall back asleep you enter another dream (level). After completing the first 7 stages the game changes. You are presented with a narrative that involves a princess, a king and an evil nightmare land. For the first time in the game you have an actual weapon (a scepter that can shoot a fireball). The 8th level contains no keys but features the traditional stage followed by boss battle.
There are 3 separate parts of the 8th stage. The first part takes place in a rocky hillside and features a giant penguin boss, the second appears to be on the side of a mountain and features a flying manta ray boss and the third part takes you into a cave and then over a mountain to meet the final boss.
Part 1 and 3 of the final level are not bad at all. Part 2 hung me up for 100 or more attempts. If you get a game over on any part of the 8th level you start back at the first part. I got plenty of practice on part 1, I could probably beat it with my eyes closed.
I can finally say I have beating Little Nemo. The game isn’t perfect but it is pretty close. The level design is great and never grows stale. There are platform aspects, puzzle aspects and grueling levels throughout. The music is top notch and the game is the perfect length. I highly recommend playing this one through.