A Nightmare of Elm Street is an action game based on the movie of the same name, where the player attempts to free friends from the grasp of the evil Freddy Krueger. Find a way into Freddy's house on Elm Street, enter the Nightmare World, and fight him with unique powers or die trying!
Before the game begins, the player must first choose one of available five characters in an attempt to free Joey who, as informed by this selection screen, has been already been captured by Freddy. Spending too much time during this section will allow Freddy to capture random character, until all but one selectable character is left, so choose a character quickly! When a character is selected, all the other characters are deemed captured by Freddy and must also be rescued.
Each character has a different Soul mater and Power meter rating, as well as unique abilities. Soul represents the player's health and if it runs out, the player dies. Power is used up every time the player uses a special ability. The characters are:
The game starts on Elm Street with the player viewable from a top-down perspective. The player must find Freddy's house through this maze of streets while avoiding Freddy (displayed as a giant character) himself. Bumping into Freddy during the search may damage the player's soul.
- Kincaid - Special ability: Power Punch
- Kristen - Special ability: Power Kick
- Will - Special ability: Lightning
- Nancy - Special ability: Time Freeze
- Taryn - Special ability: Magic Knives
- Joey - Non-selectable (victim)
Inside the house, the player must explore and find a way to the other levels. The level location of each friend is displayed on the right frame as well as their remaining soul. As time passes, their souls may decrease, indicated by a text informing the player of their screams.
While exploring, the player may encounter monsters, items, and traps. Monsters and traps will decrease the player's soul. Items may consist of weapons, ammunition, gold coins (to buy items), batteries, objects to restore soul, and other uses. Items will automatically be picked and placed in the player's inventory, also displayed on the right frame. Items must first be selected in order to use or drop them. During exploration, power will gradually recharge; however, soul may only be restored by using specific items.