"Journey into the mysterious Nightmare Realm and save Emily from an imaginary world that has been taken over by darkness!
— Big Fish Games 
This could get ugly.
A point and click adventure
, this is the first in the Nightmare Realm series. The premise starts with a healthy amount of Adult Fear
where you race to find your daughter, Emily, who has been spirited away by a dark shadow who had been following your family for the past 6 years to accomplish said aforementioned goal
There are currently two games in the series: Nightmare Realm
and Nightmare Realm: In the End
This HOG provides several examples of:
- 100% Completion: While you can't fail, there is an unlockable game that can only be obtained by finding all 33 origami pieces hidden in the game.
- Adorkable: Kjuu, even at the old age he's still one.
- Adult Fear: Have a list!
- A dark shadowy THING keeps watching your family.... for 6 years.
- Rock slide on a cliff side
- Oh, and your husband is still in the car.
- Did we mention that the car is barely on the cliffside?
- Your daughter is kidnapped by a Dark Shadowy Thing of Unknown Evil.
- Your daughter will likely be turned into a doll replica of herself.
- Back Story: All of the tutorial is this.
- Big Bad: Philip and Jeff, in different moment.
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Both games.
- Blondes are Evil: Philip
- Body to Jewel / Swiss Army Tears: While it doesn't heal per se, the stone Spirit cries amber tears which you need to collect for a quest after the Witchdoctor is murdered.
- Badass Normal: Peter. Your character counts as well.
- But Thou Must: A staple among hidden object games.
- Came Back Wrong: See Unfinished Business
- Cool Uncle: Peter. In The End reveals that he died of illness in the time between the games.
- Cliff Hanger: Literally and figuratively!
- Children Are Innocent: Emily and all the children that appeared in the second game. Also, Kjuu. Subverted with Jeff and Philip.
- Continuity Nod: Emily as a teenager still has dreams of her experience in the nightmare realm and her paintings occasionally reference them as well.
- Creepy Doll: You see the picture of your daughter turn into this. Complete with a scrawled 'Help me' on the frame. Then, once your reach the final cutscenes, it turns out that the Extractor that took your daughter is trying to turn her into a doll to harvest her creative energy.
- Disappeared Dad: David dies in the opening sequence of the game.
- Driven to Madness: The Factory Master
- Evil Counterpart: Philip and Jeff to Emily.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Dark City itself is full of darkness and everlasting snowfall.
- Fate Worse than Death: Mary's fate for breaking the laws of Dark City is to watch her son imprisoned forever in the golden sarcophagus.
- Featureless Protagonist: Averted. You play as Emily's mother, Katherine.
- Fountain of Youth: Apparently, the demonic crown grants one this as Philip still remain the same while both Jeff and Kyuu become old men.
- Freudian Excuse: Philip has been abused and abandoned by his mother for entire life and Jeff just wants to be special, fueling them for hating "family warmth" and "special people" respectively.
- Hint System: Unlimited too! Apart from cool down time.
- Jump Scare: In the beginning. It's annoying because you were expecting it, but it still managed to catch you off guard.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Apparently everyone past the age of seven.
- Left Hanging: Was Jeff just Philip's imaginary friend who assisted/manipulated him? Or was he was once a misguided real boy?
- Memory Wiping Crew: The Extractors could be considered this, since
- it is the only way to save a child from sure doll doom and
- it's also hinted that the process of extracting creative energy results in this.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Were you expecting anything less?
- No-One Could Have Survived That: Peter. Although, to be fair, the archway collapsed by the time we got there.
- Mama Bear: As Emily's mother, you are traversing through the hellish realm in order to find and save your daughter. Also Mary.
- Memento Macguffin: The googly-eyed lizard. Can also double as a Tragic Keepsake. After all, it is stated that when Emily hits the age of 7, her childhood is gone including her memories of the magical realm as well.
- Mind Screw: If the plot twist wasn't one, this troper doesn't know what is.
- Poisonous Friend: Jeff to Philip and Philip to Kjuu.
- Plot Twist: You know that Extractor who's been following you and making life an emotional hell? That's your husband.
- Rule of Seven
- Scenery Porn: Once you fix the Spirit's heart.
- Shout-Out: There is one origami in the shape of Felix the Fish, the mascot for Big Fish Games.
- Sickly Green Glow: Used only twice in the beginning actually.
- Take Your Time: Honestly. It's an HOG. Even in the end where, the Extractor is chasing you and gets closer, and closer. He never really catches you because the game automatically loads up the next screen.
- Unfinished Business: Turns out, David hung around for 6 years so he could tell Emily that even if she grew up, she wouldn't forget him.
- Taken for Granite: The punishment for David for disobeyed the Rule of Dark City.
- Time Skip: In The End takes place 10 years later, with a 17-year-old Emily preparing for a holiday vacation when a mysterious letter shows up at your door.
- The Power of Love: In the first game, its family love that saved Emily from her fate.
- And in the second, its what saved David from Taken for Granite and move on to the afterlife.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Wait. But if David was the one who kidnapped Emily.... then who killed David?
- Apparently, one of the other extractors or maybe even Philip himself.
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: To be fair, it was 11:59.
- Witch Doctor
- You Can't Go Home Again: All Kjuu wanted is to go home, a huge Tear Jerker when you knew that he can never do..