Player takes a role of one of the teens of Elm Street, whose job is to defeat the dream-stalking Freddy Krueger by finding all of his bones and bodyparts, and destroying them. Every once in a while the player must enter the dream world, where s/he can obtain power-ups, but the enemies are also tougher, and Freddy is waiting to strike at the most inopportune times.
This game has the examples of:
- After Boss Recovery: After defeating a boss ant taking the key, the player recovers, passes to awakened mode and wins a life.
- Boss Rush: You fight all of them in the last stage, followed by Freddy himself.
- Dark World: The dream world. There tend to be more hazards here, and you're taken there automatically before a boss fight.
- Dem Bones: Human enemies from the real world appear as skeletons in the dream world.
- Down in the Dumps: The junkyard is one of the levels.
- The End... Or Is It?: Displayed in the ending screen:Freddy is dead and the nightmare is [sic] ended.......Or has it?
- Everything Trying to Kill You: When you're in the dreamworld, getting attacked by skeletons and spiders with a human head is justified. However, it doesn't explain why in non-dream world Giant Spiders, Giant Rats, rocks falling from the sky, bats (some of which drop stones), snakes, Frankensteins Monsters and jutting spikes are after you.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Enemies resembling him appear in the real world.
- Leitmotif: "One, Two, Freddy's coming for you" rhyme will start playing in the dream world before Freddy attacks you.
- Level Scaling: Bosses have more HP depending on how many people are playing.
- Life Meter: Just to let you know: no, the sleep meter is not your life meter, though you might be tricked into thinking so since you lose a strip off of it with every hit you take. No, you actually get four hits before dying, though frustratingly you have to keep track of this yourself since there's no room on the HUD. Bosses play this trope completely straight however, as their life bar replaces the bone counter during their fights.
- Mind Screw: When one player's sleep meter runs dry, everyone gets sent straight to the dream world with him/her. Whether the other three are getting Mind Screwed into sleep, or if it just plain doesn't make any sense at all is up to you.
- Ninja: One of the power-ups includes being a ninja, where the player kicks while jumping and throws shurikens.
- Organ Autonomy: Freddy's bodyparts act as boss battles.
- Player Party: In a bizarre twist, the game can use the NES Satellite or NES Four Score (Nintendo's renditions of a multitap at the time) for a gang of up to four players at once.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Giant rats are enemies in the real world.
- Stock Femur Bone: Freddy's collectible remains are portrayed by femur bones.
- Skippable Boss: If you finish levels quickly and spend as little time as possible in the dream world, (Using coffee to stay awake or boom boxes to wake up) you may never even encounter Freddy himself other than as the final boss.