Let's Talk About: Games With Awful Cover Art (Chosen By Readers!)

Back before the internet, the only way to tell if a game was good was by its packaging. Of course you could see it round a friend's house, but when it came to games that your friends didn't have, the box was the biggest hint as to whether or not the game was decent. But when the text on the back of the box didn't give enough away, you had to resort to making your judgement by the artwork on the front. But let's face it, some games played host to some absolute stinkers in the realm of cover artwork.
Twitter user @FunWithBonus (check out his website here) came up with the fantastic idea of asking Alt:Mag Twitter followers what they felt was the worst of the worst when it came to video game cover art, and here is what they had to say!

@AltMag_UK voted for Bomberman (TurboGrafx-16) and Zelda's Adventure (Philips CD-i):

Here's two that I decided to add to the list myself. Remember when Bomberman looked like some kind of 80's action figure? I don't either, and that's why this cover is absolutely dreadful. It's a shame, because nothing can beat a good old game of Bomberman. Then we move on to Zelda's Adventure, a cover which I didn't really think much of at first, but then I actually thought about it in greater detail. Who thought that the best way to sell a The Legend Of Zelda (although it's not considered canon, thank the gaming lords) game was to show people a picture of a castle window? The saddest thing about it is that you'll probably get more enjoyment out of pondering the reason behind the picture than actually playing the game it's attempting to sell you.

@RetroLiberty voted for Classic Concentration (NES) and Iggy's Reckin Balls (N64): 

I was pretty excited to get not just one, but two suggestions from the guys over at Retro Liberty, one of my favourite channels on YouTube. They do an awesome show called The NES Pursuit where they hunt down retro games to add to their collections, you can check them out here! Anyhow, in the most recent episode, Aaron described the cover of Classic Concentration for the NES as looking like 'somebody just went on a Google search in the 80's and just pulled up images and pasted them on there. It looks like it was made by a little kid'. The other game, Iggy's Reckin' Balls looks like it seriously suffered from a case of 'poor 3D rendered art' syndrome.

@GamesAsylum voted for Snow White and the 7 Clever Boys (PlayStation 2):

Speaking of 'poor 3D rendered art', here is something that is so horrendous that you can't even begin to understand why anyone at Phoenix Games thought it was a good idea. Isn't Snow White supposed to be the 'fairest of them all'? I'm pretty sure that if the Prince saw the Snow White in this artwork he would run miles in the opposite direction. As pointed out by @GamesAsylum, basically every game that Phoenix Games has ever released has absolutely terrible cover art, but this one has definitely got to be one of the worst.

@FunWithBonus voted for Keith Courage In Alpha Zones (TurboGrafx-16) and China Warrior (TurboGrafx-16):

The TurboGrafx-16 was host to some really shoddy cover art, as seen above by the absolutely diabolical Bomberman artwork and now these two abominations! What sucked the most though is that these games usually had great Japanese covers, but the people who marketed the console in the west obviously thought that us westerners mustn't have loved super cool colourful anime characters and instead had a craving for the extremely bland. Also the guy on the right on the China Warrior cover who is being booted in the face looks incredibly remorseful, like he is taking the kick as a punishment for nabbing red pants' favourite beef noodle soup the night before.

@GamebitDaily voted for Batman: Arkham City - Game of the Year Edition (Xbox 360 & PS3):

What could have been a pretty awesome cover to the Game of the Year Edition of a fantastic game was absolutely destroyed by the company's decision to shove every single positive quote on the front as well as a load of dumb small print about its bonus content. In no way am I making out I am some master of graphic design, but even I know that there is definitely way too much going on here. Also, when the biggest words on your video game's cover are "10 out of 10" and not the game's actual title, you've done something wrong.

@amoFTX voted for Tekken 3D: Prime Edition (3DS):

This one suffered the same fate as Batman: Arkham City - Game of the Year Edition in the graphics department. Too much crammed onto one small 3DS game case. It doesn't help that each character has an ugly white outline, making them look terrible when placed together. 

@LuckyHitSeries voted for Sengoku Turb: Fanfan I love me Dunce-doubletendre (Dreamcast)


Our buddies over at Lucky Hit (check out their YouTube channel!) presented us with this one. It sure is ugly alright, I think it is something about the colours used, they really don't go well together. The guys also said that this one could also double as one of the worst titles for a video game ever too, and they're not wrong there, I presume it might mean something funny in Japan? Someone let me know because frankly this is confusing me.

@AgentPothead voted for Phalanx (SNES):

Just to add even more confusion, here is a video game cover that confuses many. Some guys had to design a cover for a space shooting game so they decided on an old bearded fellow wearing a fedora and overalls playing a banjo, good job lads. I can't decided if this cover is awesome in an ironic sense or just plain stupid. The designers admitted they wanted to aim for something a little different to contrast the game from the generic rocket in space cover, but perhaps the people of the time didn't really get what was going on with this one.   

@Hiroku9999 and @16bitCatholic voted for Mega Man (NES):

I'm not sure you could scrape the bottom of the 'awful cover art' barrel without this one. The North American Mega Man cover art will go down in gaming history as one of the absolute worst artworks to ever be slapped on the front of a game, and was blamed by Mega Man creator Keiji Infafune as to why the game didn't do too well in the States. Anime-style artwork obviously wasn't something that Nintendo felt would grab American consumers so instead they got this poorly drawn guy, who, last time I checked, definitely is not Mega Man. In the words of the Angry Video Game Nerd: 'what were they thinking?!?'

So there you have it, games with awful cover art, as voted by Alt:Mag readers! Go check out the awesome people who took part and be glad that your favourite game didn't fall victim to a bad choice in the art design department... or maybe it did? Let us know. Got any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments section below, via our Twitter, or via our Facebook page.

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