Weird and wonderful 1980s video game box art


[Read the post]


There was an interesting transition point when box art and game ads started to actually contain game graphics - it wasn’t all that long ago. Now it seems it’s just as likely to be the reverse - more cartoonish and simplified graphics for ads/covers than what’s actually in the games.


I especially love the ones that look like they were drawn by that guy who sat in the back of history class listening to Yngwie Malmsteen.

I’m really not kidding. They do have an amateurish charm that evokes that era for me.


Crap. I was that guy.


I still have this one. :arrow_up_small:

This one :arrow_down: I gifted to the right person.


Regarding commercial box art, I still am in love with this one.

Back from when EOA was trying to make mini-album covers.


It just occurred to me that the technology now exists to actually make the games depicted on these covers.
Are there any 80s airbrush-style games out there?


It’s interesting how the art is similar to board games of the time. For example the Ogre boxart


Can’t tell you how much I loved that game


You should get the recent gigantic re-release.

The larger unit counters assemble into cardboard minis, to wit:

Pretty much as un-micro as they could get!




A site collecting box art, browsable by decade, region, publisher, etc.:


I love this art. Anyone know if a version exists with all the text and logos are stripped away because… wow this is like a scifi over.


A lot of mass-market paperback SF cover art is literally generic, like clip art or stock photography. An artist paints a robot or a spaceship or a space barbarian and then years later an editor picks out a piece that vaguely fits the book being published. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the same thing happened with lower-budget games, at least back in that era. Nowadays you can probably get competent custom work done from a kid on Deviantart for a few hundred bucks.


I still like that cover.


I’ll get that if you will buy me a second house to devote to OGRE


In the late 80s I was buying lots of Amiga games by Psyclapse/Psygnosis which had great artwork by Roger Dean, Peter Andrew Jones, and others. This year’s “No Man’s Sky” I think looks very much like an attempt to render this sort of aesthetic. Lots of organic shapes and smooth gradations of many colors.


Those all look like heavy metal album covers


Roger Dean did a lot of album covers, although they were mostly prog-rock, not metal.


They sound very metal also!