BOX=ART: Retrogamer and modern video game box art history.


Video game box art and artist history database



Privacy Policy


BOX=ART quick menus

BOX=ART copyright ©2013 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.


BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.

All information on this site is through my own findings and is believed to be correct.  Any corrections, errors or admissions that need to be made, or artists that would like to be involved in BOX=ART, please feel free to contact me.

BOX=ART index


123 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Box art index: Ab - Aw

Artist index: Ad - Ay

Adrian Powell.  English box artist in 1991.

Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1991.  

Oh No! More Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1991.  

Akira Watanabe.  Japanese box artist from 1986-2001.

Bahamut Lagoon | Squaresoft | 1996.

Battle Unit Zeoth | Jaleco Ltd | 1990.

Buggy Run | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1993.

F-1 Live Information | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1995.

Gale Racer | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991.

Moepro! 90 Kandō-hen | Jaleco Ltd | 1990.

OutRun | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1986.

OutRun 2019 | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1993 | JPN ver.

OutRunners | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1993.

Pengo | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1990.

Pro Yakyū GG League | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991.

Project F: F1 Team Simulation | Shin Nihon Laser Soft Co. Ltd | 1991.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991 | JPN ver.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1992 | JPN ver.

Super E.D.F. | Jaleco Ltd | 1991.

Taisen Mahjong Hao-Pai | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1990.

Touge Max 2 | Atlus | 1998.

Touge 3  | Atlus | 2001.

Turbo OutRun | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1992 | JPN ver.

Abu Simbel Profanation by Alfonzo Azpiri.

Spanish artwork. Published by Dinamic in 1985 for the European market.

ZX Spectrum ver. pictured. Also available on: Amstrad CPC, MSX.  

Click to enlarge


ABPA Backgammon by Jerrol Richardson.

North American artwork. Published by Mattel Electronics in 1979 for the North American Intellivision market.  

Click to enlarge


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons by Jerrol Richardson.

North American artwork. Published by Mattel Electronics in 1982 for the North American Intellivision market.

Click to enlarge


Akira Nishimura.  Japanese box artist in 1988.

Gradius II | Konami | 1988.

Akira komeda.  Japanese box artist.

Might and Magic Book II | Elite Systems Ltd. | 1993.

Akikazu Mizuna.  Japanese box artist.

Phantasy Star Online ver. 2 | Sega | 2001.

Alfonzo Azpiri. Spanish box artist.

Abu Simbel Profanation | Dinamic | 1985.

Rocky | Dinamic | 1985.

Andrew H. Denton.  North American box artist in 1995.

Alien vs. Predator | Atari | 1995.

Art Nichols & Bob Layton.  North American box artists in 1990.

F-Zero | Nintendo | 1990.  

Ayami Kojima. Japanese box artist from 1997-2007.

The self-taught artist would start out illustrating covers for various Japanese novels including Majin, Cluster Saga, and Nobunaga's Ambition, before being discovered by Konami whilst working as a secretary.

She would get her big break in 1997 with Konami’s Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (SOTN) for the PlayStation European and Japanese releases.  

Not only creating it’s masterful box art she would also design the in game character art, giving protagonist Alucard and chums a delicate, effeminate look, not unlike artist Kikuchi Hideyuki’s infamous D (who she had previously worked with).

This new look would be in contrast to Castlevania’s previous box art style of depicting the hero as some hulking 1980’s action hero.  

The new artistic approach worked, not only with fans but also with SOTN’s more considered pace and story driven gameplay and helped make Castlevania critically relevant once again.

The following year Ayami would be responsible for the SOTN’s Saturn box art and found time to produce the stylistically similar cover art for Koei’s Soldnerschild, also for the Saturn and later PS1 (1997) and Chou-Denki Card Battle for the WonderSwan (1999).

She would go on to create many other classic Castlevania box arts with her final one to date being the PSP’s Dracula X Chronicles (2007). All would follow the same art style first seen in SOTN apart from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (2001). This box art’s anime look would be deliberate as it set out to appeal to the Game Boy Advance’s younger audience.

Since then she has created the artwork for download only Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and provided artworks for Koei’s Dynasty Warriors 7.  

A traditional artist in the art media she uses, Ayami starts by sketching with conté crayon sticks and then creates shadows with more conté and India ink. She then Adds depth and texture, usually to the background follows by spreading and shaping molding paste with a palette knife.  

Base colors are then painted into the work using diluted acrylics and finger smudging is used to create glows. To finish, metallic paint highlights are used and then enhanced with a gloss polymer.  This art method has been used on all box arts to date, and the artist’s reluctance to go the every popular computer-art route has been refreshing and revered by fans worldwide.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow | Konami | 2003.

Castlevania Chronicles | Konami | 2001 | NA ver.

Castlevania: Chronicles | Konami | 2001 | EU/ JPN ver.   

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon | Konami | 2001.

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness | Konami | 2005.

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance | Konami | 2002.  

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2003 | NA ver.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2003 | EU/ JPN ver.

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles | Konami | 2001.

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1997.

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1998.

Chou-Denki Card Battle | Koubunsha | 1999.

Ishin no Arashi Bakumatsu Shishiden | Koei | 1998.

Soldnerschild | Koei | 1997.

Advance Wars (ゲームボーイウォーズアドバンス Gēmu Bōi Wōzu Adobansu) by Ryou Hirata.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo globally in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance markets.

Click to enlarge


>Adventureland would be the first Scott Williams text adventure. The TRS-80 version - whick looks to be the first of many different computer versions  - would also house the debut cover art from artist Peppy.  

Peppy’s almost childlike approach to art design would be wonderfully whimsy, and was used before adventure box arts became painterly and very much in line with the more serious fantasy and sci-fi artworks found on 80’s book covers.

Adventureland by Peppy (Kem McNair).

North American artwork. First published by Adventure International in 1979 for the North American TRS-80 market.


Click to enlarge


Adventure Island: Part II (高橋名人の冒険島II) by Susumu Matsushita.

Japanese artwork. Published by Hudson Soft in 1991 for the European and Japanese markets.

NES ver. pictured. Also available on: Famicom.  

Click to enlarge


Alien Storm (エイリアンストー) by Yoshiaki Yoneshima.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1991 for the Japanese Mega Drive market.

Click to enlarge


Alien vs. Predator by Andrew H. Denton.

North American artwork. Published by Atari Corp. in 1995 for the European and North American Jaguar markets.

Click to enlarge


Altered Beast (獣王記) by Michiaki Satoh.

Japanese artwork. First published by Sega globally in 1988 for the Genesis/ Mega Drive market.  

Mega Drive ver. pictured. Also availble on: PC Engine (1989).

Click to enlarge

>As one of the Genesis/ Mega Drives launch games Altered Beast’s cover would deliberately appeal to a maturer audience than what Sega had previously tried to with its SG-1000/ Master System.  The cover would also prove to be more gothic and horror focased compared to much of what Nintendo had allowed on its NES/ Famicom, again, to differentiate Sega’s audience from Nintendo’s.

>Pictures from top - Original box art and complete panoramic artwork.


Click to enlarge


Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes (スパイダーマン リーサルフォーズ) by Mark Bagley (penciller), Karl Kesel (inks) and Paul Mounts (colourist).

North American artwork. Published by Epoch Co. in 1995 for the Japanese Super Famicom market.  

Click to enlarge

>The Japanese would score an exclusive North American artwork - unusual for the time - for this highly sought after game. It would be based on the Marvel four issue mini-series The Lethal Foes from 1993 and was drawn on Bristal board with an image area of 11”x15”.

>Pictured from top - Original box art and original pencil and ink design.


Click to enlarge


Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (アックスバトラー ゴールデンアックス伝説 ) by Julie Bell.

North American artwork. Published by Sega in 1991 for the European and North American Game Gear markets.  

Click to enlarge


>Julie Bell would do the unthinkable and give Sega’s handheld an exclusive and quality western box art in Golden Axe offshoot: Ax Battler.

She would coin the artwork as “Savage Lands” after the game’s topography. The artwork would sit firmly in line with Julie’s other early 90’s cover arts (see, Eternal Champions, Defender of Rome II) and exudes a detailed, high fantasy look that was painted in the artist’s preferred media, oils.

Japan would unsurprisingly not use Julie’s art. Instead, it interestingly removed the series’ usual western barbarian look and replaced it with a “Koei war game” style box art by illustrator Jun Satoh.

Her equally famous partner Boris Vallejo would also that year create the box art for the stylistically similar American/ European release of Golden Axe II (Mega Drive/ Genesis).

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (アックスバトラー ゴールデンアックス伝説 ) by Jun Satoh.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1991 for the Japanese Game Gear market.  

Click to enlarge


Awesome by John Harris.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis in 1990 for the European market.

Amiga ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari ST.

Click to enlarge

>The Amiga version would get the panoramic box treatment that displays Harris’ artwork to its fullest. It would be an original commission and is arguably one of the finer sci-fi covers within Psygnosis’ pantheon.  Atari ST owner would have to surfice with a smaller box and a cropped version where the gravitas of the orignal is greatly lost.

The lettering was likely a Roger Dean effort.


Avalon Hill Game Company, The.  Publisher from 1980-1998.

With the success of the Atari VCS and the growing trend for home computers running game software, The Avalon Hill Game Company (AH) established in the late 70’s its own video game subsidiary Microcomputer Games Inc. to bring its popular board games to the screen. The aforementioned game’s box arts by artist Bob Haynes - who would start AH’s long running tradition of using its board game artists as video game box designers - would brand early games with a distinct use of quad tonal colour and a striped band separating the illustrated action (see, Nukewar, North Atlantic Convoy Raider, B-1 Nuclear Bomber and Midway Campaign. All 1980).  

Bob’s credit is likely for the box art’s graphic design over illustrator as one example, Midway Campaign, has R. MacGowan, famed board game artist, signed under the pictured cruiser. But it would be Haynes’ creativity that distinguished AH’s new video game line in an abstract and memorable way.

The year 1981 saw AH produce more action-orientated titles such as Shootout at the OK galaxy and Voyager 1: Sabotage of the Robot Ship. Their box arts had a deliberate arcade look to them and would be an example of how charmingly crude and simplistic cover arts from this period could be (see Space Station Zulu 1982, Guns of Fort Defiance, 1981 and Bomber Attack, 1982). It would also be the year historical illustrator and board game layout specialist Charles Kibler would join AH and support Bob in box art duties with titles such as Tanktics (1981), Galaxy (1981) and Andromeda Conquest (1982).

By 1983 the branded look of Hayne’s and Kibler’s early box arts had slowly petered out and in its place a step forward in artistry was presented.  Artist Jim Talbot brought a new breadth of style and versatility to AH’s box arts from traditional war paintings (Panzer Jag’d, 1983 and Tsushima, 1985), to fantasy and sci-fi illustrations (Death Trap, 1983 and Beast War, 1984), to even comic book art with Mission on Thunderhead (1985). He’d be commissioned at a time when AH had diversified, taking advantage of the popular role play game (RPG) market, and along with artist Stephanie M. B. Czech and her excellent Legionnaire (1982) Paris in Danger, (1983) and Controller (1982) cover arts, would be responsible for much of AH’s box art output between 1983 - 1985.

The later half of the 80’s saw the company again concentrate on traditional strategic wargaming with artist George Parrish being commissioned - noted for his historical paintings and board game box art. George would carry on the painted realism found in Talbot’s war themed cover arts and help set the stage for this style of art’s universal usage in the 90’s.

Artists Kurt Miller (Advanced Civilisation, 5th Fleet, Flight Commander 2) Tyson C. Millbert (Achtung Spitfire, History of the World, Over the Reich) and prolific box artist Marc William Ericksen (Operation Crusader, World at War: Volume 2 Stalingrad) would all produce painted works before Hasbro’s takeover in 1998. The takeover would mark the end of AH’s chapter as a computer game publisher.

The box dimensions used in the 80’s is of interest and deserves mention. Far larger than most on the market at that time they not only accommodated the large 5 ¼” disks (although most formats were cassette tape), but also mimicked AH’s board game boxes as the company undoubtedly sought to appeal to their traditional fan base. Their size made the artworks imposing and also allowed for room on the reverse for the extensively written blurb - a common early video game trait but usually found in the manual.

>Notable and influencial The Avalon Hill Game Company box arts.

5th Fleet | 1994 | by Kurt Miller.

Achtung Spitfire | 1997 | Tyson C. Milbert.

B-1 Nuclear Bomber | 1980 | by Bob Haynes.

Beast War | 1984 | by Jim Talbot.

Controller | 1982 | by Stephanie M. B. Czech.

Galaxy | 1981 | by Charles Kibler.

Gulf Strike | 1984 | by Jim Talbot.

Legionnaire | 1982 | by Stephanie M. B. Czech.

Lords of Karma | 1980.

Midway Campaign | 1980 | by Bob Haynes.

Mission on Thunderhead | 1985 | by Jim Talbot.

Operation Crusader | 1994 | Marc William Ericksen.

Spitfire 40 | 1986 | by George Pharrish.

Tanktics | 1981 | by Charles Kibler.

Telengard | 1982 | by Greg Theakston.

Tsushima | 1985.

Publisher index: Av

Ambermoon by Dieter Rottermund.

German artwork. Published by Thalion Software in 1993 for the European Amiga market.

Click to enlarge


Another Code: R - A Journey into the Lost Memories (アナザーコード: R 記憶の扉) by Keisuke Sakamoto.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 2009 for the European and Japanese Wii markets.

Click to enlarge


Ancipital by Steinar Lund.

Norwegian/ English artwork. Published by Llamasoft in 1984 for the European C64 market.  

Click to enlarge


> Ancipital’s box art would be one of many collaborations between Llamasoft’s Jeff Minter and artist Steinar Lund (also see, Batalyx and Attack of the Mutant Camel).

Ancipital was and still is a great example of how strong characterisation can be all a cover art needs to market a game.  It’s pop-psychadelic style and vivid use of colour was uncommon in Europe’s tentative 1984 box art scene, and was created using the artist’s prefered art medium of airbrush inks.  

The cover would scream graffiti-art, as if some bold statement was being made, and will undoubtedly end up being the only time a hoven man-yak was depicted!   

Ant Attack by David John Rowe.

English artwork. Published by Quicksilva in 1983 for the European market.

ZX Spectrum ver. pictured. Also available on: C64.  

Click to enlarge


Asteroids by Chris Kenyon.

North American artwork. First published by Atari in 1981 for the European and North American Atari 2600 markets.

Atari 2600 ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 2800 (1983).  

Click to enlarge


Atlantis by Michael Becker.

North American artwork. Published by Imagic in 1982 for the European and North American markets.

Atari 2600 ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari 8-bit, Intellivision, Odyssey 2, VIC-20.  

Click to enlarge


Autobahn by Janet Lopez.

North American artwork. Published by Sirius Software Inc. in 1981 for the North American Apple II market.  

Click to enlarge


>Taking inspiration from German car adverts from the 1930’s - see Adler and Peugeot - Autobahn’s art style would be an early and rare example of European advertising and war time propaganda art being used in box art design.  

It’s flat, pastel colour palette and clever incorporation of logo would artistically lift it above Sirius’ other early covers and complimented the era’s love for bold and simple designs.

Janet would be responsible for other Sirius box arts, but looked to have left the industry in 1983 after Sirius fell victim to the US video game crash and folded.

Of interest, Autobahn’s artwork thematically complimeted the actual games content - basically a top down Monaco GP clone. A rarity for the American scene in the early 1980’s where overblown and often misleading cover arts were standard.