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

BOX=ART

Video game box art and artist history database

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BOX=ART copyright © 2013-2019 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.

About BOX=ART

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.

David John Rowe.  English box artist from 1983-1995.



3D-Pinball | Mastertronic plus | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Ant Attack | Quicksilva | 1983 | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Bill’s Tomato Game | Psygnosis | 1992 | Amiga. (1)

Black Thunder | Quicksilva | 1985 | Commodore 64.

Bounces | Beyond | 1986 | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Budokan: The Martial Spirit | EA | 1991 | EU ver. | Amiga, Commodore 64, MS DOS.

Chameleon | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Commodore 64.

Chambers of Shaolin | Grandslam Entertainments | 1989 | Amiga, Atari ST, CD32, Commodore 64.

Chess Player, The | Quicksilva | 1982 | ZX Spectrum. (2)

Chubby Gristle | Grandslam Entertainments Ltd. | 1988 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Clue! The | Kompart UK, Ltd. | 1994 | Amiga, Amiga CD32, MS-DOS.

Continental Circus | Virgin Mastertronics | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC,, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Crosswize | Firebird Software | 1988 | ZX Spectrum.

Cygnus XI | Atari | 1989 | Atari 8-bit.

Dandy | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | EU ver. | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Dante’s Inferno | Beyond | 1986 | Commodore 64.

Dark Universe | Max Design GmbH & Co. | 1995 | MS-DOS.

Deathscape | Ariolasoft | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Death Wake | Quicksilva | 1985 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum

Delta | Thalamus | 1987 | EU ver. | Commodore 64, SAM Coupé, ZX Spectrum.

Dogfight 2187 | Ariolasoft | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Enterprise | Mastetronic Plus | 1987 | ZX Spectrum.

F-16 Fighting Falcon | Virgin Mastertronics | 1990 | ZX Spectrum.

Fist II | Melbourne House | 1986 | EU ver. | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Flood | Electronic Arts | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Flying Shark | Firbird Software | 1987 | EU ver. | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Fred | Quicksilva | 1984 | ZX Spectrum.

Frenzy | Quicksilva | 1983 | ZX Spectrum. (3)

Friday the 13th | Bug Byte | 1989 | ZX Spectrum.

Glass | Quicksilva | 1985 | ZX Spectrum.

Hunter Killer | Mastertronic | 1990 | Amiga.

Hybrid | Ariolasoft | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

I Ball II | Firebird Software | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Infodroid | Beyond | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64.

IO | Firebird Software | 1988 | Commodore 64.

James Pond II: Codename Robocod | Millenium Interactive | 1991 | EU ver. | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

John Madden Football | Electronic Arts | 1990 | EU ver. | Mega Drive. (4)

Kelly X | Virgin Mastertronic | 1989 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Micro Mouse | Mastertronic | 1989 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Monkey Nuts | Bug Byte | 1988 | BBC Micro, Electron.

Off the Hook | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Pandora | Firebird Software | 1988 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64.

Peter Beardsley’s international Football | Grandslam Entertainment | 1988 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.





Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods | Electronic Arts | 1991 | EU ver. | Amiga, Atari ST.

Prodigy | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Pyramax | Atari Corp. | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Risky Woods | Electronic Arts | 1992 | Genesis, Mega Drive.

River Raid | Firebird Software | 1987 | EU ver. | ZX Spectrum.

R.M.S. Titanic | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Commodore 64.

Sentinel, The | Firebird Software | 1986 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.






Silkworm | Mastertronic plus | 1991 | Commodore 64.

Skyhawk | Quicksilva | 1983 | VIC-20.

Speedball | Image Works | 1988 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Master System, MS-DOS. (7)

Spindizzy | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Sting 64 | Quicksilva | 1984 | Commodore 64.

Super Aquatic Games, The | Electronic Arts | 1992 | Amiga, Genesis, Mega Drive, SNES (EU ver). (8)

Tank Attack | CDS Software Ltd. | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari ST, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Electron, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Tempest | Electric Dreams Software | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Tetris | Mirrorsoft | 1988 | EU ver. | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Throne of Fire | Melboure House | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Ultisynth 64 | Quicksilva | 1983 | Commodore 64.

Way of the Exploding Fist, The | Melbourne House | 1985 | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 16, Plus/4, Commodore 64, Electron, ZX Spectrum.

Wild West Hero | Timescape Software | 1983 | ZX Spectrum.

Will Harvey’s Zany Golf | Electronic Arts | 1989 | EU ver. | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Winter Sports | Electric Dreams Software | 1985 | Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Xarax | Firebird Software | 1988 | ZX Spectrum.

Xarq: The Zimmerman Trenches | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum.

Xeno | Bug Byte | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Yes, Prime Minister | Mastertronic plus | 1990 | ZX Spectrum.

Zombie Zombie | Quicksilva | 1984 | ZX Spectrum.






David would obtain his B.A in Visual Communication in 1975.  Up until he made his name as a video game box artist he would be a “jobbing artist”, illustrating for catalogues and painting pets to pubs. In the early 1980’s he would be at the forefront of the UK and European video game box art scene .  Working for Spectrum studio Quicksilva, David along with artist’s Steinar Lund and Rich Shenfield in 1982 would pioneer the use of quality art used for video game box art. Up until then in Europe, little in the way of quality art was available lest it came from North America. The European industry was still finding its feet and was a far more modest enterprise than the monolithic one in America, and box art in general was either non-existent or crudely implemented.  

David’s first cover would be The Chess Player (1982), he would follow it up with the classic Ant Attack (1983). Sandy White’s isometric adventure would be well complimented by Rowe’s 1950’s B-horror movie style cover art, so much so that the game’s sequel Zombie Zombie (1984) would also be a Rowe. He would enjoy this new artistic expression allowed by the box art medium, stating it almost demanded the art to be fun and whimsy and early box arts were a mix of airbrushed liquid acrylics, coloured pencil.

Coming into the 1990’s David would be a sought after box artist working for various publishers such as Electronic Arts, Domark and Core Design, producing diverse cover arts from the fantasy laced Risky Woods (1992) to cartooned hijinks of The Super Aquatic Games (1992).  His cover arts in this period would become more detailed and elaborate compared to his work in the 1980’s, where functional and basic covers such as The Way of the Exploding Fist (1985) gave way to creatively rich box arts such as Shadow of the Beast III (1992).

His work on the James Pond series would be familiar to children growing up with home computers in the early 1990’s, and with this style of art he would bring lightness to Psygnosis’ portfolio with title Bills Tomato Game (1992). Around this time, he would move into graphic design, working on games such as platform hit Alfred Chicken (1993), and would be responsible for producing magazine covers for Emap, Europress and Future Publishing.  Not one to let any media left untapped, David would work within television with his greatest contribution being the interior perspective paintings for the popular ITV children's programme "Knightmare".


>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

Populous | Electronic Arts | 1989 | Amiga (EU ver), Acorn 32-bit, Atari ST, Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive, MS-DOS (EU ver), PC-98, Super Famicom, SNES, X68000. (5)

By far David’s most popular cover finding home across the globe including on no less than three Japanese systems - quite the feat for a western artists work in the 1980’s.

David would come up with the design after having rare early access to the game at Bullfrog’s head quarters. The artist remembers that the finished piece took some at EA a while to warm to - it being labeled a golf divot. The wild sucess that Populous achieved helped win them over though...

Shadow of the Beast III | Psygnosis | 1992 | Amiga. (6)

The final Beast box art would see veteren box artist David Rowe take the reigns from fantasy painter Roger Dean who’d painted the first two. It would be one of Davids more complex pieces and one the artist looks back at fondly.   

The lettering would retain Roger Dean’s font.

Outline sketch and colour rough.  

>Gallery

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BOX=ART index

 >D

Artist index: Da - Do

Video game series index: Do - Du


Special category index: Dr

Daigo Ikeno (Ikeno Metaka).  Japanese box artist from 1996-2014.

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future | Capcom | 2004 | PS2.

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ NA ver. | Dreamcast.

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future | Capcom | 2000 | JPN ver. | Dreamcast. (1)

Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2009 | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360.

Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition | Capcom | 2011 | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360.

Street Fighter IV: Collectors Edition | Capcom | 2009 | PS3, Xbox 360.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 | Capcom | 2002 | JPN ver. | Game Boy Advance.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 | Capcom | 2006 | JPN ver. | Sony PSP.

Street Fighter: Aniversary Collection | Capcom | 2004 | PS2, Xbox.

Street Fighter EX3 | Capcom | 2000 | JPN ver. | PS2.

Super Puzzle Fighter II | Capcom | 1996 | JPN ver. | PS1, Saturn.

Super Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2010 | EU/ JPN ver. | PS3, Xbox 360. (2)

Super Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2010 | NA ver. | PS3, Xbox 360.

Super Street Fighter IV | Capcom | 2011 | 3DS.

Ultra Street Fighter IV  | Capcom | 2014 | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360.

Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection | Capcom | 2005 | PS2.






>Box art catalogue

Designers Republic, The.  English box artist studio from 1995-2000.

Grand Theft Auto | Take-Two | 1997 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy Advance, MS-DOS, PS1, Windows.

Hardwar | Interplay Entertainmant | 1998 | EU ver. | Windows.









WipEout 2097 | Psygnosis | 1996 | EU ver. | Amiga, PS1, Saturn.

Wip3out | Sony | 1999 | EU/ NA ver. | PS1. (2)

Wip3out | Sony | 2000 | JPN ver. | PS1. (3)

Wip3out: Special Edition | Sony | 2000 | PS1.




WipEout | Psygnosis | 1995 | EU/ JPN ver. | PS1, Saturn, Windows. (1)

WipEout would be the first game in an iconic and successful series, mixing next generation graphics, a licensed soundtrack and great box art design. Launching alongside the PlayStation in Europe, it would be a crucial title in attracting the previously untapped “twenty something” market and help cement the PlayStation as the console of choice for two generations.

The box art was created by graphic design team The Designers Republic (TDR), who found initial success in the late eighties for its record cover-art in the UK. TDR brought its trademark style of minimal but bold use of colour and texture to WipEout’s box art. The use of blueprint schematics, futuristic symbology and katakana would brilliantly give the cover art, and the game, its true identity.

TDR would go on and produce the box arts for the following two sequels in the PlayStation series until Sony’s takeover of developer Psygnosis in 2001. Wipeout Fusion and all following sequels would take influence from TDR’s original box art, but all arguably lack the cool neon Tokyo feel the debut captured so well.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Don Dixon.  North American box artist from 1980-1982.

Eliminator, The |  Adventure international | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80.  

Mask of the Sun | Ultrasoft Inc. | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.  








Savage Island: Part 1/ Part 2 | Adventure International | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, BBC Micro, Browser, Commodore 16, Plus/4, Dragon 32/64, Electron, TRS-80, TRS-80 CoCo, ZX Spectrum




Mission Asteroid | On-line Systems | 1980 | Apple II, Commodore 64. (1)

Mission Asteroid would numerically start Sierra On-Line’s Hi-Res Adventure series offered as the introductory game #0.  Its box art by space artist Don Dixon would perfectly fit the gravity and loneliness of the game’s mission, and is a standout example of an established artist’s work being used as cover art in early home computing.  Commissioned by Sierra, the artist has said the artwork was a quick job taking him a day to complete.

Created using oil paints, as much of Don’s early work was, its quality would stand tall above the other Hi-Res Adventure box arts, with no small part to the artist’s exceptional detail for lunar geography.

Don would follow-up with further box arts for Sierra before leaving the industry in the mid-80’s.

>Gallery

>Box art catalogue

Don Ivan Punchatz.  North American box artist in 1993.

Doom | id Software | 1993 | 3DO, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98, Super Famicom, Sega 32X, SNES, Windows. (1)

The late Don Ivan Punchatz famed for his fantasy and sci-fi art would achieve what would possibly be his most recognisable work in the box art for id’s smash hit, Doom. The artist would dip his brush into a macabre pot and iconize “Doomguy” and his battle against the legions from hell in a work of art bereft of the usual surreal satire much of Don’s art encompassed.  He would also be responsible for the classic Doom logo which would end up being used on both sequels.

To keep development costs down and in budget, Don reduced his usual fee and refused a percentage of Doom’s profits - little knowing it would go on to be such a mega hit. But with one of the most popular and recognisable box arts of all time adding to an already impressive legacy, I’m sure he wasn’t wasn’t overly concerned…


>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Dunjonquest.  Epyx video game series from 1979-1985.

Date Stone of Ryn | Petsoft | 1979 | Commodore PET. (1)

Dunjonquest: Datestones of Ryn | Epyx | 1979 | by Jonquille Albin | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET/CBM, TRS-80. (2)

Dunjonquest: Curse of Ra | Epyx | 1981 | by Karen Gerving | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, TRS-80.

Dunjonquest: Danger in Drindisti | Epyx | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80.

Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior | Epyx | 1980 | by Lela Dowling | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET/CBM, TRS-80. (3)

Dunjonquest: Morloc’s Tower | Epyx | 1980 | by Jonquille Albin | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET/CBM, PC Booter, TRS-80.

Dunjonquest: Sorcercer of Siva | Epyx | 1981 | by George Barr | Apple II, TRS-80.








Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai | Epyx | 1983 | Commodore 64, VIC-20.

Dunjonquest: The Keys of Acheron | Epyx | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80.

Gateway to Apshai | Epyx | 1983 | NA ver. | Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64.

Gateway to Apshai | CBS Electronics | 1984 | EU ver. | Commodore 64.

Le Temple D’Apshai | Sogiciel | 1983 | Commodore 64.

Rescue at Rigel | Epyx | 1980 | by George Barr | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore PET/CBM, DOS, PC Booter, TRS-80, VIC-20. (5)

Temple of Apshai Trilogy | Epyx | 1985 | by Ken Macklin | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, Macintosh, Thomson TO. (6)

Upper Reaches of Apshai | Epyx | 1981 | by Karen Gerving | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, TRS-80.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai | Epyx | 1979 | by Karen Gerving | NA ver. | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commodore PET/CBM, MS-DOS, TRS-80. (4)

The debut game in the series, Temple of Apshai would adopt a unique stencil art style that would go on to brand its many offshoots and sequels.   The term box art is slightly out of place here due to the original 1979 release being shipped within a clear plastic bag, complete with printed manual and disks (as was commonplace for late 70’s home computer games).   All post-1980 ports of the game would include boxes, and in the case of the CBS Electronics versions, a different cover art.

Compared to other home computer box arts from 1979, that in general were rather crude and simplistic, Temple of Apshai had more in common with the quality of art established by the 1970’s console scene (in comparison though its lack of box would exemplify the infancy of the 1979 home computer scene).  This quality undoubtedly contributed to the games huge success with a massive 30,000-40,000 units sold (!)

The 1985 remake, Temple of Apshai Trilogy would do away with the originals abstract style and instead adopt the fast becoming fashionable, high fantasy look.

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Drew Struzan.  North American box artist from 1986-2009.


Back to the Future | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, NES, ZX Spectrum.  

Back to the Future II & III | LJN Ltd. | 1990 | NES.

Back to the Future III | image Works | 1991 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge | Microsoft Game Studios | 2003 | EU/ NA ver. | Xbox.  

Cutthroat Island | Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. | 1995 | Game Boy, Game Gear, Genesis, Mega Drive, SNES.  

Fintstones in Viva Las Rock Vegas | Midas Interactive | 2003 | PS2.

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb | LucasArts | 2009 | Macintosh, PS2, Windows, Xbox. (1)

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine | LucasArts | 2000 | Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64. (2)




Masters of the Universe: The Movie | Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd. | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.  

Spyro: A Heroes Tales | Vivendi Universal Games Inc. | 2004 | GameCube, PS2, Xbox .

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace | LucasArts | 1999 | PS1, Windows. (4)






The famous poster artist would lend his talents to the box art medium with either already commissioned film posters such as Star Wars: Episode 1 and the Back to the Futures or exclusive artworks such as Crimson Skies and Spyro.  All would exude Drew’s immeasurable skill for character art and add an enviable Hollywood sheen.


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom | Mindscape | 1987 | Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, NES. (3)

The belated official releases of the Temple of Doom games saw Drew Struzan’s original movie poster used across the North American releases. It would be the second time one of Drew’s artworks had been used as box art after 1985’s Back to the Future.

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Dragon art.  Notable covers from 1979-2014.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance | SSI | 1990 | by Jeff Easley | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM Towns, Master System, MS-DOS, MSX, NES, PC-88, PC-98, ZX Spectrum.






Bahamut Lagoon | Squaresoft | 1996 | by Akira Watanabe | Super Famicom.

Black Tiger | U.S Gold | 1989 | by Peter Andrew Jones | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Dragon Age: Inquisition | Electronic Arts | 2014 | by Matt Rhodes | PS4, Windows, Xbox One.





Dragon Quest | Enix Corp | 1986 | JPN ver. | by Akira Toriyama | Famicom. (3)

Dragon Valor | Namco | 1999 | JPN ver. | by Tarou Yamazaki | PS1.

Dragonsbane | Quicksilva | 1983 | by Steinar Lund | ZX Spectrum.

Drakkhen | Infogrames | 1989 | EU/ JPN ver. | by CAZA |  Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Super Famicom, SNES, X68000.





Elder Scrolls V, The: Skyrim | Bethesda Software | 2011 | by Adam Adamowicz & Ray Lederer | PS3, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One. (5)

Leander | Psygnosis | 1991 | by Tim White | Amiga, Atari ST.

Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven | The 3DO Company | 1998 | by Larry Elmore | Windows.






Pachinko! | Magnavox | 1980 | Odyssey 2.

Panzer Dragoon | Sega | 1995 | JPN ver. | by Moebius | Saturn.

Panzer Dragoon Saga | Sega | 1998 | JPN ver. | by Katsumi Yokota | Saturn.

Spyro: A Heroes Tales | Vivendi Universal Games Inc. | 2004 | by Drew Struzan | GameCube, PS2, Xbox .

Spyro the Dragon | Sony | 1998 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg Harsh | PS1. (7)

Telengard | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1982 | by Greg Theakston | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commordore PET, MS-DOS. (8)







>Select box art catalogue

>Gallery

Dragon & Princess, The (ドラゴンアンドプリンセス) | KOEI | 1982 | PC-6001. (2)

The artwork is a very early example of box art design in Japan, credited as the first RPG cover art.  

It was a rather crude effort when compared to Koei’s later efforts, but arguably displayed a far higher understanding of promotional prowess in comparison to North America and Europe’s (amature) home computer beginnings.

 

Adventureland | Adventure International | 1979 | by Peppy | TRS-80. (1)

Adventureland would be the first Scott Williams text adventure. The TRS-80 version - 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 1980’s book covers.

Dungeon Campaign | Synergistic Software | 1978 | by Robert C. Clardy | Apple II. (4)

Clardy’s cover would be wonderfully crude in a time when cover arts for home computer releases were usually the case, especially in comparison to there Atari VCS brothers. As was also the case in the late 1970’s no box shipped with the game - only plastic bags - so the cover art here is the instruction manuals.

This cover also has the distinction of being the earliest to depict a dragon.

Mortal Kombat | Acclaim Entertainment | 1993 | Amiga, Game Boy, Game Gear, Genesis, Master System, Mega CD, MS-DOS, SNES, Super Famicom. (6)

In an era of one-on-one beat ‘em ups where box arts would almost always depict a selection of the game’s roster in some fighing stance, Mortal Kombat’s stripped down icon design was bold and revelatory. With the in game character art being digitised actors, over traditional hand drawn sprites, it was likely that Acclaim did not want a box art of painted characters misinterpreting Kombat’s realistic design (the similar looking Pit Fighter, 1990, would get around this by using a photo for its cover). The chinese dragon motif would be a prominant design choice for the game, with it being used extensively on the arcade cabinet and in promotional material throughout 1993 and beyond.

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Doom.  Id Software video game series from 1993-2017.

Doom | Williams Entertainment | 1995 | by Robert Motzcus | PS1, Saturn (JPN ver). (2)

Doom | GT Interactive | 1997 | EU/ NA ver. | Saturn.

Doom | Bethesda | 2016 | PS4, Windows, Xbox One. (3)

Doom | Bethesda | 2017 | Nintendo Switch. (4)

Doom: Collectors Edition | Activision | 2001 | Windows.

Doom: Collectors Edition | Bethesda | 2016 | PS4, Windows, Xbox One.










Doom 3: BFG Edition | Bethesda | 2012 | PS4, Windows, Xbox 360.

Doom 3 (Limited Collectors Edition) | Activision | 2005 | Xbox 360.

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil | Activision | 2005 | Linux, Windows, Xbox.

Doom 64 | Midway Games | 1997 | EU/ NA ver. | Nintendo 64 | by Sukru Gilman.

Doom 64 | Midway Games | 1997 | JPN ver. | Nintendo 64.

Doom Eternal | Bethesda | 2019 | Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Xbox One.

Doom Eternal: Collectors Edition | Bethesda | 2019 | by Gabz | Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Xbox One.

Doom Eternal: Deluxe Edition | Bethesda | 2019 | Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Xbox One.




Master Level for Doom II | id Software | 1995 | Linux, MS-DOS, Windows.





Doom 3 | Activision | 2004 | by Kenneth Scott | Linux, Macintosh, Windows, Xbox.  (6)

Lead artist Kenneth Scott would be responsible for the the character model used on the cover art.  It would be designed using computer art, a first for the series.

Final Doom | id Software | 1996 | PS1, Windows. (7)

The first box art in the Doom series to revise artist Don Ivan Punchatz’s original logo and also to predomintly use a logo in place of artwork. It was released at the same time as id’s latest smash Quake, whose box art also eschewed an artwork in place of a minimal but powerful design.

Ultimate Doom, The: Thy Flesh Consumed | id Software | 1995 | by Gregor Punchatz | Macintosh, MS-DOS, Windows. (8)

Credited as Don Ivan Punchatz, the artwork looks to be a photo of what is more probably one of Gregor Punchatz’s original clay/ latex models.  These models were photgraphed and digitally reworked to create the in-game demons.

Don Ivan Punchatz’s logo is again reused.

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

Doom II: Hell on Earth | id Software | 1994 | by Brom | Game Boy Advance, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98, Windows. (5)

Briefed with designing an artwork centred around ‘Marine vs. Cyberdemon’, Brom has stated he had a great deal of freedom in what he created.  This would go someway in explaining the differing look of ‘Doom Guy’ from Punchatz’s original characterisation on Doom.  

id’s first choice of painter for Doom was Julie Bell (Turrican, Splatterhouse 2, Eternal Champions), but the commission went to Brom after her depiction of the Cyberdemon was too much like a bulls.

The original piece was created logoless with Punchatz’s famous lettering later added.

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Doom | id Software | 1993 | by Don Ivan Punchatz  | 3DO, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98, Super Famicom, Sega 32X, SNES, Windows. (1)

The late Don Ivan Punchatz famed for his fantasy and sci-fi art would achieve what would possibly be his most recognisable work in the box art for id’s smash hit, Doom. The artist would dip his brush into a macabre pot and iconize “Doomguy” and his battle against the legions from hell in a work of art bereft of the usual surreal satire much of Don’s art encompassed.  He would also be responsible for the classic Doom logo which would end up being used on both sequels.

To keep development costs down and in budget, Don reduced his usual fee and refused a percentage of Doom’s profits - little knowing it would go on to be such a mega hit. But with one of the most popular and recognisable box arts of all time adding to an already impressive legacy, I’m sure he wasn’t wasn’t overly concerned…


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Dieter Rottermund.  German box artist from 1992-1995.

A320 Airbus: Edition USA | Thalion Software | 1993 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Albion | Blue Byte Softwrea | 1995 | MS-DOS.

Ambermoon | Thalion Software | 1993 | Amiga. (1)

Amberstar | Thalion Software | 1992 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Lionheart | Thalion Software | 1992 | Amiga.






>Box art review

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>Gallery

Dermot Power.  English box artist from 1990-1992.


Golden Axe | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (1)





Lure of the Temptress | Virgin Mastertronic | 1992 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS. (3)

Magnetic Scrolls Collection, The | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991 | Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.  

Realms | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS. (4)

Sarakon | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991 | MS-DOS. (5)

Supremacy | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990 | EU ver. | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, NES. (6)








Of Irish decent and growing up in a family of artists, the young Dermot would move to London in 1987 with the career aspirations of illustrating within the comic book industry.  In 1989 he’d interview with Virgin Mastertronics who, unknowingly to the artist, happened to be producing a Judge Dredd home computer game. Dermot’s portfolio of comic art strips would land him the job designing the cover. His portrayal of Dredd was duly noted by the comic book anthology 2000 AD and within a few months of the games release he’d be commissioned to pen his first comic cover for Megazine prog #699.

Follow up cover for Virgin, Sega’s arcade smash Golden Axe (1990), would stylistically set the tone for much of the artist’s early character art. Scorned with deep, fissured muscle formations, heavily shaded and painfully bulging, his characters would feed a generation of kids still greedy for the excessive action hero of 80’s movie pop culture. But the 80’s pomp and glossy sheen of Hollywood (see Boris Vallejo’s box art catalogue) was nowhere to be found in these covers. Dermot’s art would instead glamorize the hard-edged style that illustrators, and influences, Frank Frazetta and Metal Hurlant alumni, Moebius (Panzer Dragoon, JPN Saturn ver.) and CAZA (Kult, Drakkhen) had popularized, and would help further establish Europe’s most prolific and creative box art period.

The 1991 cover for Wonderland saw the artist embark upon a long history of illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland characters that would also take him into TV with the Hallmark series (1999), and into film with Tim Burton’s 2010 film offering. Lure of the Temptress (1992), would be Dermot’s final box art and the beginning of an 18-year hiatus from the video game industry that would be briefly interrupted in 2010 with some design concept work for 2K’s Bioshock 2. His role on this project would be far removed from the humble beginnings at Virgin, being more akin to film conceptual design, and wonderfully illustrated the complex demands that could be required of the modern box artist.

As was common of the period all of Dermot’s box arts were created using traditional media, specifically acrylic and gouache on Cs2 paper. Today, the artist is very much a digital proponent.



Wonderland | Virgin Mastertronic | 1991 | Acorn Atom, Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS. (7)

This cover would start a long career the artist has had within Lewis Carol’s universe. Dermot has commented that the original pencil drawing is better than the finished painting, and that Wonderland is the only box art he has personally retained.

Judge Dredd | Virgin Mastertronic | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64. (2)

Dermot’s debut cover and the one that landed him a job at comic house 2000 AD.  It would be used as promotional material within the Megazine for many months, much to the eventual tedium of the artist.

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

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David Stoupakis.  North American box artist in 2000.

Thief II: The Metal Age | Eidos | 2000 | Windows. (1)





>Box art catalogue

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David Schleinkfer.  North American box artist from 1982-1996.

Crossfire | Sierra On-Line | 1982 | PC Booter.

Dare Devil Derby 3D | Mindscape | 1996 | PS1.

SimCity 2000 | Maxis | 1993 | Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Game Boy Advance, Macintosh, MS-DOS, Nintendo 64, Super Famicom, Windows. (1)

SimCity 2000 | Maxis | 1995 | Saturn.

SimCity 2000: Network Edition | Maxis | 1996 | Windows.

SimCopter | EA | 1996 | Windows.

SimTower | Maxis | 1995 | Windows.




>Box art catalogue

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>Box art catalogue

David Martin.  English box artist from 1982-1985.

Air Rescue I | MicroProse | 1984 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Crusade in Europe | MicroProse | 1985 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, PC Booter.

Decision in the Desert | MicroProse | 1985 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, PC Booter.

F-15 Strike Eagle | MicroProse | 1985 | EU/ NA ver. | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MSX,  PC Booter, Thomson TO, ZX Spectrum.

Kennedy Approach | MicroProse | 1985 | Amiga, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64. (1)

MiG Alley Ace | MicroProse | 1983 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

NATO Commander | MicroProse | 1984 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Solo Flight | MicroProse | 1985 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, PC Booter, Thomson MO, Thomson TO.

Spitfire Ace | MicroProse | 1982.




>Box art catalogue

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>Gallery

Dave Pether.  English box artist from 1993-1994.

Lemmings Chronicles, The | Psygnosis | 1994 | Amiga, MS-DOS. (1)

Puggsy | Psygnosis | 1994 | Amiga, Genesis, Mega Drive, Sega CD.

Wiz ‘n’ Liz | Psygnosis | 1993 | Amiga, Genesis, Mega Drive. (2)





>Box art catalogue

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Dave McMacken.  North American box artist from 1983-1995.

Alien Syndrome | Sega | 1989 | NA ver. | MS-DOS.

Archon: The Light and the Dark | EA | 1983 | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, Commodore 64, Macintosh, PC Booter, ZX Spectrum.

Battle of Olympus | Broderbund | 1989 | NA ver. | NES. (1)

Dark Heart of Uukrul, The | Broderbund | 1989 | Apple II, MS-DOS.

Deathlord | EA | 1987 | Apple II, Commodore 64.

Destiny of an Emperor | Capcom | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.

Legacy of the Ancients | EA | 1987 | Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Mars Saga | EA | 1988 | Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Ninja Gaiden | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Gear. (2)

Operation: Clean Streets | Broderbund | 1988 | NA ver. | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Secret of Evermore | Squaresoft | 1995 | SNES.

Swords of Twilight | EA | 1989 | Amiga.

Toki | Sega | 1991 | EU/ NA  ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic | EA | 1988 | Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Shanghai | Actvision | 1986 | Apple II.

Total Carnage | Malibu Games | 1993 | Amiga, CD32, Game Boy, Jaguar, MS-DOS, SNES.

Wings of Fury | Domark | 1991 | Amiga (EU ver), Amstrad CPC (EU ver), Commodore 64 (EU ver), Game Boy Color (NA ver), MS-DOS (EU ver).




>Box art catalogue

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Dan Quarnstrom.  North American box artist from 1984-1986.



Eggs of Steal | Enix | 1998 | JPN ver. | with Nick Pugh & Sei Nakashima | PS1.

Eggs of Steal | Atlus Software | 1998 | NA ver. | with Nick Pugh & Sei Nakashima | PS1.

Skyfox II: The Cygnus Conflict | EA | 1988 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS. (1)

Spy vs. Spy III: Arctic Antics | Epyx | 1986 | NA ver. | Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Zaxxon | Sega | 1984 | Atari 5200.




The artist would start out as an illustrator before later going into design work. Along the way Dan picked up a few cover art and magazine promotional art jobs. All were bold comic art style pieces where the artist first of all designed striking black and white artworks - using with pen and ink - and then ‘trapped’ the underlying colour.

Later Dan would work for Rhythm & Hues - an animation and visual effects studio.  While there he’d be heavily involved in the design for Eggs of Steal (Hello Charlie!! In Japan). Even though the game was not successful the artist remembers the time very fondly.

>Box art catalogue

>Artist profile

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>Gallery

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Dai-Chan.  Japanese box artist from 1995-2000.

Darkstalkers 3 | Capcom | 1998 | EU/ NA ver. | PS1.

Resident Evil 2 | Capcom | 1998 | EU/ NA ver. | Dreamcast, GameCube, Nintendo 64, PS1, Windows. (1)

Resident Evil: Survivor | Capcom | 2000 | NA ver. | PS1.

Street Fighter Alpha | Capcom | 1995 | JPN ver. | PS1, Saturn.

Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors Dreams | Capcom | 2000 | JPN/ NA ver. | Game Boy Color, Windows.

Street Fighter Alpha 2 | Capcom | 1996 | PS1, Saturn (EU/ NA ver), Super Famicom, SNES, Windows.








>Box art catalogue

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>Gallery

Denis R. Loubet.  North American box artist from 1981-2002.

Akalabeth: World of Doom | California Pacific Computer Co. | 1981 | Apple II.

Arx Fatalis | JoWooD Productions Software AG | 2002 | with Daniel Balage | Windows.

Arx Fatalis | JoWooD Productions Software AG | 2003 | with Daniel Balage | Xbox.

Autoduel | ORIGIN Systems | 1985 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS DOS.

Caverns of Callisto | ORIGIN Systems | 1983 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

Exodus: Ultima III | ORIGIN Systems | 1983 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM-7, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1. (1)

Ogre | ORIGIN Systems | 1986 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS.

Omega | ORIGIN Systems | 1989 | Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS.

Pagan: Ultima VIII | ORIGIN Systems | 1994 | Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98. (2)

Ring Quest | StarCraft Inc. | 1985 | Apple II.

Shadowcaster | ORIGIN Systems | 1993 | MS-DOS.

Tangled Tales | ORIGIN Systems | 1989 | Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Times of Lore | ORIGIN Systems | 1988 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, NES, ZX Spectrum.

Ultima I | California Pasific | 1981 |  Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1. (3)

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | ORIGIN Systems | 1985 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, Master System, PC-88, PC-98, X68000. (4)

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny | ORIGIN Systems | 1988 | Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X68000.

Ultima VI: The False Prophet | ORIGIN Systems | 1993 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-98, Sharp X68000, SNES, Super Famicom.

Ultima IX: Ascension | EA | 1999 | Windows. (5)

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss | ORIGIN Systems | 1992 | FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-98.

Ultima Underwold II: Labyrinth Worlds | ORIGIN Systems | 1993 | FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-98.

Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2 - Martian Dreams | ORIGIN Systems | 1991 | MS-DOS.

Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire | ORIGIN Systems | 1990 | Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98, X68000.






>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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    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

Directory - 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