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.

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


Artist index: La - Lu



BOX=ART index

 >L

Video game series index: Le


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Larry Elmore.  North American box artist from 1982-2000.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Secret of the Silver Blades | Strategic Simulations Inc. | 1990 | Amiga, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Sorcerer | Strategic Simulations Inc. | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Bad Blood | Origin Systems | 1990 | Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Blood and Magic | Interplay | 1996 | MS-DOS.

Drachen von Laas | Attic Entertainment Software GmbH | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS. (1)

Dusk of the Gods | Interstel Corp. | 1990 | MS-DOS.

Might and Magic VI | The 3DO Company | 1998 | Windows. (4)

Might and Magic VIII | The 3DO Company | 2000 | Windows. (2)

Knight and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom | TopWare Interactive | 1998 | Amiga, Linux, Macintosh, Windows. (3)

Theseus and the Minotaur | TSR Hobbies | 1982 | Apple II.






Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom

First published by Topware Interactive in 1998 for the European and North American market.

Windows ver. pictured.


The box art looks to be an early example of Larry creating art using a software package, (some covers are missing certain characters on the bottom of the piece) over his usual media of oils.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Lee Gibbons.  UK box artist from 1986-1989.

Barbarian II: The Dungeon of Drax | Palace Software | 1988 | EU ver. | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Specturm. (1)

Deactivators | Ariolasoft | 1986 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Hound of Shadow, The | EA | 1989 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Hyperforce | Ariolasoft | 1986 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 16, Commodore 64.

Starburst: A Walk on the Wild Side | Ariolasoft | 1986 | Commodore 16, Plus/4.

Starfox | Datasoft | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.



Barbarian II: The Dungeon of Drax

First published by Palace Software in 1988 for the European market.

MSX ver. pictured.



Barbarian II's predecessor, Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior, was a critical and commercial success on its release in 1987. Reviewers enjoyed the game's exciting sword fights, and its profile was greatly enhanced by marketing strategies employed by its developer, Palace Software, a subsidiary of media company Palace Group. The developer had engaged Maria Whittaker, a model known for topless shoots, to pose on the box covers and posters of the game. The image of bikini-clad Whittaker created a hype that pushed the game beyond the attention of the video game industry, producing a controversy in which members of the public criticised the industry for promoting Barbarian in a sexist manner.

Palace Software repeated the strategy for the sequel, publishing a poster of Whittaker as Princess Mariana, this time in metal bikini armour, and Michael Van Wijk as the barbarian. Steve Brown, creator of the Barbarian games, recalled that the bikini's chain "snapped a number of times" in comical Carry On fashion during the shoot. Brown was behind the concept of the poster, which was brought to fruition by Lee Gibbons, a commercial artist, over the course of four weeks. The image of the barbarian and princess poised over the fallen body of a large, scaly monster was a photomontage, created by superimposing three photographs—one of each subject—on one another. The creature was a small scale model made of Plasticine. After cutting out the subjects from their photos and composing the cut-outs to form a new scene, Gibbons painted the background and added effects such as smoke to form the final image.  Via wikipedia.

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>Box art review

>Box art catalogue

Lee Macleod.  North American box artist from 1990-2002.

King’s Bounty | New World Computing | 1990 | Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, FM Towns, Genesis, Macintosh, MS-DOS, PC-98.

Out of this World | Virgin Games | 1992 | NA ver. | Genesis.

RPG Maker | Agetec | 2000 | NA ver. | PS1.

Rush Hour | Psygnosis | 1996 | NA ver. | PS1, Windows.

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter | Take-Two | 2002 | Windows. (1)

Ultima: Ruins of Virtue | Pony Canyon | 1991 | Game Boy.

Ultima: Ruins of Virtue II | Pony Canyon | 1993 | Game Boy.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | FCI | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.

Ulitma V: Warriors of Destiny | FCI | 1993 | NES .

Ulitma VI: The False Prophet | FCI | 1993 | NA ver. | SNES.




Serious Sam: The Second Encounter

First published by Take-Two Interactive globally in 2002 for the Windows market.




The second artwork shows a number of changes to the box art released at retail and points towards it being the original submission. It is a remarkably complete composition for the amount of changes it went through (it’s hardly a prelim) and was probably redesigned using some paint package.

>Pictures from left to right - Original box art and possible first submission.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Legend of Zelda, The (main series).  Nintendo video game series from 1986-2017.

Legend of Zelda, The | Nintendo | 1986 | JPN ver. | by Minoru Maeda | Famicom, Nintendo Disk System. (8)

Legend of Zelda, The | Nintendo | 1987 | EU/ NA ver. | by GIRVIN | NES. (2)

Legend of Zelda II, The: The Adventure of Link | Nintendo | 1988 | EU/ NA ver. | by GIRVIN | NES.

Legend of Zelda II, The: The Adventure of Link  | Nintendo | 1987 | JPN ver. | Nintendo Disk System.

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link Between Worlds | Nintendo | 2013 | by Yusuke Nakano | 3DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past | Nintendo | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | by GIRVIN | SNES. (15)

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past | Nintendo | 1991 | JPN ver. | by Yoichi Kotabe | Super Famicom.

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past/ Four Swords | Nintendo | 2002 | EU ver. | Game Boy Advance.

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past/ Four Swords | Nintendo | 2002 | NA ver. | Game Boy Advance.

Legend of Zelda, The: A Link to the Past/ Four Swords | Nintendo | 2003 | JPN ver. | Game Boy Advance.

Legend of Zelda, The: Breath of the Wild | Nintendo | 2017 | EU ver. | by Takumi Wada | Nintendo Switch, Nintendo WII U. (12)

Legend of Zelda, The: Breath of the Wild | Nintendo | 2017 | JPN/ NA ver. | by Takumi Wada | Nintendo Switch, Nintendo WII U.

Legend of Zelda, The: Four Swords Adventure | Nintendo | 2004 | GameCube.

Legend of Zelda, The: Link’s Awakening | Nintendo | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Legend of Zelda, The: Link’s Awakening | Nintendo | 1993 | JPN ver. | by Yoichi Kotabe | Game Boy. (10)

Legend of Zelda, The: Link’s Awakening DX | Nintendo | 1998 | JPN ver. | by Yoichi Kotabe | Game Boy Color.

Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask | Nintendo | 2000 | EU ver. | Nintendo 64.

Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask | Nintendo | 2000 | JPN ver. | by Yusuke Nakano | Nintendo 64. (1)

Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask | Nintendo | 2000 | NA ver. | Nintendo 64.

Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask 3D | Nintendo | 2015 | 3DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: Majora’s Mask 3D (Special Edition) | Nintendo | 2015 | 3DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time | Nintendo | 1998 | EU ver. | Nintendo 64.

Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time | Nintendo | 1998 | JPN ver. | by Yusuke Nakano | Nintendo 64.

Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time | Nintendo | 1998 | NA ver. | Nintendo 64.

Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time 3D | Nintendo | 2011 | EU/ JPN ver. | 3DS. (7)

Legend of Zelda, The: Ocarina of Time 3D | Nintendo | 2011 | NA ver. | 3DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: Phantom Hourglass | Nintendo | 2007 | EU/ JPN ver. | Nintendo DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: Phantom Hourglass | Nintendo | 2007 | NA ver. | Nintendo DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Minish Cap | Nintendo | 2004 | EU ver. | by SENSEI | Game Boy Advance.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Minish Cap | Nintendo | 2004 | JPN ver. | by SENSEI | Game Boy Advance.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Minish Cap | Nintendo | 2004 | NA ver. | by SENSEI | Game Boy Advance. (6)

Legend of Zelda, The: The Oracle of Ages | Nintendo | 2001 | by Yusuke Nakano | Game Boy Color.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Oracle of Seasons | Nintendo | 2001 | by Yusuke Nakano | Game Boy Color.

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker | Nintendo | 2002 | EU/ NA ver. | by Yoshiyuki Oyama & Yoshiki Haruhana | GameCube. (13)

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker | Nintendo | 2002 | JPN ver. | by Yoshiyuki Oyama & Yoshiki Haruhana | GameCube. (11)

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker HD | Nintendo | 2013 | by Yoshiyuki Oyama & Yoshiki Haruhana | Nintendo Wii U. (9)

Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker HD (Limited Edition) | Nintendo | 2013 | by Yoshiyuki Oyama & Yoshiki Haruhana | Nintendo Wii U.

Legend of Zelda, The: Skyward Sword | Nintendo | 2011 | EU/ NA ver. | by Takumi Wada | Nintendo Wii U. (4)

Legend of Zelda, The: Skyward Sword | Nintendo | 2011 | JPN ver. | by Takumi Wada | Nintendo Wii U.

Legend of Zelda, The: Spirit Tracks | Nintendo | 2009 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Koji Takahashi & Seita Inoue | Nintendo DS. (3)

Legend of Zelda, The: Spirit Tracks | Nintendo | 2009 | NA ver. | by Koji Takahashi & Seita Inoue | Nintendo DS.

Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess | Nintendo | 2006 | EU/ NA ver. | by Yusuke Nakano | GameCube, Nintendo Wii. (14)

Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess | Nintendo | 2006 | JPN ver. | by Yusuke Nakano | GameCube, Nintendo Wii.

Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess HD | Nintendo | 2016 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Yusuke Nakano | Nintendo Wii U. (5)

Legend of Zelda, The: Twilight Princess HD | Nintendo | 2016 | NA ver. | by Yusuke Nakano | Nintendo Wii U.








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Legend of Zelda, The: Breath of the Wild (ゼルダの伝説 ブレス オブ ザ ワイルド) by Takumi Wada.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 2017 for the European market.

Nintendo Switch ver. pictured.



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Artist Wada-san would return to promotional and box art duties after leading them in the previous Zelda game Skyward Sword.  The art style here is seen as a continuation of Skyward Swords water-colour, pastel look, but Wada would drop the cel-shading in that game and use a more rough (‘wild’), painterly effect instead.

The motif for this box art and the JPN/ US version would be both the original Famicom cover and its depiction of the Hylian overworld - the game world Breath of the Wild’s (BOTW) is being compared to - and BOTW’s own vast lands.

The Link character’s pose from behind, again on both cover arts, is a first and deliberately shows of his unothodox weaponary and clothing.

>Pictures from left to right - original box art and Famicom cover art.

Legend of Zelda, The: Link’s Awakening (ゼルダの伝説 夢をみる島) by Yoichi Kotabe.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 1993 for the Japanese Game Boy market.




Link’s Awakening would be Kotabe’s second and final Zelda box art (his first being the Japanese cover for A Link to the Past).  His anime backgrond would really shine through in this cover and Link’s character design would help influence Yusuke Nakano’s later efforts in the N64 period.  

The Western release would follow GIRVIN’s gold background and Zelda logo format established by the NES games.

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Legend of Zelda, The: The Wind Waker (ゼルダの伝説 風のタクト) by Yoshiyuki Oyama & Yoshiki Haruhana.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 2002 for the Japanese GameCube market.




The cover would introduce the then controversial ‘toon Link’ design.  Artist Oyama would take Yoshiki Haruhana’s orignal designs and add a ‘washi’ Japanese paper effect, giving the appearance of a moving Link.

The North American box art would play down the character art - a response perhaps to the fan backlash - going for the traditional gold cover look. Europe’s version would be the same as America’s but with more defined character art.

The Wii HD version would base the Link character art on Nakano’s.

>Pictures from top - Japanese cover art, North American cover art and Wii U HD cover art.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

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Lemmings.  Psygnosis video game series from 1991-2006.

Adventures of Lomax, The | Psygnosis | 1996 | by Tim Beaumont | PS1. (4)

Christmas Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1993.

Holiday Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1994.

Lemmings | Imagineer | 1992 | JPN ver. | X68000.

Lemmings | Imagineer | 1993 | JPN ver. | Game Boy.

Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1991 | by Adrian Powell | Acorn, Amiga, Atari ST, CD32, CD-I, CDTV, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, Game Boy, Genesis, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Lynx, NES, Master System, PC-98, Sam Coupe, Super Famicom, Turbo Grafx, ZX Spectrum. (5)

Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1993 | EU ver. | Macintosh.

Lemmings | Sun Corp | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | by Greg Wray | Genesis, Mega Drive. SNES.

Lemmings | Sega | 1994 | NA ver. | Game Gear.

Lemmings | Sony | 2006 | PS2.

Lemmings | Sony | 2006 | EU ver. | Sony PSP.

Lemmings | Sony | 2006 | JPN ver. | Sony PSP.

Lemmings | Sony | 2006 | NA ver. | Sony PSP.

Lemmings 2: The Tribes | Psygnosis | 1993 | Acorn 32-bit, Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, FM Towns, Game Boy, Genesis, SNES, Super Famicom. (3)

Lemmings 3D | Psygnosis | 1995 | MS-DOS, PlayStation, Saturn. (1)

Lemmings & Oh No! More Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1995 | Windows.

Lemmings & Oh No! More Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1998 | PS1.

Lemmings Chronicles, The | Psygnosis | 1994 | by Dave Pether | Amiga, MS-DOS. (2)

Lemmings Paintball | Psygnosis | 1996 | Windows.

Lemmings Revolution | Psygnosis | 2000 | EU ver. | Windows.

Lemmings Revolution | Psygnosis | 2000 | NA ver. | Windows.

Oh No! More Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1991 | by Adrian Powell | Amiga.

Oh No! More Lemmings | Psygnosis | 1991 | Macintosh.







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>Video game series catalogue

Taking inspiration from animator Gary Timmons’ original character art, Adrian Powell would create a box art that ended up having enormous usage across the globe.  Just about every console, handheld and home computer of the day had a version of Lemmings with Powell’s cover adorning it.

The very English character art would fit the game’s protagonists perfectly and would be the basis for all follow up games, and the lettering is arguably one the 90’s greats.

Lemmings

Published globally by Psygnosis from 1991.

Game Boy ver. pictured.




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>Box art review

Les Dorscheid.  North American box artist from 1993-1995.

Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold | Apogee Software | 1993 | MS-DOS.

Raptor: Call of the Shadows | Apogee Software | 1994 | MS-DOS.

Realms of Chaos | Apogee Software | 1995 | MS-DOS.

Rise of the Triad: Dark War | Apogee Software | 1994 | MS-DOS. (1)




>Box art catalogue

Lou Brooks.  North American box artist in 1983.

Donkey Kong | Atari | 1983 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Donkey Kong Jr | Atari | 1983 | Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit. (1)




>Box art catalogue

Louis Hsu Saekow.  North American box artist from 1980-1993.


Baltic 1985 | SSI | 1984 | with Doo Woo | Apple II, Commodore 64.

Battle of Antietam | SSI | 1986 | Apple II , Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS DOS.

Chronicles of Osgorth: The Shattered Alliance | SSI | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

Computer Bismarck | SSI | 1980 | Apple II. (1)

Cosmic Balance 2 | SSI | 1983 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

Cytron Masters | SSI | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

Galactic Adventures | SSI | 1983 | with Doo Woo | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

Gemstone Warriors | SSI | 1984 | with James C. Summerville | NA ver. | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, FM-7, Macintosh.

Germany 1985 | SSI | 1983 | Apple II, Commodore 64.

Hard Drivin’ | Tengen | 1990 | NA ver. | Genesis.

Ms Pac-Man | Tengen | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive, NES, SNES.

Norway 1985 | SSI | 1985 | Apple II, Commodore 64.

Operational Apocalypse | SSI | 1981 | Apple II.

President Elect: 1988 Edition | SSI | 1987 | Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Questron | SSI | 1984 | with William Carman | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Rails West! | SSI | 1984 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Rings of Zilfin | SSI | 1987 | with Christopher White | Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Super Sprint | Tengen | 1989 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.  

Veil of Darkness | SSI | 1993 | With David Boudreau | MS-DOS.  

Wizard’s Crown | SSI | 1986 | with Christopher White | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.



The designer looks to have started within the video game industry for publisher SSI in 1980, debuting with box art Computer Bismarck. He would have a long career within SSI and was involved in the package design of the vast majority of games they released. As an artist his style comes across as rather rudimentary, which could be why many of the painterly covers were done with an additional artist.

It is likely that he managed a team within SSI and that he was responsible for much of the overall box art design choices. By the early 1990’s he had setup his own design company and was freelancing for publishers such as Tengen and Williams.

Computer Bismarck

Published by SSI in 1980 for the North American Apple II market.  




A landmark title for North America’s home computer scene, Computer Bismarck would not only successfully launch publisher Strategic Simulations. Inc (SSI), but also artist Louis Hsu Saekow. Wanting to compete with The Avalon Hill Gaming Co. and their newly formed computer game division Microcomputer Inc, SSI set about producing the most professional and arresting box art possible.  

In general up until the 80’s home computer cover arts mimicked Atari’s VCS efforts in terms of artistry, and lacked any sort of physical casing.  Bismarck changed that and shipped with a large high quality box, and printed manual. Louis’ graphic design also bucked the trend by moving away from the board game style cover artworks Avalon used, and instead creating a striking wire frame model with minimalistic palette.

In a sea of traditionally painted box arts, Bismarck’s graphic design leapt off the shelf and subsiquently proved a big hit for SSI. Surprisingly the company and Louis would not adopt the artistic approach for future box arts, them being in the main rather conformist.

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>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Lucio Parrillo.  Italian box artist in 2007.

Loki: Heroes of Mythology | Crimson Cox GmbH | 2007 | Windows. (1)




Loki: Heroes of Mythology

Published by Crimson Cow GmbH in 2007 for the European Windows market.  





>Pictures from left to right - Original box art and original character art painting.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Luis Royo.  Spanish box artist from 1987-1998.

After the War | Dinamic Software | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Aventura Espacial, La | Aventuras AD | 1990 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Aventura Original, La | Aventuras AD | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Chicken Itza | Aventuras AD | 1992 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari ST, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Comando Tracer | Dinamic Software | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Game Over | Dinamic Software | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, PC Booter, Thomson MO/ TO, ZX Spectrum. (1)

Game Over II | EA | 1988 | Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Hundra | Dinamic Software | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Narco Police | Dinamic Software | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, PC Booter, ZX Spectrum.

Navy Moves | Dinamic Software | 1988 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Satan | Dinamic Software | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, PC Booter, ZX Spectrum.

Summoning, The | SSI | 1992 | MS-DOS.

Templos Sagrados Vol I, Los | Aventuras AD | 1991 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Templos Sagrados Vol II, Los | Aventuras AD | 1992 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Turbo Girl | Dinamic Software | 1988 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.




Game Over

First published by Dinamic Software in 1987 for the the European market.

ZX Spectrum ver. pictured.



The game is best known for a controversy regarding the image of Queen Gremla where a visible nipple that can be seen in its advertising and inlay artwork (which has originally appeared on the cover of Heavy Metal (May 1984 - Vol.8 No.2) called Cover Ere Comprimee and is attributed to Luis Royo). Oli Frey, the art editor for Crash magazine, painted over the original bare-breasted image with a thin grey corset so that it could be printed, but retailers still demanded that logos be placed over the nipples.

Game Over won the awards for best advert and best inlay of the year, according to the readers Crash (Wikipedia). It is possibly the artists first cover art.

>Pictured from left to right - Censored cover and uncenored cover.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

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