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


Video game box art and artist history database





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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.

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Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge by Steve Purcell.

North American artwork. First published by LucasFilm Games in 1991 for the the European market.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, FM Towns, Mac.

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>Steve would credit LeChuck’s Revenge, in comparison to his cover for The Secret of Monkey Island (1990), a more successful box art from a design perspective. It’s character art was created by Steve taking photos of his girlfriend modelling pirate attire whilst being dramatically lit.  

LeChuck’s Revenge would be painted in oils over the course of a month and as with the first game, Steve would be responsible for the conceptual art and animation.

On the colour composition he says: “Here, of course, is the comp for the final LeChuck's Revenge painting. Looks like I hadn't yet thought of the idea of the dead bird plume and what is Elaine doing there besides looking like a man? It appears I reversed the values of the clouds and sky for additional eeriness and tried punching up the phoney baloney lighting on the figures. All in all a handy exercise I guess.”

>Pictures from the top - original box art, colour composition and alternative cover.


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Moonsweeper by Michael Becker.

North American artwork. Published by Imagic in 1983 for the European and North American markets.

Atari VCS ver. pictured. Also available on: C64, ColecoVision, Intellivision, TI-99/ 4A.  

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Mystic Arc (ミスティック アーク) by Akihiro Yamada.

Japanese artwork. Published by Enix Corp. in 1995 for the Japanese Super Famicom market.

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Mortal Kombat.

First published by Acclaim Entertainment globally in 1993.

Game Gear ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, DOS, Game Boy, Genesis, Master System, Mega Drive, Sega CD, SNES, Super Famicom.

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>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.


Moon Alert by Bob Wakelin & Blair.

English artwork. First published by Ocean Software in 1984 for the European ZX Spectrum market.

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>Moon Alert would be one of the first computer game releases under the newly named Ocean Software.  It also has the distinction of being the first box art by artist Bob Wakelin who’d be responsible for much of Ocean’s cover art duities.

This cover was also designed with illustrator Blair - who would land both of them the job at Ocean. The Blair and Wakelin team up would last for one other cover, Gilligan’s Gold, before Bob went it alone.


Moebius (Jean Giraud). French box artist in 1995.

Fade to Black | Electronic Arts | 1995.  

Panzer Dragoon | Sega | 1995 | JPN ver.  





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Monkey Island.  LucasArts video game series from 1990-2011.

Curse of Monkey Island, The | LucasArts Entertainment | 2000 | Windows ver | by Larry Ahern & Bill Tiller.

Escape from Monkey Island | LucasArts Entertainment | 1997 | by Mike Koelsch.

Escape from Monkey Island | LucasArts Entertainment | 2001 | NA PS2 ver.

Monkey Island: Special Edition Bundle | Activision | 2011.

Monkey Island II: LeChuck’s Revenge | LucasArts | 1991 | by Steve Purcell.

Secret of Monkey Island, The | LucasFilm Games | 1990 | by Steve Purcell.

Tales of Monkey Island | LucasArts | 2009 | by Steve Purcell.

Tales of Monkey Island (Deluxe Edition) | Telltale | 2010.

Tales of Monkey Island: Premium Edition | Lace Mamba Global | 2011 | by Steve Purcell.

A View to a Kill | Domark | 1985 | by Daniel Goozee. (1)

Back to the Future | Electric Dreams Software | 1986 | by Drew Struzan.

Back to the Future III | Image Works | 1991 | by Drew Struzan.  

Batman | Ocean Software | 1989 | by Anton Furst.

Cars 3 | Warner Bros. | 2017.

Cutthroat Island | Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. | 1995 | by Drew Struzan.  

Goonies, The | Konami | 1986 | by Noriyuki Ohari.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom | Mindscape | 1987 | by Drew Struzan.

Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom | Mindscape | 1984 | by Bruce Wolfe. (3)

James Bond 007 in The Living Daylights: The Computer Game | Domark | 1987 | by Brian Bysouth.

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game | Ubisoft | 2009 | BLT Communications.

Jaws | Screen 7 | 1989 | by Roger Kastel.

Jurassic Park | Ocean Software | 1993 | by Chip Kidd & Sandy Collora.

King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu | Konami | 1986 | by Noriyoshi Ohari. (2)

Masters of the Universe: The Movie | Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd. | 1987 | by Drew Struzan.

Men in Black: The Game | SouthPeak Interactive | 1997 | by Pulse Advertising.

NeverEnding Story, The | 1985 | by Renato Casaro.

Robocop | 1989 | by Mike Bryan. (4)

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace | LucasArts | 1999 | by Drew Struzan.

Super Return of the Jedi | JVC Musical Industries | 1994 | by Kazuhiko Sano.

Super Star Wars | JVC Musical Industries | 1992 | by Tom Chantrell.

Movie poster art.  From 1984-2017.

For publishers such as Domark and Ocean Software the movie tie -in game was big business in the 80’s and 90’s with pretty much every blockbuster film getting its own.  Much of the time the original movie poster would be used to promote the game, giving the product an obvious marketing tie.  Come the 2000’s movie licence video games would start to lose much of their previous allure and would commonly be branded as inferior gaming experiences.  





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Due to this, many blockbuster movies would release without any tie-in game as demand waned - for example, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Skyfall, Wonder Woman and Star Wars: Episode VIII.  Marvel and Disney/ Pixar properties in recent times have arguably been the biggest users of movie poster art, attracting younger gamers and on more kid-friendly systems such as the Nintendo 3DS.   

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