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 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


Box art index: N - No

Artist index: Na - No




BOX=ART index

 >N

Naoyuki Katoh.  Japanese box artist from 1988-1993.

Gdleen : Digan no Maseki | Artec | 1989.

Ginga Eiyū Densetsu II: Space War Simulation | Bothec Inc. | 1990.

Guardian Legend, The | IREM | 1988.

Laser Squad - Uchuu Kaiheitai | C2 Bros | 1993.

Legion | Telenet Japan Co. | 1990.

R-Type | IREM Corp. | 1988.

Super Aleste | Toho Co. | 1992 | JPN ver.






Natsuki Sumeragi.  Japanese box artist from 1998-1999.

Sokaigi | Squaresoft | 1998.

Xuanyuan Jian 3: Yun he Shan de Bi Duan | Softstar Entertainment | 1999.





N-Sub (N-サブ).

Published by Sega in 1983 for the global SG-1000/ SG-3000 markets.




Click to enlarge

>N-Sub would be a launch title for Sega’s first console the SG-1000. The style of box art looks like it was influenced by early Atari VCS covers, with a design that is painterly, cluttered and action packed. This style would interestingly be at odds with the newly released Famicom’s box art which were bold, bright and arguably more fun.

The box design shown is the Australian version, distinctive due to it’s red lettering and smallish artwork.  The same artwork was used globally with no alterations made and is one of the earliest Japanese cover arts in the West.

nsub-SG-big.jpg

NewZealand Story, The by Bob Wakelin.

English artwork. Published by Ocean Software in 1989 for European market.  

NES ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Amiga, Atari ST, C64, ZX Spectrum.




>Bob Wakelin’s The NewZealand Story would take the colour and chaos of Japanese box art and place it firmly in European hands. Taking inspiration from the original arcade flyer by developer Taito, Bob would make it his own capturing the game’s bedlam and rich characterisation perfectly.

The cover art was created using airbrush and India ink and has Bob’s trademark defined outlines and movie poster finish.  He has gone on record to say that these character-heavy box arts (along with titles such as Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars) were rather boring to do due to the length of time it took to plan and create them.  With this in mind it is all the more impressive that he created such a fine box art capturing the game’s essence with a rare sensitivity to Japanese artwork.    

Bob’s version ended up bettering all other cover art depictions (and there are many), and is one of the most recognisable and memorable of it’s era.


Click to enlarge

the-newzealand-story-nes-big.jpg

No Man’s Sky by Simon Stålenhag.

Swedish artwork. Published by Hello Games globally in 2016.  

PS4 ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Windows.




Click to enlarge

>In a box art age where gloomy and tepid tones are awash, No Man’s Sky’s palette, pleasingly, bucks the trend and proves that a little colour can go a long way.

Designed by Swedish born Simon Stålenhag, in what appears to be his debut box art, No Man’s Sky’s epic scale, otherworldliness and blending of technology and life enacts a sci-fi scene that encourages exploration and the arousal of curiosity.

The colours vibrantly lift the landscape daring to push us further into the alien world, but manage to be tasteful and complimentary to each other.

Simon’s gifting for landscape art would make him a great choice; the artist also responsible for in-game concept art .

>Pictured from top - Original box art and wallpaper version.

no-mans-sky-big.jpg

Click to enlarge

no-mans-sky-wallpaper-big.jpg

No More Heroes (ノーモア★ヒーローズ Nō Moa Hīrōzu) by Yusuke Kozaki.

Japanese artwork. Published by Marvelous Entertainment in 2007 for the European and Japanese Wii markets.  



no-more-heroes-WII-big.jpg

Click to enlarge

Night Driver by Steve Hendricks.

North American artwork. Published by Atari in 1980 for the European and North American Atari VCS markets.   



Click to enlarge

night-driver-VCS-big.jpg

No More Heroes 2: Desparate Struggle (ノーモア★ヒーローズ 2: デスパレート・ストラグル) by Yusuke Kozaki.

Japanese artwork. Published by Marvelous Entertainment in 2010 for the Japanese Wii market.  



No more heroes 2 big.jpg

Click to enlarge

Nao Q (Naohisa Yamaguchi). Japanese box artist from 1991-2000.

Metal Slug 2nd Mission | SNK | 2000.

Puzzled | SNK | 1991.

Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy | SNK | 1994.




Naohisa Yamaguchi - see Nao Q.

Noriyoshi Ohrai.  Japanese box artist from 1986-1996.

The artist would study oil painting at the Tokyo University of Fine art and Music in the mid-50’s, before dropping out and embarking on his illustration career. He’d start out as a cover artist for various novels and designed advertisement art for local newspapers throughout the 1960’s.  In 1973 Noriyoshi designed his first movie poster, The Sinking of Japan.  It would be the start of a long and prolific career in the movie business that would turn him into an internationally known artist through his works for the Star Wars and Godzilla franchises.  

His first video game box arts would be reused movie posters for The Goonies and King Kong 2 (both Konami, 1986); he’d shortly after start his career with KOEI designing the cover for Genghis Khan (1987).  His cover arts for KOEI - much like his film posters - would all be painterly, bold in their use of colour and character led with worn, etched facial features.  His preparation for all his artworks was meticulous and would give an authenticity to his box arts, that along with his masterful style of art, proved globally appealing - to the point where not one of his artworks was replaced with another artists when KOEI published overseas.

His final cover, Teitoku no Ketsudan (1996), was a Japan only release.  Post-millennium, Noriyoshi worked with Konami designing the incredible posters that came with the Japanese Metal Gear Solid premium packages (from 2001-2006). He’d design a promotional poster for the PS3 version of Ni-oh (2005) and his final video game illustration was in 2012 for Konami’s Zone of the Enders HD.

Noriyoshi passed away in 2015, leaving one of the art world’s great legacies.

Bandit Kings of Ancient China | KOEI | 1989.

Gemfire | KOEI | 1991.

Genghis Khan | KOEI | 1987.

Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Grey Wolf | KOEI | 1992.

Genpei Gassen | KOEI | 1994.

Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters | Toho | 1991.

Goonies, The | Konami | 1986.

Inindo: Way of the Ninja | KOEI | 1991.

Ishin no Arashi | KOEI | 1988 | PC-88 ver.

Kamigami no Daichi Kojiki Gaiden | KOEI | 1993.

King Kong 2: Yomigaeru Densetsu | Konami | 1986.

L'Empereur | KOEI | 1990.

Liberty or Death | KOEI | 1993.

New Horizons | KOEI | 1993.

Nobunaga’s Ambition II | KOEI | 1988.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Lord of Darkness | KOEI | 1990.

Nobunaga no Yabō: Haōden | KOEI | 1992.

Nobunaga no Yabō: Tenshōki | KOEI | 1994.

Operation Europe: Path to Victory 1939-1945 | KOEI | 1991.

P.T.O.: Pacific Theater of Operations | KOEI | 1989.

P.T.O.: Pacific Theater of Operations II | KOEI | 1993.

Rise of the Phoenix | KOEI | 1993.

Romance of the three Kingdoms II | KOEI | 1989.

Romance of the three Kingdoms III: Dragon of Destiny | KOEI | 1992.

Romance of the three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire | KOEI | 1994.

Taikō Risshiden | KOEI | 1992.

Taikō Risshiden II | KOEI | 1995.

Teitoku no Ketsudan III | KOEI | 1996.

Uncharted Waters | KOEI | 1990.