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.

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: Ob - Ou

Artist index: Oli - Oll

BOX=ART index

 >Ob - Ou

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Obliterator by Roger Dean.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis in 1988 for the European and North American markets.

Atari ST ver. pictured. Also available on: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, DOS, ZX Spectrum.  

Odama (大玉 Ōdama) by Katsuhiko Sigeri.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 2006 for the European and North American Gamecube markets.

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Omnicron Conspiracy by Peter Andrew Jones.

English artwork. Published by Star Software in 1990 for the European and North American markets.

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

Publisher index: Oc

Orbitus by Tim White.

English artwork. Published by Psygnosis in 1991 for the European and North American markets.

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

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>The artwork appears to be a Tim White original, designed especially for the game, with lettering by Roger Dean.  

Orbitus’ Amiga release would get a rare big box version with a free t-shirt - much like Shadow of the Beast I & II did.  Why Psygnosis went to the effort and extra cost for such a poor game is anyone’s guess though...   


Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber  (オウガバトル64) by Toshiaki Kato.

Japanese artwork. Published by Nintendo in 1999 for the Japanese N64 market.

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Okami HD (大神) by Kenichiro Yoshimura.

Japanese artwork. Published by Capcom in 2017. For the global market.

PS4 ver. pictured. Also available on: Xbox One, Switch, Windows.  

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Omotesandō Adventure (表参道アドベンチャー).

Published by ASCII in 1982 for the Japanese PC-8001 market.

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>Viewed as possibly Japan’s first text based game (and thus one of the first published games in Japan), Omotesandō Adventure’s functional cover art points towards the industries infancy. A time when there was no gaming outlets to sell games and so less of a need for promotional art to entice.


Operation Apocalypse by Louis Hsu Saekow.

North American artwork. Published by SSI in 1981 for the North American Apple II market.

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Orguss (オーガス") by Kazutaka Miyatake.

Japanese artwork. Published by Sega in 1984 for the European and Japanese SG-1000 market.

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>The game would be based on the Super Dimension Century Orguss TV series that launched in Japan (July,1983).  The box art looks to be a still or panel from the show by mechanical designer Miyataka.

The game would be released in Europe with this box art intact and is currently the earliest known mecha/ anime cover art to be used in the West.


Operation Europe: Path to Victory 1939-45 (ヨーロッパ戦線) by Noriyoshi Ohari.

Japanese artwork. First published by KOEI in 1991 and for the Japanese and North American markets.

Super Famicom ver. pictured. Also available on: DOS, FM Towns, Mega Drive, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, SNES, X68000.  

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Out of this World by Lee Macleod.

North American artwork. Published by Virgin Games in 1992 for North American Genesis market.

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Abbreviation guide

EU - European version | JPN - Japanese version | NA - North American version.

Available on... ACO - Acorn 32-bit | AMI - Commodore Amiga | AMS - Amstrad CPC | BBC - BBC Micro | C64 - Commodore 64 | DOS - PC DOS | DRA - Dragon 32/ 64 | ELEC - Acorn Electron | MSX - MSX  | NES - Nintendo Entertainment System | PCB - PC Booter | PS3 - Sony PlayStation 3 | SAM - MGT Sam Coupe | ST - Atari ST | ZX - Sinclair ZX Spectrum.   

Ocean Software.  Publisher years from 1983 -1989.

Jon Woods and David Ward would join Europe’s exploding video game scene forming Spectrum Games in the early 1980’s. Box arts for debuting titles such as Cosmic Intruders and Rocket Command (both 1983) would be functional but hardly memorable. In these early days of the industry mail order through trade mags was still the main way of distributing games and so quality, flashy box arts fighting for shelf space was yet to be an issue.

The name Spectrum Games was quickly dropped in 1983 in favour of Ocean, and late that year the studio would hire ex-Imagine Software art director, Steve Blower, responsible for much of Imagine’s promotional material. For the short but influential time Imagine was active (1983 - mid 1984) it was seen as an industry leader, producing quality colour box arts that would influence Ocean’s early output.  

Working alongside Steve was artist Bob Wakelin. Hired by Ocean in 1983 together with illustrator, Blair, Bob and Blair would be responsible for Ocean's debuting games, Moon Alert and Gilligan’s Gold.  Bob from then on would go it alone and be responsible for a large portion of Ocean’s box arts until 1994.  

The vast amount of games produced monthly in the early days meant a quick turnaround was required from Bob. This lack of time given, coupled with the small case dimensions used by tape based machines, led to charming but simplistic box arts, such as Road Toad and Hunchback (both 1983). Later, with longer development times and larger boxes to cover with his art, Bob’s artistry and detail would greatly improve with some of his best and most memorable works, including Operation Wolf, The NewZealand Story and Chase H.Q coming towards the end of the decade.

>Notable and influencial Ocean Software box arts, 1983-1989.

Cabal | 1989 | EU ver. | AMI, AMS, C64, ST, ZX | by Bob Wakelin.

Chinese Juggler | 1983 | EU ver. | C64, ZX | by Bob Wakelin.

Cosmic Intruders | 1983 | ZX.

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon | 1984 | AMS, C64, ZX | by Bob Wakelin.

Donkey Kong | 1986 | EU ver. | C64, MSX, ZX | by Zavier Leslie Cabarga. (7)

Frankie Goes to Hollywood | 1985 | AMS, C64, ZX | by Bob Wakelin. (1)

Gilligan’s Gold | 1983 | by Bob Wakelin & Blair

Green Beret | 1986 | EU ver. | AMS, C64, MSX, ZX | by Bob Wakelin. (3)

Gryzor | 1987 | EU/ NA ver. | AMS, C64, DOS, ZX | by Bob Wakelin. (2)

High Noon | 1984 | ZX | by Bob Wakelin. (4)

Mario Bros | EU ver. | AMS, C64, ZX | 1987.

NeverEnding Story, The | 1985 | AMS, C64, ZX | by Renato Casaro.

NewZealand Story, The | 1989 | EU ver. | AMI, AMS, C64, NES, ST, ZX |by Bob Wakelin. (5)

Operation Wolf | 1988 | EU ver. | AMI, AMS, C64, MSX, ST, ZX | by Bob Wakelin.

Robocop | 1989 | AMI, ST | by Mike Bryan. (8)

Wizball | 1987 | EU ver. | AMI, AMS, C64, ST, ZX | by Bob Wakelin. (6)

Ocean in 1985 would buy the now defunct Imagine Software name and use it as a sub-label to release converted Konami arcade games. Bob would find himself on box art duties for such Imagine games as, Hyper Sports (1985), Green Beret (1986) and Renegade (1987).  All would look resolutely westernised paying little attention to the Japanese originals - that were unlikely available for Bob reference at the time. Some Konami Japanese originals would be used, Ping Pong, Yie Ar Kung-Fu (both 1985) Salamander and Bad Dudes (both 1988) being examples, but most would get a more ‘culturally appealing’ version, as was the norm in the 1980’s. 

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon (1984) would be Ocean’s first big hit and the first time in Europe that a personality likeness was used on a box art. It would be the catalyst for the move into licencing that Ocean would later become famous for. Equally, The Neverending Story (1985) was the first European movie licenced video game and its box art the first time an original movie poster was attached. What success Ocean had with The Neverending Story would be dwarfed though by both the Batman and Robocop releases (both 1989).  Box arts would again be the licenced movie posters and would help set the publisher up as a major international player going into the 1990’s.  









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Olly Moss.  English box artist in 2011.

Resistance 3 | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2011 | PS3.

Oliver ‘Oli’ Frey.  English box artist from 1983-1992.

Oli’s artwork has become somewhat representative of the 1980’s video game scene thanks to the artist’s contributions to gaming magazines CRASH, Zzap!64, Amtix and The Games Machine.  Some of his magazine covers would translate to box art (see, Feud, Knight Games and The Demon’s Forge) but the majority would be originals and published under Thalamus.

Outside of video games, Frey is well known as an illustrator for character Dan Dare, as well as a pioneering artist in the erotic gay art scene under the pen name Zack.

Armalyte | Thalamus | C64 | 1988.  

Beach Head II | U.S. Gold | 1985 | EU ver. | AMS, C64, ZX.

Borobudur: The Planet of Doom | Thalamus | 1992 | AMI.

Delta Charge | Thalamus | 1990 | EU ver. | C64, SAM, ZX.

Demon’s Forge, The | Mastertronic | 1987 | NA ver. | PCB.

Feud | Mastertronic | 1988 | NA ver. | C64, DOS.

Hawkeye | Thalamus | 1988 | AMI, C64, ST.

Heatseeker | Thalamus | 1990 | C64.

Ket Trllogy, The | Incentive Software | 1985 | BBC, C64, DRA, ELEC, ZX.

Knight Games | Mastertronic | 1986 | NA ver. | C64, DOS.

Que-Dex | Thalamus | 1987 | EU ver. | C64.  

Retrograde | Thalamus | 1989 | C64.

Snare | Thalamus | 1989 | C64.

Venom Wing | Thalamus | 1990 | AMI.

Zaxxan | Stazone Software | 1983 |EU ver. | ZX.