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.

Artist index: Ta - Ty

BOX=ART index

 >T


Takeshi Ugajin.  Japanese box artist in 2004.

Katamari Damacy  (塊魂 ) | Namco | 2004 | PS2. (1)

Katamari Damacy in 2004 would defy the usual trends and deliver an experience that was unique and utterly Japanese. It’s box art by artist Takeshi Ugajin would compliment the game’s carefree weirdness and abstract playfulness perfectly. It was a deliberately simple and humorous cover, with strong design tones over creative artistic ones, whilst sporting an excellent colour palette.

The cover art would be used in both Japanese and American markets, but the games “quirkiness” was deemed too great for Europe who sadly missed out on a release.



>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Thomas Vasseur.  French box artist in 2018.

Dead Cells: Signature Edition | Motion Twin | 2018 | with Gwenaël Massé | Nintendo Switch, PS4.



Dead Cells | Motion Twin | 2018 | with Gwenaël Massé | Nintendo Switch, PS4. (1)

Thomas and Gwenaël’s cover art is a striking snap shot of the beautiful hand-drawn world within the game. The artists would deliberatly use saturated colour tones and complimentary palettes - made up of oposing colours - so to bring a vibrancy to the art direction that would keep the player alert and awake to the game’s fast and brutal pace.

The box arts architecture is based on Skye Island in Scotland and has a rather Roger Dean inspired look to it.

>Box art catalogue

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Tim White.  English box artist from 1986-1995.


Amnios | Psygnosis | 1991 | Amiga.

Enforcer, The | The Power House | 1987 | Commodore 64.

Equalizer, The | The Power House | 1987 | Commodore 64.

Hercules | The Power House | 1987 | BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Electron, ZX Spectrum.

Infestation | Psygnosis | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Ishar Trilogy | Silmarils | 1995 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Killing Game Show, The | Psygnosis | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.










Return of the Space Warrior | The Power House | 1986 | Commodore 64.

Splitz | The Power House | 1987 | Commodore 64.

Terrorpods | Psygnosis | 1987 | with Roger Dean | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum. (3)

Tomb of the Syrinx | The Power House | 1987 | ZX Spectrum.

Unreal | Ubi Soft Entertainment | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.




Graduating from Medway College of Art in 1972, Tim would soon after embark on a career painting sci-fi novel covers for the likes of Lovecraft, Sterling and Heinlein. He would start designing box arts by the mid-80’s for publisher The Power House and is likely to be responsible for many of the company’s fantasy covers until its demise in 1988. Tim joined Psygnosis’ already bulging roster of sci-fi/ fantasy painters in 1987 with Terrorpods (also with Roger Dean) and would go on to design originals for the publisher (Leander, The Killing Game Show) as well as have previously commissioned artworks reused (Infestation).    

His final cover was Ishar Trilogy (1995) after which he would do some design work for Microprose in ‘97 before bowing out of the video game industry.

Orbitus | Psygnosis | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS. (2)

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...   

Leander | Psygnosis | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST. (1)

Leander would be a break from the norm for both Psygnosis’ usual cover art output and also artist Tim Whites in that the composition was a mix of models and superimposed art that was then photographed.

The piece appears to be an original commission compared to many of Tim’s other box arts which usually appeared as novel cover art to start with.

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Tomo Yamamoto.  Japanese box artist in 1988.

Gyruss | Konami | 1988 | NES, Nintendo Disk System. (1)




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Tom Thiel.  German box artist from 1995-2015.

Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales | Playlogic International | 2006 | Windows.

Archibald Applebrook's Abenteuer | Software 2000 | 1995 | MS-DOS.

Castlevania 64 | Konami | 1999 | EU ver. | Nintendo 64.

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness | Konami | 2000 | EU ver. | Nintendo 64. (1)

Die Höhlenwelt Saga: Der Leuchtende Kristall | Software 2000 | 1994 | MS-DOS.

F1 Manager Professional | Software 2000 | 1997 | MS-DOS.

Game, Net and Match | Blue Byte Studio | 1998 | Windows.

Incubation: The Wilderness Missions | Blue Byte Studio | 1997 | Windows.

Lost Horizon 2 | Deep Silver | 2015 | with Ricarda Thiel | Windows.

Montezuma's Return | Software 2000 | 1997 | German Fun Edition | MS-DOS, Windows.

Neocron | CDV Software | 2002 | Windows.

Secret Files: Sam Peters | Deep Silver | 2013 | with Ricarda Thiel | Windows.

Settlers III, The | Blue Byte Studio | 1998 | Windows.

Settlers: Forth Edition, The | Ubisoft Entertainment | 2001 | EU ver. | Windows.

Space Marines: Der Stahlerne Kaiser | Software 2000 | 1995 | MS-DOS.



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Tom Dubois.  North American box artist from 1988-1994.


>Artist profile

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Formally art trained at the American Academy of Art, Chicago in the late 1970’s, it would be 1988 when Tom got his break into the video game industry. A family member of his working with a local ad agency, Michael Meyers, was asked whether he knew any illustrators in town who could design ‘exaggerated and animated type characters’.  Tom’s name was put forward and after submitting samples, he got the job.  

His first assignment would be the artwork for a comic book ad that Konami wanted published. This was late Friday night and the deadline was due that Monday morning. Tom from the very beginning would get a tough lesson in how publishers of the 1980’s tended to treat box artists: always rushed and always pressured to deliver. Pleased with the results, Konami and Michael Meyers kept the work coming. Tom would do further ad work such as for Metal Gear, NES (1988) before taking on his first box art for Blades of Steel (1988).Taking inspiration from the original Japanese box art (Famicom Disk System), Tom would better Konami of Japan’s version by adding spade-loads of character through his trademark facial expressions. Blades of Steel would interestingly be the artists only box art to be used on America’s home computers (Amiga, Commodore 64, DOS), with all subsequent covers being console/ handheld exclusives.

To start the 1990’s Tom would design covers for three of Konami’s most cherished IPs, Castlevania, Metal Gear and Contra.  Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (1990) saw the artist arguably depict the series for the first time in a light befitting of the game’s gothic/ fantasy roots, over and against the two prequel’s hammy covers. He would also lay claim to being the first and only US artist to produce Castlevania series box arts.

Snake’s Revenge (1990) would be Tom’s first high profile game for Konami’s subsidiary publisher, Ultra Games. The box art would feature protagonist Snake and much like the Japanese debut cover, would depict Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese from the first Terminator movie. The cover would also be an early and classic example of the rich and explosive colour palette Tom fearlessly used. From 1991 - 1993 Tom would be responsible for some of the most iconic and beloved covers of the 16 bit era. Box arts such as Super Castlevania IV (1991), Contra III: The Alien Wars, Axelay, Cybernator (all 1992) and Sunset Riders (1993; the artists favourite cover) would naturally standout and wrestle above their European and Japanese counterparts.  

His characterisation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (1992) would be another highpoint. Stripping them of their goofy (but still great) 80’s cartoon look, Tom would depict them with a new edge that would see inspiration from the artist’s personal heroes, comic book alumni Sienkiewicz and Bisley. Worth noting is also 1993’s Rocket Knight Adventure. It would be a character designed by Tom, and one that would interestingly be reinterpreted by a Japanese artist with few changes made when released in Asia.  

Tom’s final box art would be Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters (1994) at which point Konami of America changed ad agencies and the work dried up. Post Konami, the artist would carry on illustrating for the likes of Disney, creating limited edition prints from their film catalogue, before working with a fine art publisher creating biblically themed prints. Today, Tom is still working within the Christian community illustrating for faith journal, Good News.




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>Box art catalogue

Adventures of Bayou Billy, The | Konami | 1988 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Axelay | Konami | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES. (1)

Blades of Steel | Konami | 1988 | EU/ NA ver. | NES. (2)

Bill Elliot’s NASCAR challenge | Konami | 1991 | NES.

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge | Konami | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.





Castlevania: Bloodlines | Konami | 1994 | NA ver. | Genesis. (3)

Contra III: The Alien Wars | Konami | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES. (4)

Contra Force | Konami | 1992 | NES.

Cybernator | Konami | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Defender of the Crown | Konami | 1989 | NA ver. | NES.

Double Dribble: 5 on 5 | Konami | 1991 | Genesis.

Double Dribble: The Playoff Edition | Konami | 1994. | Genesis.

Laser Invasion | Konami | 1991 | NA ver. | NES.

Lethal Enforcers | Konami | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega/ Sega CD, SNES.

Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters | Konami | 1994 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega/ Sega CD.

Legend of the Mystical Ninja, The | Konami | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES.

Lone Ranger, The | Konami | 1991 | NES.

MetalMech: Man & Machine | Jaleco USA, Inc. | 1990 | NA ver. | NES.

Mission Impossible | Ultra Games | 1990 | NES.

Monster in my Pocket | Konami | 1992 | NES.

Nightshade | Ultra Software | 1992 | NES.

Nemesis | Konami | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Operation C | Konami | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Pirates! | Ultra Games | 1991 | NES.

Raging Fighter | Konami | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Rocket Knight Adventures | Konami | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis.

Rollergames | Ultra Games | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Silent Service | Ultra Software | 1989 | NES.

Skate or Die: Bad n’ Rad | Konami | 1991 | Game Boy.

Snake’s Revenge | Ultra Games | 1990 | NES. (5)

Sunset Riders | Konami | 1993 | NES.

Super C | Konami | 1990 | JPN/ NA ver. | Amiga, Famicom, MS-DOS, NES.

Super Castlevania IV | Konami | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | SNES. (6)

Top Gun: Guts and Glory | Konami | 1992 | Game Boy. (7)

Top Gun: The Second Mission | Konami | 1990 | NES.

Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist | Konami | 1992 | EU/ NA ver. | Genesis, Mega Drive.

Turtles III: Radical Rescue | Konami | 1993 | EU/ NA ver. | Game Boy.

Turtles IV: Turtles in Time | Konami | 1992 | SNES. (8)






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Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (悪魔城伝説) | Konami | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | NES.

Tom’s box art would be the first in the series to be designed by a non-Japanese. The artist has stated that inspiration came from visual effects creator Ray Harryhausen and movies such as Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and was designed using Alkayd.

Original artwork.

Tom Chantrell.  North American box artist in 1992.

Super Star Wars | JVC Musical Industries | 1992 | Game Boy (as Star Wars), SNES, Super Famicom. (1)

This box art would recommission Chantrell’s famous “Style C” one sheet poster for the original movie release in 1977.

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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

Tim Stamper. English box artist from 1983-1987.





As one half of the Stamper brother team (the other being Chris), Tim would be the creative output authoring almost all of Ultimate Play the Game’s box arts as well as in-game graphic design. The artist’s first cover, Jet Pac in 1983, would set the tone for the rest of the years output, with large, bold characters and objects, painted in airbrush with the Ultimate logo emblazoned in the bottom right corner.

The publisher’s first game of 1984, Sabre Wulf, saw Tim take the company’s box art and promotional duties in a radical new direction. The packaging – including casing – became a premium product (which was reflected in the game’s higher than usual price), and the distinctive, font and bordered art format would be a mainstay for the majority of releases throughout 1984-1986.  

In 1987 the newley coined Rare released their first game published by Nintendo, Slalom. The box art followed the same “black box” design as many early Nintendo published NES games did and included Tim’s in-game graphics.  It was probably the artist’s final box art and may well have been due to the company becoming larger and creative duties being shared.


>Artist profile

Alien 8 | 1985 | by Tim Stamper | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, MSX, ZX Spectrum. (1)

Atic Atac | 1983 | by Tim Stamper | BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum.

Blackwyche | 1985 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Blubber | 1987 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Cookie | 1983 | by Tim Stamper | ZX Spectrum.

Cosmic Battlezones | 1986 | by Tim Stamper | BBC Micro.

Cyberun | 1986 | Amstrad CPC,  MSX, ZX Spectrum. (2)

Dragon Skulle | 1986 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Entombed | 1985 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Gunfright | 1986 | by Tim Stamper | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, ZX Spectrum.

Imhotep | 1985 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Jetpac | 1983 | by Tim Stamper | BBC Micro, VIC-20, ZX Spectrum. (3)

Knight Lore | 1984 | EU ver. | by Tim Stamper | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, MSX, ZX Spectrum. (4)

Lunar Jetman | 1983 | by Tim Stamper | ZX Spectrum.

Martianoids | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Night Shade | 1985 | by Tim Stamper | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Outlaws | 1985 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Pentagram | 1986 | by Tim Stamper | MSX, ZX Spectrum.

Pssst | 1983 | by Tim Stamper | ZX Spectrum. (5)

Sabre Wulf | 1984 | by Tim Stamper | Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (6)

Staff of Karnath | Ultimate - Play the Game | 1984 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64.

Tranz Am | Ultimate - Play the Game | 1983 | by Tim Stamper | ZX Spectrum. (7)



>Box art catalogue

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Underwurlde | Ultimate - Play the Game | 1984 | by Tim Stamper | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum. (8)

After the functional cover arts throughout Ultimate’s first year (1983), the venerable Saber Wulf at the the beginning of 1984 introduced a provocative and head turning style of art that follow up Underwurlde also adopted.

The change in art direction coincided with the compaines new increased price point that was justified by both the ‘big box’ the cassettes now came in, and the detailed instruction manual. This overal packaging effort was designed to discourage kids from pirating their copy of the game, and for it’s time was an unusual business move that actually worked. The artwork was also used to promote Underwurlde in trade mags.

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Tetsuhiko Kikuchi - see HAN

Tim Boxell.  North American box artist from 1981-1984.


Blue Max | Synapse Software Corp | 1983 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Blue Max 2001 | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64. (1)

Claim Jumper | Synapse Software Corp | 1982 | Atari 8-bit.

Dimension X | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Atari 8-bit.   

Dodge Racer | Synapse Software Corp | 1981 | Atari 8-bit.

Dough Boy | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Commodore 64.

Drelbs | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Commodore 64.

Fort Apocalypse | Synapse Software Corp | 1982 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Necromancer | Synapse Software Corp | 1982 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

New York City | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Panic Paranoia | Synapse Software Corp | 1982 | Atari 8-bit, Apple II.

Pharaoh’s Curse, The | Synapse Software Corp | 1983 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, VIC-20.

Protector II | Synapse Software Corp | 1982 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, TI-99, TRS-80.

Quasimodo | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Rainbow Walker | Synapse Software Corp | 1983 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Sentinel | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Commodore 64.

Shamus | Synapse Software Corp | 1983 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Shamus: Case II | Synapse Software Corp | 1983 | Commodore 64.

Slamball | Synapse Software Corp | 1984 | Commodore 64.

Survivor | Synapse Software Corp | 1982 | Atari 8-bit., Commodore 64.

Zeppelin | Synapse Software Corp | 1983 | Atari 8-bit., Commodore 64.




Having made his mark in the minds of a certain lowbrow segment during his underground comix work of the '70s (eg. Commies From Mars, 1973), as the following decade broke Tim Boxell aspired higher -- to commercial illustration work, for us notably including the covers of virtually all games published by Synapse as well as early covers to Atari 8-bit magazine Antic. Then he moved on to the world of film (eg. C.H.U.D., 1983) and departed our scope. Via Mobygames, 2010.

>Artist profile

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Takumi Wada.  Japanese box artist from 2011-2017.

Legend of Zelda, The: Skyward Sword | Nintendo | 2011 | EU/ NA ver. | Nintendo WII U. (1)

Legend of Zelda, The: Skyward Sword | Nintendo | 2011 | JPN ver. | Nintendo WII U.







Legend of Zelda, The: Breath of the Wild | Nintendo | 2017 | JPN/ NA ver. | Nintendo Switch, 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) | Nintendo | 2017 | EU ver. | by Takumi Wada | Nintendo Switch, Nintendo WII U. (2)

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.


Takashi Akaishizawa.  Japanese box artist from 1990-1997.

Arrow Flash | Renovation Products | 1990 | JPN ver. | Mega Drive.

Phantasy Star Adventure | Sega | 1991 | Game Gear.

Psychic World | Sega | 1991 | JPN ver. | Game Gear.

Queens Road | Angels | 1997 | PS1. (1)




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Takamasa Yamada. Japanese box artist in 2000.





Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ NA ver. | Dreamcast.

Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 | Capcom | 2000 | JPN ver. | Dreamcast. (1)

Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 Pro | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ JPN ver. | PS1. (2)

Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 Pro | Capcom | 2000 | NA ver. | PS1. (3)

Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 Pro | Capcom | 2000 | EU/ JPN ver. | Dreamcast. (4)

Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 Pro | Capcom | 2000 | NA ver. | Dreamcast.



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>Box art catalogue

TONKO (Aki Senno).  Japanese box artist from 1998-2009.


>Artist profile

As one of SNK’s many popular Illustrators, TONKO has had the opportunity to design box art for some of the company’s highest profile series’. Metal Slug, The Last Blade and The King of Fighters to name but a few have seen his masterful artwork promote them.

He looks to have joined SNK in the late 90’s and his first cover art was likely The Last Blade (1998) on the Neo Geo CD.  Working for a company that had been set a part since the early 90’s by Shinkiro’s designs it’s hardly surprising the style of TONKO’s The Last Blade arguably finds influence in his art (Shinkiro’s art would be used on The Last Blade’s Neo Geo AES cover released earlier in the year). TONKO would return late in 1998 and show off his versatility with the cute super-deformed styled cover for the Neo Geo Pocket release The King of Fighters R-1. It would be a style that was repeated for the game’s follow up The King of Fighters R-2 and Battle de Paradise.  

He would cement his reputation through with the work he did within the Metal Slug universe. Starting with the 4th game in the main series Metal Slug 4 (2002) and up until the final to date Metal Slug 7, his art has helped define the series and give it the somewhat artistic continuity that was lacking over the first three games. In 2007 he would branch out into a new series for SNK designing the character art for dating sim Days of Memories. His art would be used on the Nintendo DS compilations and it would be very different from what he’d previously done, presenting a cuter, feminine and sexy approach to character art that he’s stated was difficult conceptualising when aiming to please male gamers. More recently he’s returned to the Metal Slug universe designing promotional art for the mobile game Metal Slug Attack.    

His style is broad and versatile with realistic character and background art (The Last Blade, Garou: Mark of the Wolves) making way for comedic art (Metal Slug 4-7) and super-deformed art (The King of Fighters R-1), through to the Days of Memories more straight ‘sexy manga’ style.  The more realistic works can have a slight anime look to them but use more hushed tones and are not nearly defined as say Shinkiro’s line work.  The comedic/ super-deformed covers show off the artist’s crisp colouring and mastery at designing chaotic character assembles.    





>Box art catalogue

Bakumatsu Roman: Last Blade 2-in-1 (NeoGeo Online Collection the Best) | SNK Playmore | 2007 | PS2.

Days of Memories | SNK Playmore | 2007 | Nintendo DS. (1)

Days of Memories 2 | SNK Playmore | 2008 | Nintendo DS.

Days of Memories 3 | SNK Playmore | 2009 | Nintendo DS.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK Corp. | 2000 | Dreamcast (NA ver.), Neo Geo AES. (2)

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK Corp. | 2001 | JPN ver. | Dreamcast.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves | SNK Playmore | 2005 | PS2.

King of Fighters 2000, The | Playmore Corp | 2002 | PS2.

King of Fighters 2001, The | Playmore Corp | 2003 | PS2.

King of Fighters 2002, The: Challenge to Ultimate Battle | Playmore Corp | 2004 | JPN ver. | PS2.

King of Fighters 2002, The: Challenge to Ultimate Battle (SNK Best Collection) | Playmore Corp | 2005 | JPN ver. | PS2. (3)

King of Fighters R-1 | SNK Corp. | 1998 | Neo Geo Pocket. (4)

King of Fighters R-2 | SNK Corp. | 1999 | Neo Geo Pocket.

King of Fighters, The: Battle de Paradise | SNK Corp. | 2000 | Neo Geo Pocket.

Last blade, The | SNK Corp. | 1998 | Neo Geo CD.

Last blade, The | SNK Corp. | 1999 | PS1.

Last blade 2, The | SNK Corp. | 1999 | Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD. (5)

Last blade 2, The | SNK Corp. | 2000 | Dreamcast.

Last blade 2 Final Edition, The | SNK Playmore | 2002 | Dreamcast. (6)

Last blade: Beyond the Destiny, The | SNK Corp. | 2000 | Neo Geo Pocket.  

Metal Slug 4 | SNK Playmore | 2002 | Neo Geo AES. (7)

Metal Slug 4 | SNK Playmore | 2005 | PS2, Xbox.

Metal Slug 4 & 5 | SNK Playmore | 2005 | PS2, Xbox.

Metal Slug 5 | SNK Playmore | 2004 | Neo Geo AES.

Metal Slug 5 | SNK Playmore | 2005 | PS2, Xbox.

Metal Slug 6 | SNK Playmore | 2006 | PS2.

Metal Slug 7 | Ignition Entertainment | 2008 | Nintendo DS. (8)

Metal Slug Anthology | Ignition Entertainment | 2007 | EU ver. | Nintendo Wii, PS2.









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Tony Roberts.  English box artist from 1982-1994.


ACE: Air Combat Emulator | Cascade Game | 1985 | EU ver. | ZX Spectrum.

ACE 2 | Cascade Games | 1987 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.






Adventure B: Inca Curse | Artic Computing | 1982 | ZX Spectrum.

Adventure C: The Ship of Doom | Artic Computing | 1982 | Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Chrono Quest 2 | Psygnosis | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Galaxians | Softec Software | 1983 | ZX81, ZX Spectrum.

Robinson’s Requiem | Silmarils | 1994 | 3DO, Amiga, Atari ST, Jaguar, Macintosh, MS-DOS.



The famed illustrator would be at the forefront of the SF art scene of the 70’s and 80’s. Tony’s start in the video game industry would be somewhat pioneering in that he was one of the first fantasy/ sci-fi painters to design box art for the tentative European computing scene and who was by far its highest profile in 1982.

Tony’s cover arts would be a mix of original commissioned covers (ACE and Adventure series) and box arts that were originally SF novel covers (Chrono Quest 2, Galaxians, Robinson’s Requiem).

Tony would start to move away from SF art by the late 1980’s and into abstract fine-art.

Adventure A: Planet of Death/ Agony | Artic Computing/ Psygnosis | 1982/ 1992 | Amiga, ZX Spectum, ZX81. (1)

Adventure A’s original 1981 cover art would be typical of early UK bedroom-coder style covers that were functional but hardly inspiring.  

Publisher Artic Computing would take the pioneering step of commissioning established S.F painter Tony Roberts to create the re-release cover in 1982.  Tony is at present the earliest high profile artist to design video game box art. He would go on to design Adventure B and Adventure C’s covers.

Psygnosis would also commission the artwork for it’s game Agony (1992) and it would additionaly be used on various Italian novel cover arts.


>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

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Tsubasa Masao.  Japanese box artist from 1999-2011.


Beatmania GB: GatchaMix 2 | Konami | 1999 | Game Boy Color.

Lord of the Apocalypse | Square Enix | 2011 | Sony PSP, Sony Vita.

Metal Gear Ac!d | Konami | 2004 | JPN ver. | Sony PSP.

Metal Gear Ac!d | Konami | 2005 | EU/ NA ver. | Sony PSP. (1)

Metal Gear Ac!d 2 | Komani | 2005 | JPN/ NA ver. | Sony PSP.

Metal Gear Ac!d 2 | Komani | 2006 | EU ver. | Sony PSP.




After a brief stint working for Glams on Alice in Cyberland as a 2D artist (1996), Masao would join Konami in 1997 and be responisble for the CG design for many of the company’s rhythm action games (Beatmania, GuitarFreaks, ParaParaParadise).  

His first known cover is for Beatmania GB: GatchaMix 2 (1999), but it was 2003 when he was given his first shot at character designer with Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (with Nobuyoshi Nishimura).  This would lead to the famed Hideo Kojima offering him the lead character design job on the two Metal Gear Ac!d games, after which he left Konami for Square Enix.  At Square Enix he worked within multitude of different design roles within the Final Fantasy series and take a lead design position on the Japanese only Lord of Apocalypse.

His art style can be diverse and rich in colour.  He credits his style as being influenced by Capcom’s fighting game artists (Bengus, Shoei, Akiman etc..) and American comics and cartoons over tradition Japanese manga and anime.  

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (Anubis: Zone of the Enders) | Konami | 2003 | with Nobuyoshi Nishimura | PS2. (2)

Director Shuyo Murata would team up newcomer Masao with veteran Nobuyoshi (character designer on the first Zone of the Enders) in a partnership that proved difficult.  Masao created the character designs, whilst Nobuyoshi finished them in an anime look, but the two artist’s divergent styles led to clashes on how the character art seen on the box art ending up - Nobuyoshi looks to have won the battle though.  

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Tyler Stout.  North American box artist in 2012.

Sleeping Dogs | Square Enx | 2012 | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360. (1)

Publisher Square Enix what hire the poster artist with the brief of providing a movie-poster style cover inspired by films such as The Departed, Internal Affairs and Point Break.

Tyler would also have access to the game’s script and the artist has stated, “Square Enix asked for something cinematic feeling in scope, something that felt like it told a bit of the story of the game. They wanted to emphasis the duality of the main protagonist, who lives in both the criminal underworld and law enforcement worlds. They wanted to show contemporary Hong Kong, with its traditional roots, as well as hinting at the violence and action within this game world”.

The artwork would go through a number of colour variants throughout the design process and took about three weeks to complete.


>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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Toshiaki Kato.  Japanese box artist from 1993-1999.

Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber | Nintendo | 1999 | JPN ver. | Nintendo 64. (1)

Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods | Imagineer Co. | 1993 | JPN ver. | Super Famicom. (2)





>Box art catalogue

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Toshiaki Mori - see Shinkiro

>Gallery