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

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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.

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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. Ultimate and Tim’s first cover, Jetpac 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.  

A couple of U.S Gold designed games (Cyberun and Martianoids), but published by Ultimate saw box arts that were probably not by Tim, he would though return for the company’d final game Blubber before Ultimate was sold off and Rare in 1987 was born.


>History

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

>Gallery

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.

Ultimate Play the Game.  Publisher years 1983-1986.


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Ultima (main series). ORIGIN Systems video game series from 1981-1999.

Exodus: Ultima III | FCI | 1989 | NA ver. | NES.

Exodus: Ultima III | ORIGIN Systems | 1983 | by Denis R. Loubet  | Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM-7, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX (diskette edition), PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1. (1)

Exodus: Ultima III | Pony Canyon | 1987 | by Tadashi Tsukada | JPN ver. | Famicom, MSX (cartridge edition).

Pagan: Ultima VIII | ORIGIN Systems | 1994 | by Denis R. Loubet | Macintosh, MS-DOS.

Pagan: Ultima VIII | ORIGIN Systems | 1995 | PC-98.

Ultima I | California Pacific | 1981 | by Denis R. Loubet |  Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1. (2)

Ultima I: The Original | Sierra On-line | 1983 | Atari 8-bit., VIC-20

Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress | Sierra On-line | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM-7, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, PC-88, PC-98.

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

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | Fujitsu Interactive | 1992 | JPN ver. | FM Towns. (3)  

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | ORIGIN Systems | 1985 | by Denis R. Loubet  | Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64 (NA ver.), Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX, Master System, PC-88, PC-98, X68000. (4 )

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | Pony Canyon | 1989 | JPN ver. | Famicom. (5)

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar | U.S.Gold | 1986 | EU ver. | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Ulitma V: Warriors of Destiny | FCI | 1993 | by Lee Macleod | NES. (6)

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny | ORIGIN Systems | 1988 | by Denis R. Loubet  | Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-98, Sharp X68000.

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

Ultima VI: The False Prophet | ORIGIN Systems | 1993 | by Denis R. Loubet | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, FM Towns, MS-DOS, PC-98, Sharp X68000, SNES, Super Famicom.

Ultima VII: Forge of Virtue | ORIGIN Systems | 1992 | by Dicko Mather | MS-DOS.

Ultima VII: The Black Gate | FCI | 1994 | NA ver. | SNES.

Ultima VII: The Black Gate | ORIGIN Systems | 1992 | by Mike Harrison | MS-DOS, Super Famicom.

Ultima VII: Part 2 - Serpent Isle | ORIGIN Systems | 1993 | MS-DOS. (7)

Ultima VII: Part 2 - Serpent Isle: The Silver Seed | ORIGIN Systems | 1993 | by Dicko Mather | MS-DOS.

Ultima IX: Ascension | ORIGIN Systems | 1999 | by Denis R. Loubet | Windows. (8)












>Box art catalogue

>Gallery

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ultima-vii-part-two-serpent-isle-DOS-big.jpg ultima-I-APP-big.jpg

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ultima-iv-quest-of-the-avatar-FMT-big.jpg ultima-iv-quest-of-the-avatar-FAM-big.jpg ultima-ix-ascension-WIN-big.jpg

    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