Designing a box for a game is tough. With one image, you need to stand out on the shelf, catch the eye of the casual consumer and convince them that your game is worth their money. Some games get it wrong; others get it so wrong that potential customers actually recoil in horror. We've all seen terrible old atrocities like Mega Man and Alex Kidd in Miracle World, but don't think for a second that awful cover art is a thing of the past, left behind by a more sophisticated games industry. To prove it, we've pulled together the 15 worst examples from this year alone for you to gawk at.
Please bear in mind we're not passing judgment over the games themselves - just the boxes that hold them.
15. Fairy Godmother Tycoon (PC, released April 30)
Compositionally, there's nothing wrong with this Shrek 2-inspired box and its frog-lipped, cake-haired, cow-eyed matron - apart from the fact that it exists.
14. Etrian Odyssey (DS, released May 15)
Shh! These characters were posing, but then a loud noise startled them into hiding on the far side of the cover. Maybe if we're real quiet, they'll slowly creep back and help us figure out how to read their logo.
13. Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek (PC, released June 7)
Also known as "Nancy Drew: The Painting on the Side of the Van Owned by the Middle-Aged Man Who Wears a Turquoise Belt Buckle and Collects Dreamcatchers."
12. Petz: Catz 2 (PC/PS2/Wii/DS, released Nov. 15)
"O HAI U CATCHED US SECKSING LOL."
We honestly don't know what's worse - the fact that these kittens are clearly getting it on, or the way they're making eye contact with us the entire time.