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The worst box art of 2007

10. The Orange Box (PC/360/PS3, released Oct. 10)
This one's a special travesty, because The Orange Box is arguably the single best videogame product released this year - but publisher EA decided to shovel it into a box that's impossible for anyone but a dyed-in-the-wool Half-Life fan to get excited about. The weird, action-free compromise between minimalist design and chunks of character art comes off looking like nothing so much as a piece of productivity software, designed to catch the eye of balding men in ties and shirtsleeves at an office-supply store. To illustrate what we mean, here's what The Orange Box looks like through the eyes of someone who doesn't follow the game industry and glances at it on a shelf:

  1. Software guru/Norton Utilities spokesmodel Peter Norton (with a beard)
  2. Product logo, or possibly an indicator that AOL Instant Messenger is included
  3. "Regular guy" with knowing grin who uses this product to facilitate his small-business operations
  4. A bunch of boring words in a decidedly non-awesome font

Or, to put a finer point on it:

9. Carnival Games (Wii, released Aug. 28)

You know how, when you die, your friends and family appear and coax you toward a bright light? Yeah, this giant-clawed carnie and his leering gallery of awful are the last thing you'll see after you've reached it. This is what we call "bait and switch."

8. Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii, released Oct. 5)

We know the kids love to play with mercury, but putting a pear-shaped blob on the cover of your game alongside nothing else probably isn't the best way to get people to fork over their cash. On the other hand, it's still a better idea than trying to use designer Archer Maclean's name to sell the thing.

7. Billy the Wizard: Rocket Broomstick Racing (Wii, released Sept. 28)

"Oh, jolly good! I do believe I see Harry Potter down there! Quickly, wand - Accio coattails!"

6. John Deere Harvest in the Heartland (DS, released Nov. 20)

The direction here seems to have been, "make it look like Harvest Moon, only boring, hideous, Fisher Price-y and more reflective of cornfed Middle American values. Oh, but keep the big eyes. The kids like big eyes, right?"

UPDATE: Publisher Destineer has dropped us a line to let us know that the above image is not, in fact, the final box art for Harvest in the Heartland, and has asked us to please hate the following box instead:

We applaud them for being good sports, but come on - that box is nowhere near as horrible. Although we do wonder what happened to the farmer's wife. And also what's in that suspiciously heavy hay bale...

Holy crap, we're buying this right now.

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26 comments

  • AntistasMetroid - April 7, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    Im a few years too late but damn it all if Wikiparaz doesnt make me laugh out loud more often than i thought possible! That obvious penis hidden and the escalating zoom as i scrolled down the page... Classic!
  • thefreakysurgeon - December 16, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    EEEEKK! A PENIS! IN TOUCH DETECTIVE!
  • waffledragon33 - September 12, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    lol
  • BobskillzDETH13 - October 27, 2009 1:15 a.m.

    Art intern: Is this stupid robot seriously the only piece of art they sent us? Art director: Well, no. They also sent us a render of a huge, throbbing penis. But putting that on the cover translates to poor sales in certain parts of the country. Art intern: So what do you want me to do with it? Art director: Just put a big lens flare on it somewhere and let's call it a day. Art intern: Are you sure? I could do, like, a stylized outline, or… Art director: You think you're too good for lens flare, you little son of a bitch? Art intern: Wha- Art director: (Punching noises) I was laughing so freakin hard i almost pissed myself
  • BobskillzDETH13 - October 27, 2009 1:12 a.m.

    worse! its a p**is with a face ROFLMAO :D Kinky kitties
  • gangjute8 - September 27, 2009 7:13 a.m.

    Wow. This still remains one of my favorite articles on the website. Sad thing is, that's exactly how I looked at the Orange Box until about 6 months ago.
  • Tentacles - December 4, 2008 8:40 a.m.

    Hey, Etrian Odyssey is still awesome, even if the box art fails. After all, F.O.E!
  • Cogglesz - October 12, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    pretty funny how all of them except the pc games are all nintendo products
  • JosephCh - September 30, 2008 9:04 p.m.

    Lawl you guys crack me up.
  • Evenflow69 - September 30, 2008 1:54 a.m.

    The touch detective on made me laugh so hard!!! FIRST!
  • lava_lamp - September 30, 2008 10:01 p.m.

    you know that brown thing from touch detective is tapping that
  • tacolord - September 30, 2008 7:03 p.m.

    omg!!!!! its a completely normal mushroom that looks like a p***s!!!! i need to get out more......
  • MacGyver1138 - September 30, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    I have to stop looking at these articles at work. I just had to fake that my laughter was a cough when I saw the touch detective one!
  • sniperscope - September 30, 2008 6:34 a.m.

    touch detective is hilarious! The kittens are great too
  • ArcturusMengsk - July 4, 2009 2:59 a.m.

    Does that mushroom have a tooth? What the hell does a mushroom need a tooth for? It probably doesn't even talk.
  • chilarome - May 25, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    wow pet catz... thats just creepy, as is the touch detective
  • Evernight - May 11, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    OMG I was literally crying when I saw the touch detective thing. Perfect... no need for words... just zoom in on the offender.
  • Ezekiel17 - May 9, 2009 1:47 a.m.

    "O HAI U CATCHED US SECKSING LOL." Lmao! The Catz 2 one made me laugh the most. ReCaptcha: Nrthrn highs (Lol, yeah, I know alot of people from the north west that got high)
  • Evolution - January 3, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    The orange box thing is so funny.i laughed so hard!XD
  • hanky_panky - December 24, 2008 5:33 a.m.

    oh gawd dat was funny touch detective was by far the best... THANKYOU GR!!! i havent laughed like dat in ages =D

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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