The worst box art of 2009

7. Love Is… In Bloom: The Flower Shop Garden

Released: April 9


Normally, we try to avoid picking on licensed games in these features. For starters, it’s too easy, and the horribleness is usually the fault of the licensed property itself, rather than of terrible design decisions. However, while licensing a game from Love Is… – the comic strip once described by Homer Simpson as about “two naked eight-year-olds who are married” – is a bad idea in and of itself, it’s not to blame for that nasty green background. Compared to that, the presence of nude, sleepy-eyed kids is like acne on a leper.

6. The Island of Dr. Frankenstein

Released: Oct 13


Art like this is what happens when games desperately want to be called “Miyazaki-esque” and then fail miserably at it. Going by this, the game apparently revolves around a family of hulking aberrations of nature and putrid undead terrors, who live a peaceful, idyllic life on a sunny, floating island where everyone shares their toys and gets along. And that’s not a world we’re particularly interested in exploring, not even if we get to play as that kid and set up blue stage lights for the big dance number later on.

5. I Did It Mum! Doll’s House

Released: Sept 25



4. System Flaw

Released: Oct 27


Never before has our point been made so eloquently for us by the title of the game itself. System Flaw’s box is a mess of visual gibberish, as bloblike alien-things vie for your attention alongside meaningless blurbs, distracting graphics and a guy who’s apparently never played a DS game before. It’s the stuff headaches are made of. Let’s move along.

3. B Team: Metal Cartoon Squad

Released: Feb 20


Ugh. Disregarding the gigantic German ratings label that dwarfs the game’s logo, this thing looks like someone got the idea to make a World War II Homies game, and then crammed all the characters together as densely as possible so as to make more room for lens flares and the color brown. The characters are ugly, the composition is ugly, and hell, the idea is ugly. Ugly all around, this one.

2. Ju-On: The Grudge (UK version)

Released: Oct 30


This… is not how you create the box for a horror game. This is not even how you create an ad for a horror game. This is how you use the word “fear” to search for a stock photo of a woman hiding behind a couch, slap it onto your game box and call it a day. Or wait, no – first you get a bizarre quote from T. Kanazawa, whoever he is, then you switch the game’s subtitle from “Haunted House Simulator” to the “deliciously” “punny” “A Fright Simulator,” and then you call it a day.

Congratulations! You have designed a cover that conveys absolutely no information apart from “it is scary but also maybe funny; also, woman,” and nobody but eccentric millionaires who always buy one of everything in the store when they go shopping is going to have the slightest interest in playing your game.

For the record, this is how the US box looks. Not too much better, but at least that one big eyeball offers a clearer idea of what the game’s about:

1. Pogo Bunny

Released: Aug 21


If you just glanced casually by that image, the mental safeguards built into your brain probably just dismissed it as an ugly, 32-bit-era Sonic the Hedgehog ripoff. But they you probably wondered why it’s in the No. 1 spot, and so you went back and looked at it a little more closely.

If you did, you might have noticed, after a few seconds, that Pogo Bunny has no legs. So, OK, he bounces around on his legless butt, right? Nothing we haven’t seen in a game before. But then, you might notice that he doesn’t have any arms, either. In fact, his only visible extremities are a pair of disembodied gloves. Human gloves, with five carefully articulated fingers. Gloves that are out of proportion with the rest of his limbless torso. Gloves that could grab at those pieces of fruit. Gloves that could grab at you. Gloves that could wrap themselves around your neck and squeeze tighter and tighter as you fell, lost forever, into Pogo Bunny’s all-encompassing stare.


So now you know why most cartoon characters have four-fingered hands. Guard that knowledge well.

Zeno Clash

We’re not sure if this is the box used by Zeno Clash in the States. To be honest, we’re not even sure if it’s been released to retail shelves yet. All we know is that this is an ugly, ugly box, and we have just one thing to say about it:


Dec 15, 2009

The worst box art of 2008 
Cringe at 20 of last year's best examples of awful packaging

The worst box art of 2007 
Take a look back at the 15 games that fuglied up store shelves two years ago

The most mediocre box art 
The blandest, dullest and all-around boring-est covers we could find

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  • randilon - September 22, 2010 4:12 a.m.

    Doctor Fizzwizzle’s Animal Rescue! Hey i cant stop laughing everytime i remember the look on the sheep's face and you saying Dolly knows you’ll buy this just to find out what doctor’s keeping from you. OMG Hillarious man... That sheep i'll remember for my entire life
  • Randomwordcombination - June 30, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    Great article!! That NAMBLA bowling league literally made me laugh out loud.
  • twewy13 - January 28, 2010 8:50 p.m.

    r-r-r-r-r-r-raaaaaadio those martians were awesome
  • linkganon - January 3, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    if gamesradar has not done this yet, they probabally should. how about an article that includes the best boxart of 2009? i'm not sure if it wasn't done so this is why i'm saying they should.
  • StefanGrey - December 28, 2009 3:46 a.m.

    Is it me or does the Yeti on the bowling game kinda look like he stole Omega Red's hair & bandana?
  • FanofSaiyan - December 28, 2009 12:50 a.m.

    Hilarious, can't wait to see what box art they skewer in 2010. :D
  • PrierAdmirer - December 26, 2009 4:50 a.m.

    Hilarious. Once again, the zoom-in what never fails to disappoint. Great article GR.
  • Aelphais - December 23, 2009 9:05 p.m.

    For the record, The Void is an excellent game that is not for everyone but stands out as being something mostly different in this space marine filled FPS brown world. It doesn't hold your hand nor present the entire game as one long tutorial. Also there are a lot of naked women.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - December 21, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    YES A YOUNG ONES REFERENCE It's bad that I can quote something older than I am, isn't it? xD
  • JustTheBoBreaker - December 21, 2009 5:01 a.m.

    The Hysteria Hospital box is hilarious. And what's with the peace sign meaning "fuck you" in the UK?
  • sveini22 - December 19, 2009 1:37 p.m.

    awfull all of them
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - December 18, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    @TonyBlue05: Hmmm... more than likely it's a stock photo that companies can pay to use, but that does explain the bizarre way he's holding the DSi in that shot.
  • TonyBlue05 - December 18, 2009 6:05 p.m.

    Whoops, sorry. Here it is again, but it fits now: images/store/game_gift_lg.jpg
  • TonyBlue05 - December 18, 2009 6:04 p.m.

    You know what else is funny about the System Flaw cover? It's douche hero is a stolen pic:
  • jackthemenace - December 18, 2009 5:51 p.m.

    OMG, this is so funny! although almost all of the games are from nintendo... hmmm... is it just me, or is #6 basically just "the hills have eyes" remake for kids?
  • G1drake - December 18, 2009 4:17 p.m.

    monkeys....making xxx in my box art?
  • noobeater - December 18, 2009 2:58 p.m.

    oh yea and i love how you constantly zoom in on made me laugh this year and so it did last year
  • noobeater - December 18, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    the oxymorons were funny as fuck great article and the point you made about the gloves and eyes was genuinly scary to think about and yes the wii is aweful
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - December 18, 2009 1:46 a.m.

    @Darkhawk: Check last year's article.

Showing 1-20 of 73 comments

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