The worst box art of 2010

With 2010 just weeks from being a bad memory, the time has once again arrived to do what we do at the close of every year: round up the ugliest, laziest, most misguided examples of box art that stank up store shelves over the last 12 months, drag them into the light and make fun of them until we get bored.

In some ways, 2010 hasn’t been a great year for awful box art. There’ve been very few that have jumped out at us as immediately, hideously awful, and if we didn’t know better, we’d think the industry was actually paying attention. Fortunately, there are more than enough shitty-to-mediocre attempts at box art to go around this year, giving us no fewer than 40 entries to work with, up from last year’s 25. Brace yourselves – this is going to suck.

(And, as always, it’s important to point out that I’m not making any judgments about the quality of the games themselves here – just the boxes they’re packed in.)

1. James Bond 007: Blood Stone

Released: Nov 2

Has the Bond franchise really fallen so far that its boxes have to be assembled from stock photos now? This tells us nothing whatsoever about the game. It doesn’t even look particularly interesting. It just looks like a grimy security photo of Daniel Craig about to rob a convenience store. Or possibly shoot paparazzi for sport.

2. Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes

Released: Oct. 12

For a game about crazy, over-the-top samurai messing up hordes of other dudes, the US box art for Sengoku Basara is unforgivably bland (especially compared to its dynamic EU counterpart), looking for all the world like the designer just arranged a few pieces of character art on the dullest background they could find and drained as much color as possible. However, that’s not the only thing wrong with it. Check out where those lines of sight are going:

Clearly, there’s more at work here than just a pre-battle psych-out.

3. Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection

Released: May 28

When you first glanced at the above image, could you tell right away those red things were spaceships? Or did it take you a second to realize that they weren’t just twisted masses of rusty crap hanging around in space? The fact that some of you probably still aren’t seeing it makes throwing this one on the pile a no-brainer.

4. Attack of the Movies 3D

Released: May 18

Sensory overload isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there’s just so much going on here that it’s hard to piece together exactly what we’re looking at. The skeleton is clearly making a big deal about how much popcorn it’s vomiting  into that girl’s lap, the shark looks like it’s about to bite into an audience member’s crotch, and we couldn’t even tell that thing in the background was a robot until the fourth or fifth viewing. Just a big fat mess all around, this.

5. Alabama Smith in the Quest of Fate

Released: June 25

There needs to be some kind of moratorium on the “moderately attractive people sort of stand around in the foreground” genre of casual-game art, and this should be the poster child for it. The Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike is amateurishly drawn (and somewhat eerie-looking), the composition’s unappealing and there’s a goddamn inventory menu right there on the box. Never mind that Alabama there seems to be hiding a temple’s worth of miniature antiques on his shirt.

6. Galactic Taz Ball

Released: Aug. 10

For the record, this is Warner Bros’ Tasmanian Devil, aka Taz:

And this is what the makers of Galactic Taz Ball think he looks like:

Above: Drawing internationally recognized cartoon characters from memory is always a good idea 

The EU box isn’t exactly great, either, but at least its version of Taz looks like someone made an effort to draw him on-model.

7. Monster Pals

Released: March 12

Man, that Zushi logo is really unfortunately placed, isn’t it? Obvious dick-censoring aside, this box tells a story, and that story is that our monster friend there was wandering around drunk at 3 a.m. when that rabbity thing and its friends stole his clothes. If he’s going to save the day, he’s going to have to stumble through the streets, screaming incoherently, until either he can catch the rabbit-creatures or some kid sees him. Seriously, that sounds like it’s probably a better game than whatever this actually is.

8. All Round Hunter

Released: June 25

Nothing can  ruin a hunter’s day faster than two animals from wildly incompatible species putting aside their differences for the sake of justice, which is apparently what’s happened here. They don’t seem to be doing a whole lot aside from that, really, so we suggest the game start being printed under this alternate cover instead.

Above: “Hey! Heeeey! Heeyyyy! Heyy! HEEEEEEEYYY! Hey! Heeeey!”

9. Remington Super Slam Hunting North America

Released: Nov 15

As long as we’re on the topic of nature teaming up to take on hunters, here’s this thing. Holy shit, what a goddamn mess:

10. Kid Fit Island Resort

Released: Oct. 26

This is what you came for, isn’t it? Stuff like this. Horrible, stunted stuff like this, featuring creepy kids with giant heads and soft expressions who can barely lift their arms or make fists. You came to laugh at their pain.

You monster.


Worst of 2010


  • Leboyo56 - April 28, 2011 3:50 a.m.

    lol at the Portal 2 reference on 10, YOU MONSTER.
  • m1bayluv41510 - April 6, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    I'm laughing at the box art on Deadliest catch, i keep seeing the fisherman yelling "SEE THIS CRAB? IT CAME FROM YOUR MOMS PANTS!" Also the wildlife game with the stoned animals was great too, especially with the way the cheeta/lion thing was hanging off his tree..
  • bekkilawrence - January 8, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    I hope you all will be pleased to know that they changed the picture of Taz on Galactic Taz Ball to an ACTUAL taz. No? Just me then...
  • DankKingpin - January 2, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    Why isn't Canada's flag on the Rulers of Nations case? I mean, sure we aren't exactly a 'super' power, but come on. Also, whats up with that one guys golf club? Its like bending around his neck. Maybe hes putting himself out of his misery?
  • Fak99 - December 29, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    Why is Brazil on the "bad guy" side of the "Rulers of Nations" cover?
  • MikeT - December 27, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    lol Deadliest Catch looks awesome!
  • MikeT - December 27, 2010 5:10 p.m.

    The white face thing is a reality dude, their are a lot of tribes that color their faces white. It has nothing to do with racism.
  • jayson8899 - December 21, 2010 4:51 a.m.

    I didnt close my eyes now my eyes burn!
  • SuperMaccoroni - December 21, 2010 1:16 a.m.

    Wow,now that I think about it more,There are barely any good box arts anymore. I would have laughed if you made a "Worst box art of the eighties" LOL
  • suicidalpigeon - December 20, 2010 1:06 a.m.
  • CanadianBeaverHunter - December 19, 2010 6:37 a.m.

    Never tire of crappy box art features.
  • waffman11 - December 19, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    Lol, Kim Jong Il wants to DANCE!
  • ROFLROOSTER - December 18, 2010 11:22 p.m.

    Sled Shred featuring the Jamaican Bobsled Team looks like it was made on MS paint... especially the DREADlocks
  • Apollomasque - December 18, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    That Remington Super Slam Hunting one makes me imagine two dead-eye hunters perched on a boulder, holding back the massive tide of animals determined to overrun their defense point. Ammunition runs low and tension thickens as the two friends cannot afford self doubt, but silently wonder if the other will make it through the siege.
  • PrierAdmirer - December 18, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    Crab with machine gun got to me. I was laughing so hard and long after that. I'll be incredibly upset if the game didn't have crabs in naval battles.
  • D0CCON - December 17, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    I may literally get nightmares from that smiling Gameshow Host. Uggghhhh *shiver shiver*
  • pmike5 - December 17, 2010 9 p.m.

    Brilliant article, but you forgot one HUGE game which has awful box art. Mass Effect 2!
  • celticsfan645 - December 17, 2010 7:35 p.m.

    Also, Alabama Smith. You cant make good adventures just by naming a guy after a state. Otherwise we would be seein California Jackson and the Raiders of the Crystal Skulled Crusaders of Doom.
  • soren7550 - December 17, 2010 4:31 p.m.

    Too funny! Esp. the family game that's rated M!
  • Fusionmix - December 17, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    Kim-Jong Il. Oh god.

Showing 1-20 of 117 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000