Released: Aug. 3
We get it. It’s supposed to be a goofy lowbrow game for kids. But does that excuse the blur filter and grimy colors? Does that mean we should ignore the pig’s obscene grin, or the unnatural contortion that enables him to bang his crotch against the steering wheel? Or the fact that the box looks pretty much like what you’d expect from a title that abbreviates to “Calvin Tucker’s Redneck FART?”
Released: Sept. 21
Oh look, the horrible, leering carny from 2007 is back with another game that will no doubt sell millions. His grotto of horrors is just as garish as it’s ever been, but this time… this time he wants you to take a ticket.
Above: If it has the number he’s thinking of, he won’t hit you with his fishing pole thing
Dismayed as we are to see that grinning creep back again, he’s pure class compared to World Party Games, which apparently labors under the illusion that Carnival Games sold because of its terrifying mascot.
Above: “Oh, wouldn’t it be just awful if someone confused this with that much more successful game and bought it instead?”
Released: Dec. 10
It’s hard to be sure what’s worse here: the ridiculous overuse of the blur filter, the target being behind the shooter, the ugly amber color scheme, the badly Photoshopped black disc over the scope, or the fact that the publisher logo proudly proclaims this to be a “family game.”
Above: “Oh, I get it! The M on the left must stand for Maximum, too!”
Released: March 23
Larry Bird’s no stranger to videogames – he starred in One On One, one of the earliest hoops games ever made – but this is the first time he’s looked quite this ugly. It’s also the first time Oscar Robertson’s looked quite so greenish. Just a wildly unappealing piece of art all around, and one more reason to ask why it’s an unwritten rule among third-rate publishers that people in videogames should have enormous heads.
Released: Feb. 5
The real mystery is why, if you’re going to (presumably) rip off Pixar’s most questionable protagonist, you’d go the route of making him look like a less trustworthy version of an actual rat. Who apparently towers above pigs and hides entire grocery-store counters just under his fur.
Released: Nov. 18
God, where to start? The rendering is simplistic, and the guy there couldn’t be any more of a glassy-eyed afterthought if he was an actual corpse. But what makes this worthy of inclusion is the eyes. The huge, huge eyes with their enormous pupils. Because holy shit, the only way all those animals could stand being so close to gawky tourist robots was if they were all stoned to the gill, and by god, this box is man enough to admit it.
OK, so calling the next four items “box art” is kind of a stretch, seeing as (to the best of our knowledge) they’ve never adorned an actual, physical box. They are, however, some of the most gruesome images we’ve ever seen used to sell downloadable games on Amazon, and they deserve recognition.
Released: Sept. 24
The suspiciously grinning animals we can deal with, but Johnny Hapsburglip and his mother the real-estate agent aren’t really doing much for us.
Released: Dec. 8
This image raises so many questions. What’s up with the main character’s stock-3D-model pose? Exactly how big are all the characters on the boat supposed to be? Why is there a stock photo of a flower in the foreground?
And how, for the love of Christ, is this a movie?
Released: April 8
If the first wrong thing you notice about this image is that “Jungle Boy” is a ripoff of Disney’s Tarzan, stare at it for a little longer. See if you can tell what, in the year 2010, might be considered amiss here.
Above: That’s right, this guy’s wearing whiteface! RACISM
Released: Sept. 30
The art here obviously comes from two, possibly three different sources. Guinevere over there seems to have been Photoshopped in from the cover of a softcore video, while Arthur and Merlin look like they should be leering at us from the pages of an old D&D adventure module, right next to the creepy-beard encounter table.