The worst box art of 2010

31-32. NecroVisioN: Lost Company/Singularity

Released: Feb. 19 and June 29

We can understand how one game this year could feature a dark, incomprehensible image overpowered by a glowing orange hand, but two? How is that a thing? Who comes up with these designs? Is their dank burrow choked by the smell of rotting flesh, or do they do a good job keeping the place clean so as to better lure in the unsuspecting?

33. FBI Paranormal Cases

Released: Aug. 16

Over the years, boxes have tried to show us many, many interesting locations, from sloppily drawn sci-fi cityscapes to the insides of warehouses. But this may be the first box to show us where we’ll be playing the game:

Above: Holy shit, a desk!

Nicely done, box. We probably couldn’t have figured that one out on our own.

34. Marines Modern Urban Combat

Released: Jan. 26

All year long, this box has been staring at me from the shelves of every game store I visit. And all year long, I’ve hated it. I’ve hated the gauzy blur filter over everything. I’ve hated the expressionless faces, the unimportant explosion, the lack of action suggested by the poses, and the calculated insertion of the word “Modern” into the title. But mostly I just hate how tiny that guy’s head looks. That’s not a head that should be worn by any self-respecting videogame character.

Above: Now there’s a head you can be proud of!

35. Rulers of Nations

Released: Sept. 30

While the general concept and design here are interesting – a bunch of world leaders play global politics like a literal board game – the murkiness of the art makes it all look just woeful. The guy up front looks like a weird hybrid of Barack Obama and George W. Bush (which may be intentional, for all we know), and the shadows on Hu Jintao’s face make him look like a clumsy wax dummy. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad in the background there seems to think he’s at a craps table. Combine them with the creepy black-and-white faces in the background, and you’ve got an image that’s probably a hell of a lot more eerie than the game inside.

36. Heathcliff! The Fast and the Furriest

Released: Nov. 16

See, this is what happens when Garfield goes and becomes his own gaming franchise: someone decides there’s money in slapping the other boring, orange comic-strip cat on a game, and we get atrocities like this. And when you consider that the box is just an assortment of clip art with an extremely sloppy scribble of what we’re going to assume are speeding cars, it’s clear that even less thought went into the packaging than the licensing deal itself.

37. Cruise Ship Resort

Released: Sept. 17

Everything on this box is rendered with only the clumsiest hints of action or emotion. The fat sadsack up there maintains the same pleading, midly befuddled expression whether he’s aiming at a clay pigeon or swinging at a golf ball that was right next to his arm for some reason. It takes a second to realize that the girl at the lower right is climbing a rock wall and not doing a little dance with an ocarina in each hand. And the guy who’s actually shooting his clay pigeon, on closer inspection, actually has a photograph of hair instead of a drawn-on coif, which gives the image a slightly disturbing quality that doesn’t mesh well with the idea of a cruise vacation at all. At all.

38. Gummy Bears Minigolf

Released: Oct. 15

What… I just… GOD. There’s lazy, and then there’s whatever the hell this is. Hewing to the old (and mostly true) belief that kids don’t generally care how ugly their entertainment is, the GBM box promises only the stiffest animation and most cutting-edge circa-1992 visuals that the money left over after licensing a candy property can buy. And to top everything off, that bear clearly didn’t warn that frog before attempting to play through. What a sociopathic dick.

39. Deadliest Catch: Sea of Chaos

Released: Nov. 29

Hey, what the hell is this doing here? Worst box art? More like best box art, if only because it looks like the fisherman’s screaming at the crab to SNAP OUT OF IT AND GET UP ON THAT MACHINEGUN! EVERYONE’S LIVES DEPEND ON YOU NOW, CRAB! GO GO GO!

Alternate caption: “Look what you did to that crane! LOOK WHAT YOU DID! BAD CRAB! BAD! CRAB!”

40. Braid

Released: Nov. 9

Ordinarily, we restrict this feature to box art released in the US and UK. This time, however, we're going to make an exception, because this... this is some terrible box art. Released as a retail product in Russia last month, Braid’s brand-new art is proof that it’s possible to be 100 percent faithful to a game’s content while still completely missing the point.

Above: No, mopier! MOPIER! And with fewer dick-shaped ties!

Dec 15, 2010

The worst box art of 2009
25 of last year's ugliest attempts at game packaging


The Worst Box Art of 2008
Cringe at 20 of the best examples of awful packaging


The worst box art of 2007
A look back at the 15 games that fuglied up store shelves the most three years ago


Worst of 2010

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  • 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

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