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The worst box art of 2014

5. World of Leaders

Budget-priced simulation games often resort to adorning their box art with human-shaped abominations with overly Photoshopped, unnervingly smooth faces. But only World of Leaders has the gusto to give top box art billing to a low-rent Jesse Ventura lookalike and some old guy playing a saxophone.

4. Gizmos: Spirit of The Christmas

Goodness me. The goblin (Gizmo?) on the right is fine, save for the fact that she's got two lumps of flesh for eyebrows. But the bag-carrying dude on the left looks like a green-skinned, pre-sexual-assault-charges Bill Cosby with vacant, lifeless eyes and no neck. If this box art represents the true spirit of The(?) Christmas, then I'm converting to Judaism immediately.

3. Winx Club: Saving Alfea

On the day that they finally cart me off to an insane asylum, I'll be screaming 'THE FAIRIES! THEY HAVE THE SAME FACE! IT'S A COPY-PASTE JOB FOR TWO CHARACTERS WHO ARE STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER! CAN'T YOU SEE IT?! AHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!' Decades after my death, the truth about Winx Club: Saving Alfea will finally be uncovered, and my name will be posthumously cleared of all criminal charges.

2. Spellbind

I think this may truly be the most unexciting piece of box art I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. Like a man suffering from a boredom-induced seizure, words fail me. It's as if... it's as if Spiderkey Games doesn't even care. I'm being dead serious when I say that a plain, blank cardboard box would stand a better chance of commanding my attention. Take it away now, please. I don't think I can stand to look at Spellbind a moment longer.

1. Magus

This is it. The absolute worst piece of box art of 2014, and a master class in how not to visually convey information or evoke any kind of emotion besides pure, unadulterated bewilderment. Deep breath... I can do this.

Who is this man? Why is drawn so poorly, with such broad strokes? Why is he puckering his lips like that? Why is he glowing blue? Is he in a cathedral? Or maybe a cyber-cathedral? Are those gears, valves, or buttons beneath that stained glass window? What is the cause or purpose of the giant bubble ballooning out of this man's shoulder? Who decided to give the title font such a gaudy gradient effect, and why does it look like the logo to a 1980s arcade game? Why? Why? WHY!?

Whew. I'm sorry you had to see that. And you know what? Something just dawned on me. Magus' box art is so atrocious, and its reputation so miserably bad, that... I just might have to buy it. Of all the games on this list, it's the only one with box art so godawful that I feel it deserves my money. On this day, Magus, you have brought a tear - of joy, sadness, or insanity, I cannot say - to this old box art appraiser's shriveled heart. And for that, you have my sincerest thanks.

The 'Does being added to Steam in 2014 count?' Award

Nowhere will you find a more frightening dolphin than in Wildlife Park 2: Marine World. He wants nothing more than to eat your face, right off the bone.

The 'How did I miss this in 2013?' Award

The smiles on display in Travel Adventures: World Wonders tell two very different stories. His says that he's delighted by his teacher's offer to privately tutor him. Hers implies that she's going to take this student-teacher relationship to the next, egregiously illegal level.

I came, I saw, I wept openly

That'll do it for the worst box art of 2014, folks; come back next year when we do it all over again! Which piece of aforementioned box art most offended your aesthetic sensibilities? Let's all share a laugh at its expense in the comments section below.

If you'd like to relive the box art lowlights of yesteryear, be sure to check out the worst box art of 2013, the worst box art of 2012, the worst box art of 2011, the worst box art of 2010, the worst box art of 2009, the worst box art of 2008, and where it all started: the worst box art of 2007. That's-a lotta bad-a box art!