The worst box art of 2015

Stare into the abyss

Each and every year, we like to subject ourselves to a special form of torture: diving headlong into a pool of abhorrent box art. Like Scrooge McDuck, we paddle through this bottomless vault of crappy imagery and incoherent portraits, searching for the absolute worst of the bunch. And let us assure you, dear reader, we've found the most repugnant cover art 2015 had to offer. These pieces of "art" turned stomachs and burned the eyes of all who beheld them - and according to Amazon, the majority of this shovelware was released last year. Hey, if it's the reputation of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on the line, who's to argue?

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but when that cover makes you burst out laughing uncontrollably, there may need to be an exception. We're not saying that's definitely going to happen here, but Well, actually, it probably is. Sorry.

25. WildLife Camp

Someone told the artist "The animals would look cuter if you made their eyes bigger", and he was more than happy to prove them wrong. The glassy stares on the faces of these poor creatures implies that this may actually be a taxidermy diorama, humans and all. It seems that developer(?) 'B. Alive' was far too late.

24. Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader

If you have to ask, the answer is no. You don't need an image of Jeff Foxworthy smirking in front of a cheap chalkboard to tell you that. And I'd like to think that even a 5th grader wouldn't neglect to fix the atrocious punctuation in a sentence like 'ALL NEW CLASSES ALL NEW CATEGORIES, ALL NEW QUESTIONS!!!'

23. Shiftlings

When you're designing aliens that are clearly meant to delight children, you must walk a very fine line between 'goofy-looking' and 'absolutely horrifying'. Whoever rendered that purple fellow's bug-eyed, anguished grimace clearly forgot to maintain that delicate balance.

22. Kholat

Great. Icy Russian lettering overlaid on a crumbling hallway that somehow opens up into a dying forest. This tells me everything I need to know. Zero confusion here.

21. Mahjong: Halloween Stories

Its probably just me, but when I think of Halloween, I always think about long-locked princes carrying magic pumpkin staves, often with plump, giant-pin-wielding mice resting upon their shoulders. Ah, wait a moment! This box art proves that there are at least two people in this universe with an incredibly limited grasp on Halloween iconography. If not for the bucktoothed jack-o'-lantern logo screaming in your face (or the bizarre, lone jack-o'-lamp hanging from the tree), there's no way you'd associate this game with October 31st.

20. Reload

Seeing this mess of lethal weaponry, bullet casings, and clay pigeons doesn't actually evoke the idea that this game has anything to do with shooting. All I can picture is one of those hidden object puzzlers, which asks you to find the rabbit's foot, pineapple, and pearl necklace cleverly nestled between the lethal weaponry littered across this table. If this is some kind of outdoor action FPS for 1-4 players (three stars), then I'm not sure why this is named after the most annoying, non-interactive part of any shooter.

19. NBA Live 16

One of two things is happening here. Either some prankster with courtside seats hurled a giant grey medicine ball (branded with the EA Sports logo) at Russell Westbrook as he was trotting past, and this photo captures the precise moment that he's screaming in pain after the unexpected projectile pegged him in the stomach/groin. Or, Westbrook - like so many sports game cover athletes before him - is yelling at the top of his lungs to help focus his ki and transform into a Super Saiyan.

18. Fairy Kingdom

This fella's proportions make him appear so young, yet that five-o'-clock shadow says otherwise. He also seems remarkably calm about the sky behind him opening up into a dark rift of evil incarnate - or perhaps he already knows what madness awaits this kingdom, judging by the lobotomized expression on his face and the lifelessness of his hollow stare.

17. Weather Lord: Following the Princess - Collector's Edition

Hold on a second: what's with the little fairy up in the corner? Did she get lost on her way to the Fairy Kingdom cover? Why is the background nothing more than a Windows 95 screensaver? And why does that goblin king in the foreground look like he just walked in on an extramarital affair?

Maxwell McGee
Maxwell grew up on a sleepy creekbank deep in the South. His love for video games has taken him all the way to the West Coast and beyond.