Over on Twitter, Borderlands' Mikey Neumann threw out a challenge to his followers. In short, he wanted to see some terrible video game box art, and they absolutely delivered.
First a quick rundown of the ground rules. Neumann wanted folks to post pictures of what they believed was some of the worst video game box art on the planet. The extra wrinkle was that he didn't want to see the Mega Man image posted above, or the covers for games like Phalanx and Forsaken. He stated that we needed "new ruination," as just about every worst-of list on the internet featuring bad video game art includes that trilogy.
While I'd question the taste of some of his followers (some submissions were actually known for being fantastic box art), they otherwise delivered the goods. Here's a rundown of some of our favorites.
First up is this absolutely horrible image for a game called _X-Man _(No, not him.). This odd bit of video game trivia has apparently sailed under my radar all of these years, but based on the image, I have no desire to correct that error. It looks like our protagonist is turned on by a beautiful woman and must run through a maze, avoiding things like scissors and crabs that might try to fulfill the game's namesake. Good lord, this actually exists?
Next up is Sewer Shark, a game from Sega that boasts box art featuring a deranged looking man in a helmet that says "Ghost" across the forehead. None of these things seem to be related, which makes me even more curious as to what, exactly, this game was about.
I love to hate this one because of its simplicity. The game is Black Belt, for the Mega Cartridge. Apparently the best way to get across the fact that this game is about rad karate action was to have the world's smallest foot dangling out of the bottom left corner of the box.
Finally, we have Bust-A-Move 2, boasting an image of a guy forcing his eyes to stay open with a pair of pencils. The idea here is that you're so enthralled in the game that you can't take your eyes off of the screen for a second. Instead, it makes a light and colorful puzzle game appear to be the latest entry from the Silent Hill series.
The best thig about bad game art is that several people had to approve it. Multiple folks looked at these images and said, "Yep, that's a winner."