View Full Version : Commentary on classic video game cover art

02-28-2011, 02:10 AM
Since I already wrote this article weeks or months ago and sort of forgot about it, I can post it here without really hurting my fingers. There’s no opening or closing text but the idea is that I’m riffing the the more poorly drawn, misrepresentative, or downright bizarre covers for Atari 2600 video games. I actually like some of these covers and there are any number I’m not showing which contain positively breathtaking artwork; this is just for s-words and giggles. I hope you enjoy and see you in early April, God willing.

32-In-1: Okay, seriously, did they just rip a page out of a coloring book?

Acid Drop: No comment necessary.

Airlock: I think they got the cover of this one mixed up somehow with that of Tron Deadly Discs. I mean, doesn’t this image just spring to mind immediately when you imagine a game about a sailor trying to escape a flooding submarine? (You know, it kind of reminds me of another terrible video game cover we've discussed before....)

Amidar: I don’t know what’s going here but leave me out of it!

Bank Heist: I never thought I’d live to see Robert Blake dressing in drag and robbing a bank. Then again, we are talking about Robert Blake here….

Basic Math: Good freaking heavens…It’s like Yellow Submarine vomited all over Reading Rainbow!

Centipede: Funny, I don’t recall the arcade game version featuring a caped midget blowing a flaming airhorn. But in all fairness, most games are sorely lacking in caped midgets blowing flaming airhorns.

Challenge: Many shubs and zuuls know what it is to be roasted in the depths of a slor, I can tell you.

Communist Mutants from Space: Damo arigato!

Cosmic Commuter: Hey wait! Come back!...I was gonna make espresso!

Cruise Missile: Okay, I’m only kidding around with most of these but this one is just terrible. Is this the cover of a video game 50’s book of the month club novel?

Desert Falcon: I am certain that this is the only occasion in my whole life when I’ll get to utter a sentence about The Sphinx vomiting kites at giant green birds. Sentence uttered.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: A game so infamously awful that even the characters on the box look afraid to play it.

Frankenstein’s Monster: Okay, Zombie David Coverdale is not exactly what I have in mind when I picture the Frankenstein monster.

Freeway: It’s nice and all, but it still doesn’t exactly answer the question, does it?

Holey Moley: Okay, somebody give this little girl some SERIOUS psychological counseling PRONTO!

Mein Weg: Don’t worry, sweetie, we’re just as confused as you.

Millipede: What is it with the caped midgets already???

Miner 2049er: Tell me you’re not deeply, deeply disturbed by the look the donkey is giving that guy.

Name This Game: Okay, I hereby dub it Guy Poking Octopus with Stick. Not a very good name, perhaps, but dang it I don’t see them putting any effort into it!

Nightmare: Well they’ve certainly managed to get me on the hero’s side, because any bad guy who lives in such a goofy-looking evil fortress should be taken down just on general principles!

Party Mix: So the cover art for the game is of a bunch of sinister-looking roasted peanuts playing the game. Okaaaay…I guess that works….?

Power Off!: Hurry or the Space Invader will catch the men’s room logo!

Revenge of the Beefsteak Tomatoes: Words fail me.

SCSIcide: This is a video game, not a Poptart!

Sky Patrol: Years and years before there even was such a thing and still it looks Photoshopped!

Spider: Why don’t you just place the spider web on the frickin’ moon while you’re at it?

Spider Maze: Football, Tron-like cities, griffins, unicycling clowns in blackface, anime G.I. Joe figures, Genghis Khan riding an airplane from its roof, a canyon built out of Mahatma Gandhi’s corpse, and it’s called “Spider Maze”…Now I just gotta find out what this game is about!

Star Strike: You’re clear, kid! Now let’s blow this thing and go home!

Tax Avoiders: That’s one for you, nineteen for me.


Up N’ Down: You wanna know what I was talking about when I ranted about the roads in Hawaii? Take a look.

Video Checkers: "Okay, here’s the lowdown, folks: we can’t convince either Mark Hamill or Mike Myers to pose for a cover in clothes this ridiculous so let’s just get the best lookalikes we can find. No one will know the difference."

Video Olympics: Well let’s see you come up with an honest cover for a game that’s really just a bunch of variations on pong and make it look interesting!

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