I dread the day when all video games will only be available via digital distribution, and there will no longer be box art. But until then, I will continue to judge video games by their covers.
Without further ado, here are this week’s box art reviews…
Safe Cracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Challenge! (DS)
What’s on the Box: The front of a safe with a hand holding a piece of paper.
What’s Good: Simple, to the point, no clutter. It’s a safe.
What’s Bad: I haven’t had too much experience with safes in my life, but I thought they used numbers or keyholes, not letters. Also, the piece of paper that the hand is holding shows the parts of the alphabet it’s covering. I don’t understand how that’s supposed to help crack the safe?
Verdict: Fail. I’m more confused about cracking safes than ever… and it also made me realize how I have zero interest in safe-cracking.
What’s on the Box: A serene-looking woman stares at us while doing a yoga pose.
What’s Good: It says, “The first 100% yoga experience,” which is a good way to market it against Wii Fit. The flowery font and peaceful pastels remind me of a box of Yogi tea.
What’s Bad: The box also quotes the cover model, who is actually a model. It says, “Relax Body and Mind It’s So Easy! — Anja Rubik, Top Model.” First of all, where’s the punctuation? And I’m not sure “Top Model” is the best choice of words, as I immediately thought this woman was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model (she’s not). Maybe I don’t know my models very well, but still.
Verdict: Win. Meaning it doesn’t contain anything egregious enough to make me upset.
East India Company: Battle of Trafalgar (PC)
What’s on the Box: Two painted scenes, both of ships near docks, with one major close-up of some serious-looking bearded guy whose eyes are closed.
What’s Good: The painted scenes are well done, but…
What’s Bad: …they’re as exciting as the idea of a game where the objective is to ship cotton, silk and tea. Where’s the battle?
Verdict: Fail. The only battle I see here is me trying to pronounce “Trafalgar.”
Your Shape (PC, Wii)
What’s on the Box: Jenny McCarthy jumps in the air, alongside some text and the packed-in camera.
What’s Good: It’s easy to understand, and I get what’s going on.
What’s Bad: It’s kind of boring — just lots of yellow and words. Also, staring at this box for too long makes you wonder how Jenny McCarthy got in that position. It just seems… unnatural. I hope the game doesn’t ask me to do that.
Verdict: Win. The messaging is there, and Jenny McCarthy doesn’t look like a total Photoshop disaster.
Chronicles of Mystery: The Tree of Life (PC)
What’s on the Box: Two people in Renaissance masks stand in front of what looks like Venice, except for the random Egyptian pyramid in the background.
What’s Good: The cover is colorful and attention-getting.
What’s Bad: But really, what the hell is going on? Why is there a pyramid? Where’s the tree of life? I don’t even see a tree, except for maybe a stray branch or two that are hidden by the title of the game.
Verdict: Fail. A mystery indeed!
More on Time.com:
Other Box Art Reviews