The Misleading World Of Atari 2600 Box Art from RunDLC.com

Cos

I thoroughly enjoy finding things from either the 80’s or 90’s that I know I either had, played with, or just flat out knew about. This article from RunDLC.com (which I posted an article about previously: Capcom And The Disney Afternoon by Chris Buffa) and they have some great posts. This one, “The Misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art” was really great. I remember seeing these boxes, I think it even crossed over into Nintendo games, where the box art drew you into buying the game only to have mediocre, if not aweful, graphics.

My example from Nintendo would be Contra:

File:Contra cover.jpg

which just looking at the cover looks like the meshed Alien with an Arnold Schwarzenegger looking guy and a Hispanic looking Rambo.

And this is what you got as a game:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5a/MSX2_Contra_screenshot.png

Anyway, The misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art has multiple links (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) so I picked the best out of the bunch and allowed you the links to view the whole things themselves.

My personal favorite is the 3D Tic Tac Toe image. There are so many early video game box covers that I can think of that these all remind me of. Ah…they don’t make things like this anymore…

from RunDLC.com:

Asteroids

What customers saw…a star fighter charging through a dangerous asteroid field.

What customers received…a bunch of flat blobs and a boring ship.


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Combat

What customers saw…World War friggin’ 3.

What customers received…a bunch of mazes with slow moving tanks and planes.


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Outlaw

What customers saw…the meanest hombres in the Wild West. Clint Eastwood, eat your heart out.

What customers received…two dudes (at least we think they’re dudes) hiding behind a cactus.

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3-D Tic-Tac-Toe

What customers saw…some kid wearing a space suit matching Xs and Os with a funky looking robot.

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe
Whatever this artist smoked before drawing this image, we want some.

What customers received…a series of lame grids in front of a bland background. We’ll stick to pen and paper Tic-Tac-Toe, thanks.

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe
What!? Where’s the robot? Lame.

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Night Driver

What customers saw…Gran Turismo 5 before Gran Turismo 5 existed.

Night Driver
Take THAT, Polyphony Digital.

What customers received…a racecar/spaceship/speed boat/whatever that is zipping through a bunch of cones.

Night Driver
Where we’re going…we don’t need roads.

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Air-Sea Battle

What customers saw…missiles, bombs, nuclear subs, battleships and some guy with a rifle. In other words, the coolest war ever.

Air-Sea Battle
We’d gladly enlist to fight in this digital war.

What customers received…planes in the air, phallic wiener cannons on the ground.

Air-Sea Battle
Fire those wiener cannons!

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Centipede

What customers saw…a leprechaun squaring off against the cactus from Super Mario Bros. 2.

Centipede
No one will steal me pot of gold, not even a centipede!

What customers received…a rectangle that bears no resemblance to a leprechaun, and some fast moving blobs that stand in as bugs.

Centipede
This doesn’t even look like a game. Did someone break it?

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Star Raiders

What customers saw…some guy furiously blasting enemy ships while hurtling through space.

Star Raiders
Pull up! Pull up!

What customers received…a nearly blank screen and some lame targeting reticule.

Star Raiders

Wow…way to go from awesome cover art to lame looking shooter.

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