People say to never read a book by its cover, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t pick a game because of its cover art. Whether it’s a super stylized art style pairing perfectly with a well-known series or a subtle hint towards the gameplay within, successful cover art makes us want to jump in. But what makes us remember the exact way the pieces were falling in the original Tetris cover? Why does the original Mortal Kombat dragon just work for the vibe of the game? We’re going to take a look at three of gaming’s most successful cover arts and see what makes them so great.
Shadow of the Colossus
To draw the art for a game like Shadow of the Colossus, one must first understand the subtle emotional struggle the player contends with for the entire duration of the game. It has a big emotional impact, yet fits perfectly into a fairly small storyline. This duality is perfectly achieved in both the original and remake cover art as Wander prepares to take down a foe that makes him look like an ant. We think the remake art does it just a little bit better as the colossus in question, Gaius, is turned away from Wander. It’s a striking image that effortlessly says a lot. Whenever the next installment from Team Ico arrives, we hope it delivers a cover half as good.
Wild Wild Riches
There are a lot of online casinos that offer a wealth of interesting cover art for their games, that’s part of why so many are drawn to play free slots. But one of the most notable has always been Wild Wild Riches: Luck of the Irish. It has everything you need to know about the game front and center in a wealth of eye-catching colors.
It also helps that much of the imagery is framed by a rainbow keeping the composition tight while still giving your eye plenty of space to explore and discover. This compact but full cover art mimics the gameplay in a lot of ways as the fast slot style action is always slowed down and appreciated by grandiose victory screens that burst with audio/visual goodness.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
With Symphony of the Night turning 25 this year, it’s only fitting that we shed some light on this absolute gem of a game. Not only does this Castlevania iteration have incredible cover art, but it has one of the best soundtracks in gaming.
However, what makes the cover great is similar to what makes the OST great. The more you’re exposed to it, the more you appreciate exactly what’s going on. On the cover, we see Alucard with a sword in hand and Dracula’s castle in the background silhouetted by a full moon. Bats flutter here and there throughout the composition, and candles in the foreground balance the darkness in the background. Cover artist Ayami Kojima’s style suits the elegant style of Dracula and company while still giving the impression of strength beneath that players find out during their Castlevania quests. It’s another example of teasing the story and gameplay while presenting a piece of jaw-dropping artwork that can be appreciated for years to come.
These are three of the best in our opinion, do you agree with our choices?