I’m a sucker for cover art.
I think it does great things for the works it represents. A book cover, a CD cover, a film cover: these are things that are always attached to that particular piece. They go along in libraries, physical stores, online stores, et cetera.
And so, I decided to browse the IF world of entries in 2010 and pick a bunch of them to call good, bad and ugly.
Disclaimer: these are obviously personal choices, and there isn’t a correlation between my opinion on the covers and my opinion on the games themselves, some of which I haven’t even played.
Top of the Pops
My favorites, with no particular order.
Leadlight, by Wade Clarke
Leadlight‘s overall artwork is beautiful. The illustrations are strong and well crafted. On the other hand, I think the cover, as a whole, could (should?) work better. The lettering drags the illustrations behind a bit.
Leadlight’s website, with more illustrations.
Leadlight @ IFDB.
Divis Mortis, by Lynnea Dally
A simple thing, a clean thing, yet pleasing and functional.
The lettering is a weak spot, I believe, but overall Lynnea threw a cover that gives me that eerie feeling without throwing my eyes into one of those zombie-apocalypse-gore-fest-cliché posters.
Divis Mortis @ IFDB
The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game, by Taylor Vaughan
So what if The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game won’t be in Good Examples in Design magazine? I truly love it. I think it is my second favorite cover for 2010, along with one of my favorite titles for 2010. Marx get’s a prize. Ain’t that ironic…
Glorious Revolutionary @ IFDB
Allein mit Kai, by Ingo Scharmann and Joana Markus
The kid’s expression takes it all in. I believe those eyes alone won this cover a nomination for Best Supplemental Materials, in 2010 Xyzzy awards. The lettering of the title, on the other hand, almost ruins it all. I tried to find out who made it (the photo and the cover design), but to no avail.
Allein mit Kai @ IFDB
Blind House, by Amanda Allen
I love this one, I truly do. I don’t particularly like the pose of the lady in the back, who I think off-balances the overall thing, but those textures, those scratches, hell!, even the lettering, it all leaves me with that feeling I’m looking at something I’m not supposed to.
The Blind House @ IFDB
Das Spiel, zuvor bekannt als Verborgener Nazi-Modus, by Victor Gijsbers
A cute clay bunny and “Nazi” in the title? Of course I’m gonna check it out! I found out this game was an experiment by the author on close VS open source ethics in games. You can read about it in an English essay Gijsbers has on his site. But my focus here is the cover art - which is, to my brain’s little eye, the best 2010 cover.
Verborgener Nazi-Modus Official Website
Verborgener Nazi-Modus @ IFDB
The ones I almost liked, but that were ruined by this or that.
Drama Queen 7 – Mother knows best, by HermDog
The photo is awsome, the framing is top notch, the connection with the title is funny, et cetera. But that lettering, for some reason, threw the ball out. It’s not the pink; the pink works; it’s the… the… hell, I can’t put my finger in it, but it just ruins it for me.
Drama Queen @ IFDB
Closed Circles, M. M. Kathrel
At first glace, I threw this one at the Top of the Pops list. The picture is smooth, the placement of the title was elegant, it seems like a indie-band CD cover. But upon enlargement… well, it killed it.
Closed Circles @ IFDB
Absturzmomente, by Jörg Rosenbauer
Now, there are many things here that I like, like the simple, yet strong illustration, and the texture. But the heavy use on that golden glow tracing the lines was much too… glowing for me. This is the cover that I’m most sad about throwing here.
Absturzmomente @ IFBD
Help! My Retina is Bleeding!
Heavy use on colors and special effects. Headaches of violence follow.
Cryptozookeeper, by Rob Sherwin
So this one won’t win me any friends, I’m afraid, but it’s not just the cover: I couldn’t even play the darn game! It’s like a peacock on steroids. Photoshopped to hell with all kinds of effects and saturation I dislike.
Cryptozookeeper @ IFDB
The Cube, by Eleanor Gang and Simon Smart
A cube with three colors? The primary ones? A blurred infinite on top? The light of the Universe shining in a good-ol’-ugly-photoshopped-white-flare way? Yes, the title for this section came from this cover alone. But you can’t blame me, can you?
The Cube @ IFDB
The Argument, by Harvey Smith
Ok, so it’s a depression inducing game (or a game induced by depression), and so we have a dark, depressing cover.
I can live with that.
The Argument @ IFDB
A Quiet Evening at Home, by Anonymous
So, who is going to win this personal “Take My Eyes Out and Jump on Them” competition of mine? This little baby. This is it: the worst cover for 2010. So bad I can only guess it was on purpose. Click on the picture to enjoy it in full 1000 pixel loveliness – I dare you.
Quiet Evening @ IFDB
The Amazing “What the hell?!” Section
These are covers I had to check twice; although I don’t really know why.
And that’s a wrap. Feel free to insult my choices or to share yours. It’s fine either way.