While many gamers do their browsing and shopping online, some of us do still browse the shelves of our local game stores. And even on BGG, a great piece of box art can grab attention and prompt further research into a previously unknown title. Each of the following games are stunning to look at on the shelf, and are sure to catch a passerby’s eye during play; there aren’t any frowning white men holding maps here.
#5 – Quartz
Vibrant colour, distinctive art style, and effective use of spot gloss combined tend to be a recipe for success, as exemplified by Luis Francicso’s art for Quartz. The rich purpley-blue background stands out on my shelves and that satisfied dwarf holding a giant shiny diamond out of the frame on the front just makes me smile everytime I see him in my game room.
#4 – StarFall
Ian O’Toole’s cover work on StarFall is stunning – minimalist at first glance but with a number of details on further inspection, the box art brings to mind old maps of the heavens while remaining modern. Even the company logos on the front are incorporated into the design, and while I’d still prefer they weren’t there, I don’t find them as glaring as I do on other covers. The scattering of spot gloss stars across the cover that become visible only when the light hits them are just the final perfect touch for the front of this constellation forming game.
#3 – The Gallerist
This is an eye-catching game, and not just because of the size of the box. With the box cover designed to look like a partially-wrapped work of art, Ian O’Toole was able to use bold vibrant colour worthy of a game about buying art, while still keeping areas of text clear and legible. For a while I kept this one propped up on top of my shelves, not in small part due to how good it looked.
#2 – Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
Plaid Hat Games knew exactly what they were doing when it came to the cover of Ashes. The various phoenixborn and their familiars are combined by Fernanda Suarez into a stunning phoenix design on a stark white background, and her art on this box cover is guaranteed to catch your eye, whether on a shelf, stacked in a convention booth, or on a table. It’s a beautiful piece, and one I could easily see being displayed as a poster or on a playmat.
#1 – Abyss
This game featured 5 different box covers, prompting confusion for pre-orders as many people weren’t sure if they were going to be able to get the one they wanted. I don’t know that anyone actually collected the set, but all of the options were breath-taking, featuring close up portraits up characters found on cards in the game. Xavier Collette’s art for the game is stunning, and having the cover being turned over to just that amazing art, with all text and logos, including the title of the game, being relegated to the sides and back of the box, made sure it remained the focus and made this game stand out.