Cracked Columnists

The 16 Most Wildly Misleading Video Game Covers Ever

#8. Gauntlet

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Fuck. Yes. This looks like every 1980s barbarian movie condensed into a single convenient package. There's an old guy doing a Jamiroquai dance and an ax-wielding flex warrior pointing the way to fun.

Actual Gameplay:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

... maybe he was pointing to a different game somewhere behind you.

#7. Raid 2020

Wisdom Tree

Raid 2020 appears to be about a cybernetic future spy putting all of his skills in subterfuge and information gathering to the test in order to bring down whatever shadowy organization is sponsoring the aluminum roach droid currently trying to steal his wallet.

Actual Gameplay:

Wisdom Tree

Nothing says "stealth espionage" like leaping 12 feet into the air on a commercial pier in broad daylight. I'm unclear where the "multi-terrained action" comes into play, but at least the enemy in the lower left hand corner is trying really hard to be racist.

#6. Mendel Palace

Konami

This looks like a car wash at David Bowie's house.

Actual Gameplay:

Konami

Or, it's a tile-flipping puzzle game. I guess that makes sense, if you bought this game to spitefully confuse your children after they told you they wanted Labyrinth for Christmas.

#5. Life Force

Konami

Based on this illustration, Life Force appears to be about galaxy-swallowing flame cobras. Also, the snake's body appears to either be mostly invisible or somehow uncoiling in the opposite direction.

Actual Gameplay:

Konami

I guess the lesson we've learned today is that if a game has indecipherable cover art, it is probably a spaceship game.

#4. Adventures of Lolo

HAL Laboratory

Lolo himself looks pretty kid-friendly, but holy shit, look at that lightning. And he's clearly leaping away from a castle-shattering explosion, clutching what we can only assume to be the Key of Destiny.

Actual Gameplay:

HAL Laboratory

There's somewhat less action going on here.

#3. The Uncanny X-Men

Marvel Entertainment

Making a video game about the Uncanny X-Men should be easier than finding a Nicolas Cage movie at Redbox. They're the X-Men, we already know they're cool. Just allow us to take command of them and blow up some robots or something, it doesn't matter.

Actual Gameplay:

Marvel Entertainment

Or, you could paint a handful of featureless blobs in vague X-Men colors and have them goose-step their way through a bunch of ugly mazes designed with the same flare of inspiration as the driving test course behind the DMV. This game might as well just be a black screen that says "SANTA CLAUS ISN'T REAL AND YOUR PARENTS ARE GETTING DIVORCED" in giant block letters.

#2. Mega Man

Capcom

Judging from what we see here, Mega Man looks like Logan's Run, if Logan were being chased through the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. And Part 2 seems to be about a futuristic zookeeper tasked with artificially inseminating a series of mythological creatures with his gleaming chrome sperm cannon.

Actual Gameplay:

Capcom

Evidently, Capcom hired Rush's album artist to create the covers for Mega Man 1 and 2, with the sole stipulation that he cannot have played either game beforehand.

#1. Pirates

Konami

Without hyperbole, this cover art is so amazing, it will challenge the way you feel about the decisions you've made in your life, because none of them will ever compare to the epic motherfucking pirate adventure waiting for you inside that box. I want to play the game right now, just looking at it.

Actual Gameplay:

Konami

Until I remember that the actual game is two to three hours of this, peppered with the occasional swordfight against your exact double:

Konami

The most accurate part of the cover art is the skeleton lying mournfully in front of the treasure chest -- that pirate was really excited about that box of gold until he actually got to open it up. Then he just sprawled out on the ground and died of disappointed boredom.


Despite what his photograph may suggest, Tom is actually a budget-priced bowling simulator. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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