LadyMarble Posts: 6 Registered: 3/16/2023
# 1 - Posted on 5/23/2023 2:54:02

With the online world allowing us to watch trailers, read descriptions and view playthroughs of games, I feel that going to physical game stores completely blind, unsure of what you're looking for, is less and less likely.

However, thinking back to the days before we researched games we're interested in, I want to know: How does a game's cover affect your interest in it?

Perhaps we should never judge a game by its cover (let's face it, some games have terrible box art) but when you're in a game store, hundreds of games lined up before you, which one do you pick up? The one with the cool title? The cute anime girl? The silly mascot character? No picture at all just the title?

Please let me know! I'm interested to read everyone's responses.

dhobo Curator Backer Posts: 1951 Registered: 1/5/2015
# 2 - Posted on 5/23/2023 16:58:32

Even before the internet got as prevalent as it did, there were magazines before that. Nintendo Power, Game Pro, Game Informer, etc... I used these extensively to research the heck out of any purchases I made.
Since I could only afford maybe 1-2 games a year at most and had to travel 4-5 hours out of town to the nearest game selling store, I would never even imagine the possibility of just going in to shop and run the risk of picking up an absolute stinker on a spur of the moment decision.

That said though, there was a situation where game covers would factor in, and that was with game rentals, when those were still a thing.

Games with utterly boring/ugly covers tended to get ignored, one of the main reasons I spent zero time with the Sega Master System, those games looked awful on shelves when compared to the rest.
Pure text on a cover tended to also be a death sentence for that game's chances of being rented unless I was really bored and had gone through most of the remaining selection already. Without any prior knowledge, something like Metal Gear Solid would have been pretty bad at grabbing my attention in those days.

Oddly enough, games with "weird" covers grabbed my attention more than anything else. Probably one of the reasons one of my earlier rentals was Phalanx for the SNES.

LadyMarble Posts: 6 Registered: 3/16/2023
# 3 - Posted on 5/24/2023 7:49:37

Thank you for your response!

I didn't consider magazines! I also used to get the Nintendo and PlayStation magazines when I was young. The reviews weren't always worth reading but the screenshots that showed more of the game than just the one or two on the box were worth seeing if I had an interest in a particular game. Reading those was also great for finding new games you hadn't heard of before or might have otherwise ignored. And the PlayStation Magazine used to come with demo discs with about ten demos on them! I still have some because you would sometimes get indie Net Yaroze games on them that I can't find anywhere else.

A four hour trip to the nearest game store sounds like hell. I understand why you were so prepared when you went to the game store! I was lucky enough that we had about four different stores in my local town when I was a kid (late 90s to early 00s). Ironically, now I'm almost 30, every single one of those game stores has closed down (two were independent and two were chains) and my nearest one is about an hour's drive away. That's the cost of online shopping, I suppose.

Personally, I look for an attractive cover when browsing games. If it has characters on the cover, the art style and attractiveness of the characters are important. Saying that, the game title is also something I consider as that gives me a first impression about what the game is about and impacts if I bother reading the back of the box or moving on.

SnowWulF Curator Posts: 47 Registered: 12/21/2022
# 4 - Posted on 5/24/2023 9:18:36

I never had money when I was young, so my place in the store was always the cheap game Isle. (Called Spiele Pyramide (Games Pyramid) in german.) Games must have either a real cool looking cover with characters posing and stuff happening in the background (Spyro) or it must be really artsy. (Like Metal Gear Solid)
If there are to many cool items I would check the backside to form my final verdict.

Also an instant grab would be a game I have already seen and liked at one of my friends places.