Box Art Reviews: 'Guitar Hero: Metallica,' 'Gardening Mama,' More

Just because the game's good doesn't mean its box art is. See which boxes should get left on the shelf.


"Imagine: Family Doctor" (DS)

What the Box Tells Us: A young, female Doogie Howser-like prodigy uses her stethoscope. A little girl looks up at her and smiles lovingly. As if the scene wasn't cheerful enough, a rainbow bursts out of nowhere.

Pros: This may be the first Imagine cover I've seen without contorted limbs or odd facial expressions. It's simple, cheerful and for a gender-neutral occupation -- even a curmudgeon like me can't poke too much fun. Extra points for diversity, too.

Cons: One thing though... Pretty sure that teddy bear won't have a heartbeat.

Love It or Leave It: Love it.

"Backyard Baseball '10" (Wii)

What the Box Tells Us: Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz swings a bat alongside what looks like his in-game avatar on a baseball field.

Pros: Celebrities on the box should help pique consumer interest.

Cons: There's something creepy about the way Ortiz is Photoshopped onto the field. And that doesn't really look like a backyard (I was thinking more like "The Sandlot").

Love It or Leave It: Leave it.

"Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II" (PSP)

What the Box Tells Us: Fighter planes fly overhead. The title of the game has bullet holes in it and is surrounded by cracks.

Pros: Using a propeller for the letter "O" -- at least it's trying to be different.

Cons: The cracks just at the top seem oddly placed. Also why are there cracks in the sky? Are we supposed to be looking from the inside of a plane going towards them?

Love It or Leave It: Leave it.

"Guitar Hero: Metallica" (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)

What the Box Tells Us: The names of the game's "over 20 guest artists" cover the front of the box.

Pros: You know who the guest artists are, and most of them are just awesome.

Cons: But the box looks cluttered and all I see are a bunch of words (which allows for spelling errors). Plus, it's Metallica. Do you really need to tout any other bands? That's what the back of the box is for.

Love It or Leave It: Leave it.

"Gardening Mama" (DS)

What the Box Tells Us: A tiny female character, presumably "Mama," has stars in her eyes, clearly overjoyed with working in the garden. She's surrounded by lush vegetation.

Pros: Colorful, bright, symmetrical: this cover is eye candy.

Cons: The gardening tools are pointing right at her head. Kind of weird.

Love It or Leave It: Love it.