Sunday, January 22, 2012

Famicom Box Art Battle: Twin Bee vs. Ice Climber

I have to say that Twin Bee and Ice Climber are two of my favorite Famicom game boxes.

The designs that Nintendo and Konami used on these early box arts are almost identical, which is a fact I find kind of interesting. They are of the same size, the artwork takes up almost the same amount of space and is in the same position on the front of the box, and the name of the game and the company name are also located in the same position.

The only real difference is that Konami made theirs orange while Nintendo made theirs gray. I`m not sure if this was due to a lack of originality on Konami`s part or just coincidence. It really seems like they just took the Nintendo design as a model for their game boxes and somebody in management said `OK, just be sure to write Konami on it and make it......oh what the hell, orange.`

I`m not sure which of these I like better. Twin Bee benefits from the strong contrast between the orange border and the blue sky in the artwork. One of the things (in fact the only thing) I remember from my high school art class is that the combination of orange and blue are supposed to be the most eye-catching mix of colors. That is why so many advertisements feature that color scheme. So Twin Bee has that going for it.

On the other hand, even though gray is generally a pretty boring color, it does seem to work quite well on the Ice Climber box. It is almost completely unnoticable when you look at it. All the viewer`s attention is focused on the artwork itself, which accentuates that most important of features. Whereas the orange of the Twin Bee box distracts, the gray of the Ice Climber box just fades into the background. We are thus left to evaluate it based mainly on the artwork itself, which I rather like. I`m not too sure why....I think it is the polar bear with the shades.


  1. Well, you know how much I love Ice Climber's box art, but in this case I'm actually going to go with ... Twin Bee! I really love that box art. In fact, I don't even like the game much (I love later entries in the series, but I don't much like the Fami/NES version), but the box art is really eye-catching. I especially like the colors and the kind of skewed perspective used in the design.

  2. Wow, I would have thought for sure that you would have gone with Ice Climber given your recent conversion to liking that game;)

    I do agree though, the picture on the Twin Bee box really does look great.

    I actually like Twin Bee on the Famicom though. It is one of the few shooting games on the Famicom that allow cooperative 2 player, which I really like.

  3. Don't get me wrong, Sean, I looooove the Ice Climber box art. I just like the Twin Bee box art a little more :) I think it's the combination of the blue and orange and pink. Also, it features flying strawberries and knives! You can't go wrong with that combination, IMO. As for liking/disliking the actual game: Well, maybe I'll give it another try. I've always thought of it as too antiquated for its own good, but maybe I'm being too harsh. I'll try it again and report back :)

  4. Yes, I love the flying knives and strawberries too. It is quite a surreal picture actually. Perhaps Salvador Dali or someone was commissioned by Konami for that cover?

  5. Nice comparison sir! I think I also prefer the Ice Climber box. The artwork on both is nice but, like you say, the orange is a bit too bright for me... :)

  6. THanks Simon, the orange is a tad bright, is it not? :)