Why the right name and cover for a game is vital

I believe I’ve found what is possibly the worst name and book cover for an RPG I’ve ever come across.

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Atlantis: The Second Age (First Edition)

Doesn’t look so terrible? You probably think you’ve seen far uglier things before. But this isn’t about beauty, but appropriateness. The game is called Atlantis: The Second Age. What does that make think you off? A utopian society from the Golden Age of Greek mythology where people were enlightened and lived in pleasure and luxury? And look at the cover art. This women decked out in jewelry and in the background a map of a precisely geometrically constructed city with parks and palaces.

But why is this so terrible? Think about the assumptions you make what this game is like and how it plays? It certainly does not say action-packed Sword & Sorcery based entirely around mechanics that encourage and reward the players for outragous stunts and hot-blodded carnage, where your characters grow in power based on the awesomeness of their heroic deeds. A world where you can play as a hyper-intelligent gorilla with guns? But that’s what you actually get once you make it behind this cover and take a look at what’s inside.

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Atlantis: The Second Age (Second Edition)

The recently released second edition still carries over the legacy of this unfortunately boring name, but look at the cover! This is awesome! So much more better than the first edition that was the incarnation of boring. This one captures perfectly what this game is all about. Being a total badass slaying legendary monsters and adding their feared reputation to your own glory.

I quite like Barbarians of Lemuria as a lightweight Sword & Sorcery game. And while Atlantis is significantly rules heavier (though still quite moderate), there is so much more flavor and incentive to actually play an over the top Sword & Sorcery hero.

And let my say it again: Hyper-intelligent gorillas. With guns!

2 thoughts on “Why the right name and cover for a game is vital”

  1. You are quite right that first cover is painful and the woman’s glassy doll eye and odd smirk doesn’t help.

    As for the books name….I kinda like it.

    Leaves it open for a books called ATLANTIS: the First Age

    1. I have quite a problem with CG art in general. It always looks cheap and lifeless. I guess the name itself is not that much of an issue. Combined with the old cover it sounds rather lame. But with the new cover, which I absolutely love, you instead get to wonder how Atlantis and monster slaying is fitting together. It’s most certainly not something about a golden age of philosophy and culture.

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