This topic from the 2015 RPGaDay event at first seemed kind of shallow to me, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that images do carry a lot of weight for me when it comes to RPGs. In fact, I liked it enough that I think it's a subject worth coming back to on a weekly basis at least. First up: Gamma World
|Gamma World - 1st Edition|
My thinking is that the cover of a role-playing game should demonstrate what the game is about. This cover does that in a very strong way. Plus I'm a sucker for the ruined modern city, so it gets bonus points for that.I'm sure my thing for tech-ruins was driven by everything from the Planet of the Apes movies to Logan's Run to some episodes of Star Trek, so the visuals play a strong role here. Quite a bit of the focus of Gamma World is on scrounging through ruined cities and buildings looking for high tech gear. I know it's not a particularly modern-looking picture, but when this game was new (circa 1978) it looked pretty good and made a strong impression on me when I first saw it.
Now the interior illustrations are not as evocative as the cover but that is a very strong cover in my opinion and it sold me on the game before I cracked open the box. The picture of the Hoops above does seem to have struck a cord with some people and it does capture some of the feel of Gamma World beyond the "ruined cities and lasers" vibe of the cover.
I've talked about the actual game in other posts (here and here) so I won't repeat all of that but we had a lot of fun with it over a long period of time. I spent a lot more time playing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition but my interest started with 1st edition and that wonderful cover picture.