How many times have I become smitten with a game simply because of its beautiful cover art--before I had much of a clue as to how it played or even how it looked?
I'm not all that sure I want to know the exact number, actually, although I'm guessing the answer could be summed up with "a few too many times."
Regardless, that certainly was what happened with Konami's Moai Kun. I mean, it's definitely possible I heard about this Famicom puzzler-platformer before I first came across--and fell in love with--its box art, but whatever I heard wasn't enough to spur me to look it up or attempt to play it via emulation.
As soon as I laid eyes on its adorably energetic cover imagery, I just knew I had to give it a go in some form or fashion. The only problem with that plan was complete-in-box copies of it can be both hard to find and expensive.
So, I bided my time and waited until I happened upon a copy that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg. That copy--picked up earlier this year--can be seen in the pair of photos included in this post.
Honestly, I'm not sure which side of Moai Kun's box I like more--the front or the back. The front is where all the drama takes place, of course, but the back impresses as well by featuring adorable depictions of the game's monolithic protagonist, one of which is shown saying, "I'm hero."
Thankfully, in the end, this pick-up was about more than acquiring a wonderful example of Famicom cover art, as the game itself is nearly as worthwhile as its packaging. If you've yet to experience it, it's a puzzle-centric platformer that plays not unlike a sideview version of HAL Laboratory's classic Adventures of Lolo series.
In practice, that involves the statuesque title character (controlled by the player) rescuing his similarly stone-faced buddies by hopping onto, and off of, platforms, pushing boulders, busting blocks and even head-butting baddies à la PC Genjin (aka Bonk's Adventure) before bounding through the exit door and moving onto the next single-screen stage.
Admittedly, Moai Kun isn't exactly a looker, but it gets the job done aesthetically and that's all that really matters in a game like this.
See also: "A few photos (and words) that hopefully showcase why I consider Yume Penguin Monogatari to be my second-favorite example of Famicom box art"