The Eastern Bloc. When they’re not showing the rest of the world how to do rainsoaked post-apocalyptica, they’re leading the way with battlefield minutiae. And when they’re not doing that, our Slavic friends are crafting the weirdest of worlds.
K-D Labs’ 1998 PC effort Vangers: One for the Road was indeed weird. I’ll let Mobygames describe what the blazes the scenario was:
You must drive your Mechos about and through the realms, fulfilling quests essentially in the name of curiosity; the more successful you are the more you discover about the world in which you live.
Specifically, you play a Lostie struggling within the World Chain to gain Dominance and knowledge under the concerned cynical eyes of your paternal wardens, the Eleepods. And so out you go racing in a Mecho, a Vanger warrior shuttling precious Phlegma, Nymbos, and Cirt from one forsaken corner of the realm to the next while gunning down the competition.
The box art itself? Much like the game, an enigmatic assemblage. Metal, chitin, lurid greens and slivers of scintillating red. The actual game feels quite far removed from the defined texture and tone of its box art, offering a strange digital plasticine topography in place of more traditional asset design. The insectoid construct dominating the centre of the piece does evoke Vangers’ microbiological ambience.
Certainly one of the more evasive of my favourite box arts, but like much from the Eastern Bloc, boxes are not often easy homes for efforts of the region. Vangers: One for the Road was an alien piece of work, and the above picture certainly states as much.