Yesterday, I posted a Pulp-o-mizer cover for Gamma World. It got me thinking about the 1st Edition Gamma World box cover art, and how it is reminds me of a Pulp magazine cover in presentation. Looking at it further, that evocative cover doesn't really present the contents or the setting of the rulebook inside the box.
The implied setting is a future Earth destroyed hundreds of years before by some terrorist group calling itself "The Apocalypse". It was an Earth that had energy weapons, robots, and other wondrous technological marvels. It always seemed to me that the designers of the game never really settled on a definite vision of the kinds of artifacts and time period in which Gamma World occurred. Whereas the 1st Edition Gamma World boxed set presented a far future Earth with sci-fi inspired artifacts, many later supplementary products would show art-work of humans and mutants using 20th-Century 'Stop'-signs as shields, or Parking-meters as clubs or using gun-powder weapons.
Really? You would think that in a world that had Mark V Blasters and
Flit Cars, the last thing you would see is a Stop Sign or a Parking
Meter. Such things would have been relegated to obsolescence long ago.
It's just that sort of thing that makes it hard to suspend your
disbelief. The designers kept introducing 20th Century imagery into a world that was supposed to be in the 24th Century.
Oh, I suppose those humans on the box cover could all be Pure Strain Humans who are so well organized enough that they want
to dress in matching uniforms and helmets. And they all just got so
lucky to have fully-functioning technological weapons and artifacts.
Maybe they are part of the Reconstructionists or Knights of Genetic
I think that would be much more fun than playing primitive screw-heads
wearing chain-mail armor, carrying Stop-sign shields, wearing their 'No Nukes' T-shirts and armed with their laser pistol. Or, I could be wrong.