I like my Race for the Galaxy box ! All those premium-sleeved expansions take some space =)
if the game's mechanics are simpler and targeted at more mainstream gamers, though, it makes sense to reduce the box's size - reduces shelf presence, but the game's a lot less intimidating that way and more likely to be bought on impulse.
Though really, I think that style of space art on game covers tends to intimidate would-be gamers too; maybe it conveys a "cold, alone, and calculating" feeling. Especially as this one seems a bit... bland.
A cover akin to the Contact Specialist's illustration - or the Gathering Storm's cover, I really like that one - could feel a bit warmer, friendly and social.
Sort of. Journey's "Escape" album shows some sort of pod jumping AWAY from some kind of metal-shelled planet. But the planet is in the upper-right and the pod is in the lower-left, so the overall effect is similar.
Same artwork was on the Atari 2600 game cartridge. Now that was a very weird game...