The Game: Before the TSA, there was… a little pixellated stick man on your Atari. Using the joysticks, your job is to direct this hapless less line of airport defense to catch every piece of luggage before it hits the sides or bottom of the screen. Failure to do so will result in the contents of the luggage spilling out across the floor; on some difficulty settings, black suitcases appear containing explosives that’ll detonate if that case isn’t caught. As soon as the area is successfully cleared of luggage, there’s a moment to catch your breath before the next plane lands and the process begins again. (Games By Apollo, 1982)
Memories: As funny as the game’s programmer thought it’d be to stick bombs in his pixellated suitcases on certain settings, Lost Luggage is one of those games that means something completely different now than it did at the time of release. But unintentionally prophetic dark humor or not, it’s one of the better catch-everything-or-else games on the VCS.
Lost Luggage also marks Games By Apollo starting to take its place as a purveyor of third-party games that, if not blazingly original, then at least original twists on established genres. If there’s a drawback to Lost Luggage‘s humorous twist on the basic formula of Avalanche, it’s that we’d already recently had a humorous twist on that formula in Activision‘s Kaboom!.
Hey, maybe that game’s Mad Bomber planted his handiwork in all those black suitcases. That’s it. It’s a sequel. (Yeah, that’s the ticket.)
Full of funny little audiovisual touches (the alarm light on the luggage carousel, suitcases splitting open and depositing identifiable articles of underwear all over the place), Lost Luggage is both fun and funny.