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|Manufacturer:||Games by Apollo|
|Rating:||1.5 out of 5|
Lost Luggage is an interesting game on several levels. Not many games involving planes and/or airports focus on the dreaded baggage carousel. This devolves the flight-sim genre right down to the base.
Air travel has become so awful lately, that we all try to avoid checking baggage for a variety of reasons - but not because the carousel hurls suitcases randomly onto the floor.
All too often reviews of Lost Luggage label it a clone or rip-off of Activision's Kaboom, released the prior year. While there are similarities, it's clearly not a rip-off of Kaboom. Kaboom uses paddle controllers which don't allow for the vertical movement found in Lost Luggage via joysticks. Kaboom has a bit of a depth effect by nature of the 3 stacked buckets. Lost Luggage has a unique 2-player co-play option where Kaboom alternates player's turns. It's similar, but not a clone!
Airplanes land in the background as you attempt to retrieve your luggage from the airport carousel. It suddenly goes amok throwing suitcases which you try to catch using the Joystick Controller. If you fail to catch the luggage, it will burst open, spilling out your unmentionables. As the game advances, the torrent of suitcases descending upon you increases.
This one or two player game offers 6 variations and begins at one of the most frustrating places in any airport - the baggage claim. We stand there motionless and exhausted waiting for our suitcases to appear... hoping they appear. Seldom are airports so efficient in delivering baggage that we find suitcases flying off the carousel in all directions, but that's the fun of video games... perhaps.
You begin with 3 lives - represented by suitcases. As luggage flies off the carousel you must catch it or you'll lose one of your lives (suitcases). The ability to move up the screen, closer to the carousel, gives a bit of an advantage since all the luggage emanates from the center. You can increase your challenge by staying at the bottom of the screen where you'll need to traverse the full screen width to grab the bags.
I love the runway in the background that visually shows the next plane landing as it's engines roar, signaling another wave of luggage is heading your way!
I'd like this game a lot more if I could dial in just the right amount of difficulty. Like many games in this era, it begins gently making you think it's far too easy. As the game progresses, the difficulty increases. Lost Luggage doesn't ease into difficulty - it seems to become ridiculously hard in an instant.
The two player option lets players trade off between catching suitcases and directing them. While your opponent races around trying to catch the luggage, you can control the direction the suitcases fly from the carousel. This unique co-play alternates with each wave. To spice it up more you can select the Terrorist suitcase option. A black suitcase will appear and if it hits the ground, the game ends! It's interesting to have the Terrorist option in a game from 1982 juxtaposed with today's threat of terrorism.
The difficulty switches control how many men you have catching suitcases. The "B" position you have 2 men catching suitcases which increases your odds. The "A" position is harder with only one man. If a suitcase is missed, it bursts open and it's contents go flying. There's a bit of humor injected here as bras and underwear cascade out among other clothing items.
I feel the low ratings and comparison to Kaboom come from the odd premise of the game. Even on the worst travel days, baggage gets lost, not flung wildly around the baggage claim area. The title is lost luggage, but it doesn't mesh with the game play. There's a hack of this game called, Bioresearch Station 2084. A few sprites are changed and suddenly the game becomes robots trying to collect containment pods that store various specimens. If a pod is dropped it bursts open releasing potentially hazardous contagions.
The biohazard angle probably would have gone over better with players and I'll bet the Kaboom comparisons would have been ignored. I enjoy this game as much as Kaboom, even though many folks praise Kaboom. I grow tired of both games in equal doses. I wouldn't laud one over the other. Give Lost Luggage a try and see if you don't find it a different experience from Kaboom.
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