Those of you read closely might have noticed that yesterday's mention of the Bandai Airport Panic LCD Game included a coy "part I" in its title. That's because I had another early videogame with airport terrorists up my sleeve.
Activision gets the credit for being the first third-party developer, but Apollo followed shortly after, in 1981 (Imagic was also started in that year, by a second round of dissatisfied Atari developers).One of their games was Lost Luggage another Kaboom! clone, this one challenges the player to retrieve luggage from an an airport carousel. Three of the game variations offer the additional challenge of a "terrorist suitcase." The terrorist suitcase is always black, and looks different from the rest. Normally, you lose a life for every bag you miss. Three misses and the game is over. But if you miss the terrorist suitcase, the game is over immediately.
It's a simple but reasonably effective way to communicate the urgency of threat. If only the terrorists would all use distinctive, colour-coordinated suitcases...
Lost Luggage [Atari Age]