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ATARI BYTES


Remember those great Atari 2600 games? Sure, they were fun to play, but didn't you ever wonder why they needed to call a plumber to take out Donkey Kong? What exactly Yar was seeking revenge against? What the Defender was defending? What was making those robots so Beserk? Me too! ATARI BYTES is a game review podcast like no other. On this show, we take a BYTE (get it?) out of a classic Atari 2600 game and see if the story within the game BYTES (now do you get it?) us back.

Last feed update: Tuesday July 31st, 2018 11:32:03 AM

EPISODE 132: WORM WAR I

Sunday August 5th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Imagine slimy worms maneuvering blindly through the topsoil, pooping and plotting the demise of civilization. Not unlike this podcast. In episode 132 of ATARI BYTES, we're playing the 1982 20th Century Fox game "WORM WAR I". War is hell, inspiring much moving poetry. It also inspired this week's somewhat less moving poetry.  Thanks to whoever wrote the kid's nursery rhyme "Inchworm" for making this week's poem possible! Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat". Thanks to Mike Mann for his Mad Mike Hughes update jingle. Atari Bytes - show notes, social media, episodes and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Good grief! That's my other show! Please consider donating to the show on our Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Thanks! The Atari Bytes Zazzle.com store is still up. Go grab some "Go Play Some Old Games, They've Missed You" stuff!

EPISODE 131: MOUNTAIN KING

Sunday July 29th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Yodelayheehoo! The hills are alive with the sound of...sparse, but integral music in episode 131, MOUNTAIN KING.  This 1983 CBS Electronics game boasts a dark cave, diamonds, spirts, both flame and skull, and a quest for the mysterious golden crown. Bats and spiders and grumpy spirits bar your way. Sort of like life.  The look of the game is simple..but what about the narrative lying underneath the surface? As our explorer unearths the temple, we are on a quest to unearth the story within this game. (And there just might be a bonus second story in this week's offering!) Hope a giant spider doesn't sit on me. Unless he says "please". *Audio Note* - There's quite a bit of crinkling paper in the audio for this one. Sorry about that. My cohost was busy writing during the recording and I failed to realize how much the microphone picked up. My bad. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks also to Mike Mann for providing the Mad Mike Hughes jingle. Atari Bytes show notes, social media and more here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Come inside a Snoopy's doghouse full of strips, TV specials and movies, merchandise and the mind of Schulz himself. We do it all here on the 15th of every month. Please consider support the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page at patreon.com  

EPISODE 130: SSSNAKE

Sunday July 22nd, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Question: What's lower than a snake's belly? Answer: Your mood after playing SSSNAKE, 1982, from Data Age. Sorry. Spoilers! It's got a bad reputation, but is SSSNAKE really as bad as we've heard? And, even if it is, can we shove our forked tongue into the meat of the story within the game to shed some literary goodness into your podcast-listening mechanisms? Man, I hope so. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat". Atari Bytes - episodes, social media and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Admit it...you love Snoopy too! Please consider plugging some quarters into the Atari Bytes Patreon page here.

EPISODE 129: MEGA FORCE

Sunday July 15th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
In 1982, movie-goers were embracing a new, post-apocalyptic, motorcycle and explosion fueled popcorn movie. What was it? That's right: Road Warrior. But a few people misread their ticket stubs and wandered into the 20th Century Fox motorcycle and explosion-fueled popcorn movie MEGA FORCE. Make that a very few people. Well, one, actually. The film's star Barry Bostwick's mother, we think. Few people know Barry's mom was a huge Atari fan too, so the 1982 game MEGA FORCE, and by extension episode 129 of Atari Bytes, was born. The game is mostly notable for blowing up a young Bryon Cranston in the commercial. Seriously, go look it up on YouTube. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring", "Volatile Reaction" and "Killers". Atari Bytes - Show notes, episodes, social media, etc. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Get a deep dive into Snoopy's doghouse and everything else in Peanuts Town here. Consider supporting the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page. You can do that thing here. Thanks in advance.

EPISODE 128: POOYAN

Sunday July 8th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
This week in episode 128 of ATARI BYTES, it's the Three Little Pigs (curly) tale LIKE NEVER BEFORE. We're playing the 1982 Konami/Stern Electronics game POOYAN. That means "pig" in Japanese. See, you learned something. Congratulations, you! Mama Pig is on the rampage. Not in Rampage, mind you, though the idea of a giant pig smashing buildings is a good one. The wolves have taken her little piglets. This aggression will not stand. Join her as she takes down each and every Canus Lupus with her trusty bow. How a pig shoots an arrow with hooves is not for mere mortals like us to ask.  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring".  Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media and cupcakes. I'm lying about one of those things. Go see which one! It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. For all things Peanuts - from the strip to the merchandise to the animated efforts to Schulz himself. It's all there. You can help keep the lights on at the show with a donation on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Thanks to those already doing and to the rest of you in advance!

EPISODE 127: FREEWAY

Sunday July 1st, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Now that the sun has set on our trip to the gaming past/future during Intellivision month and my Sears Tele-Games is back in it's lonely, dusty corner (to be fair, most corners in my house are dusty), we return to the present in episode 127 with the Activision (squee!) title FREEWAY from 1981. What could be better than getting out on the highway for a little road trip? Well, mowing down some poultry while you're at it, of course! But in this game, you get to channel your inner birdie, playing as the Gallus gallus domesticus trying to cross the road. Thing is, ten lanes of traffic don't give a feathery fig if you actually make it. Keep your feathery head down and keep moving! In this week's story, we actually try to answer the question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Thanks to Aretha Franklin! I couldn't have done this week's story without her. Here's the article about using Raspberry Pi to bring Doctor Who's K-P back to life. Thanks to Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".  Atari Bytes show notes and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Please consider helping to keep the lights on here at the podcast by making a donation on our Patreon page here.

EPISODE 126: INTELLIVISION MONTH- SUPER VIDEO ARCADE BOWLING

Sunday June 24th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
In episode 126, Intellivision Month comes to an end. *SOB* Does the epic conclusion of this Atari Bytes experiment bowl a strike or land in the gutter? The question is apt, because this week we're playing SUPER VIDEO ARCADE BOWLING from Mattel, 1980. After we enjoy some pin action and virtual chili cheese fries, we enjoy this week's story inspired by the game featuring the first appearance of BOBBY PINS: GALACTIC BOWLER. So refill your beverage, disinfect your rental shoes and chalk your palms. IT'S TIME TO BOWL! Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".  Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media links and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Get your monthly fill of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the mind of Schulz himself! AB_Pod_Store - that's where you can find "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts, mugs and much more on Zazzle.com Go to the Atari Bytes page on Patreon here to make a donation to help keep the lights on at this here podcast. Thanks!

EPISODE 125: INTELLIVISION MONTH - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Sunday June 17th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
The grassy outfield. The roar of the crowd. I've got my cap and cup. Put me in, Coach. I'm ready to game! Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the...game room? Intellivision month continues on Atari Bytes episode 125 with Mattel's Major League Baseball (aka "Super Video Arcade Baseball", aka "Big League Baseball", aka just, you know, "Baseball") It's a dandy 1979 title even my dad would play when I was a kid.  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".  Atari Bytes - show notes, social media, episodes, etc. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Join us for a deep dive into the comic strips, TV, movie and merchandise from the beloved Peanuts juggernaut. The Atari Bytes AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com is where you can get "Go play some old games. They've missed you" mugs, shirts and so much more. Support the show financially at our Atari Bytes page on Patreon to help keep this show running.

EPISODE 124: INTELLIVISION MONTH - ASTROSMASH

Sunday June 10th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Intellivision Month continues on episode 124 with ASTROSMASH, which, contrary to what you might think, does NOT include the Hulk in an astronaut suit smashing lunar modules.  The 1981 Mattel game is like a cross between Asteroids and Space Invaders, taking elements from both - especially the laser blasts. Why would they do this? And what is motivating the laser battery commander (aka you) to act? Not to give anything away, but we think it's the NEED TO DANCE! What do we mean by that? Listen to find out! Here's the Atari Times article comparing Atari and Intellivison. Here's a link to that Venture Beat article about Tommy Tallarico's plan to bring back Intellivision.  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance". Atari Bytes - show notes, social media links, episodes and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Get your Snoopy fix here. Pick up "Go play some old games" shirts, mugs and more at AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com here. Patreon.com - Go to our Atari Bytes page on Patreon to support the show financially. 

EPISODE 123: INTELEVISION MONTH - BURGERTIME

Sunday June 3rd, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Order up! Ever go to a burger joint expecting the familiar, tasty bacon double with crispy onion rings you love, only to find out they've changed the menu to some sort of tofurky burger or something? Then you're all worried, but discover it's pretty tasty too? Episode 123 is kind of like that. This month, our nice Atari 2600, story-based podcast has been overrun by Intelevision bandits. They even ate all my onion rings!  Now, every Sunday in June, we're featuring an Intelevision title. We kick things off with the iconic BURGERTIME from Bally Midway. Compared to the Atari port (which we covered on the podcast WAY back in episode 25!), does the Intelevision port stack up like your favorite bun full of meat, or more like trying to stack the ketchup packets at the bottom of the bag? And what, exactly, is Chef Peter Pepper up to this time? Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Oppressive Gloom".  Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media and so much more. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Love the Peanuts comics, TV shows, movies and merchandise? So do we! We cover it all on this podcast, which drops on the 15th of every month. AB_Pod_Store - That's our store on Zazzle.com where you can get "Go play some old games" mugs, shirts and more. Want to donate to the show? Thanks! Here's the Patreon.com page where you can do just that.

EPISODE 122: CHINA SYNDROME

Sunday May 27th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
The star power driving the nuclear fission that is this week's episode, 122, of the podcast is off the (radiation) charts There's me, of course. But we've also got Jane Fonda! Michael Douglas! Jack Lemmon! Oh, and some super naughty Muppets! Okay, technically, none of those people is on the show. They're all in the 1979 movie China Syndrome. A "China syndrome" is a theory that an exploding nuclear reactor could punch a hole through the Earth from North America to China. This theory inspired the 1982 Spectravision game of the same name. Because there's nothing kids love more than nuclear physics. Oh, there's no Muppets actually on the show either. There's still me, though, and I'm pretty sure I'm not a Muppet. No matter what my eighth grade teacher said.  We'll take the atoms floating around this game reactor and smash them together to unleash the story energy within. Or something. Beware the Atari Mushroom Cloud awaits. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring". Atari Bytes - episodes, show notes, social media, on and on and on It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Anything you want to know about the Peanuts strip, films, TV, merchandise. We do it all. Get your "Go Play Some Old Games" mugs, shirts and more at our store AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com here. Please consider supporting the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon.com page here. Thanks in advance.

EPISODE 121: SPACE CAVERN

Sunday May 20th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
In space, can anyone hear you fall into a cavern? The 1982 Games by Apollo shooter with the most Five-PM-On-A-Friday-Trying-To-Get-Out-Of-The-Office title ever, SPACE CAVERN is our focus this week in episode 121.  Where is this cavern? Is it just floating in space? Is that even possible? Instead, is it on a planet and, if so, shouldn't the game be called "Planet Cavern" or maybe just "Cavern"? What is an electrosauri? Why does it want to kill us? All these questions (and more) will be answered in this week's story (or not).* *Which is to say, probably no questions will be answered.** **And more will probably be generated. Such is life. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Springs" and "Reformat"? Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media, etc. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Have a need to know about Snoopy and friends in any form - strip, TV, film or merchandise? We've got you covered. AB_Pod_Store is our merchdise store on Zazzle.com - get yer "Go play some old games" mugs and stuff here. Here's a link to the Atari Bytes Patreon page. Please consider supporting the show financially if you are able.  

EPISODE 120: I WANT MY MOMMY

Sunday May 13th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
What up, moms of the world! What better way to celebrate on the day in which we honor the mothers in the world who do so much for us than by putting on headphones and ignoring them while we listen to podcasts? This week, on episode 120, we're checking out I WANT MY MOMMY from Zimag. It's a game deliberately targeted to the under-eight-year-old set. We assume that's chronological age, not maturity level. Will this game delight us or leave us weeping for OUR mommies?  In this week's story, WHY exactly do we want our mommies? The mystery awaits... Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring".  Atari Bytes - show notes, links, social media, episodes and more can be found here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! If it exists in the Peanuts universe, we talk about it on this show. Check it out. AB_Pod_Store at Zazzle.com - get her "Go play some old games, they've missed you." shirts, mugs and more here. Patreon.com - Please consider supporting Atari Bytes financially to offset some of our costs here.

EPISODE 119: SORCERER

Sunday May 6th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
On episode 119 of ATARI BYTES, there's magic all around us. *Waits patiently for my Dr. Strange cape to wrap itself around me. Nothing happens. I sigh heavily and move on.* We're playing the 1983 Mythicon game SORCERER. The wizards fight the sorcerer - you - for the treasure Pitfall Harry apparently left behind. We'll take Harry's leftovers. We're not picky. You could wonder why, if you're a sorcerer, you can't just conjur your own treasure. But perhaps it's best not to ask so many questions. The plot in this week's story doesn't just have holes. It has craters. Bring your climbing equipment.  Here's a link to the complex.com 50 greatest Saturday morning cartoons we talked about. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat", and "Pinball Spring". Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Interested in some aspect of the Peanuts universe? We probably cover it. Pick up "Go play some old games" shirts, mugs and more at our Zazzle.com AB_Pod_Store here. Please consider support the show at our Patreon page here.

EPISODE 118: THE RAMPAGE MOVIE

Sunday April 29th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Hollywood has unleashed monsters on an unsuspecting country. No, I don't mean predatory Hollywood executives.  We're talking, of course, about the 2018 Duane Johnson blockbuster movie "RAMPAGE", based on the beloved 1986 arcade game. An evil corporation loses it's "gene-editing" sample. A wolf, a crocodile and a gentle, though foul-mouthed (tsk)(via sign language), gorilla named George grow to thirty feet tall and go on a, well, on a RAMPAGE to Chicago. As one does.  This week, on episode 118, we're taking a break from playing games and making up stories about them to watch a MOVIE based on a game and analyze its story. Let someone else do the work for once. We're busy eating popcorn.* *And Junior Mints.** **I was hungry. Stop judging.  I'm pretty sure Duane Johnson will be calling any day now to be on the podcast after he hears this episode. Oh, and in the episode, I shamelessly beg creamy, refreshing Junior Mints to sponsor the show. Junior Mints, call me!  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring". Atari Bytes - Show notes, social media, episodes and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Get your Snoopy fix here. Check out "Go play some old games" mugs and more at our Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store Support the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page here.

EPISODE 117: MIDWEST GAMING CLASSIC WRAP UP

Sunday April 22nd, 2018 05:30:00 AM
I just flew in from Milwaukee and boy are my arms tired.* *I didn't actually fly. I drove.** **My arms are fine. Thanks for asking. I just came back from the 2018 Midwest Gaming Classic where I had a great time at the Atari Bytes table talking to current listeners and lots of potential new listeners. If you are one of those new listeners, welcome to the party! I also picked up some great new games from the various vendors selling their wares, played some great arcade games and met a slew of well-known gaming people from the guys at the "Guys, Games and Beer" podcast to legends Billy Mitchell and Walter Day, and from game designers like Jeff Lee to Brian Colin. This was my first time at MGC and the "Pie Factory" guys, Jim and Sean, were invaluable to making my experience awesome. Thanks, guys! On episode 117, I talk about my time at MGC. AND...I read some of the "mad lib" style stories visitors to the AB table at MGC wrote for me. One lucky writer might win an ATARI BYTES t-shirt, like the one I wore at MGC. (Not the SAME shirt, mind you. That would be gross.) WHO WILL IT BE?????? Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat".  Atari Bytes show notes, social media, episodes and more on our site here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Your one stop source for all things Peanuts. Check out Atari Bytes "go play some old games" shirts, mugs and more at AB_Pod_Store, our Zazzle.com store here. Please consider supporting the show financially as you are able on our Atari Bytes Patreon page here.

EPISODE 116: RAMPAGE (7800)

Sunday April 15th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
A political hot button issue is the state of America's infrastructure. Our bridges, roads and buildings are crumbling before our eyes. It's a national crisis. And, yet, our politicians do nothing. What the liberal media WON'T tell you about, though, is the plague of mutated dinosaurs, werewolves and gorillas that are single-handedly (triple-handedly?) devouring our great cities and pooping the rubble into those devastated roads.  The Atari 7800 port of the 1986 Bally Midway arcade classic RAMPAGE, our focus in episode 116 of ATARI BYTES, puts you in the role of those mutant monsters. Sure, politicians squabble while our buildings crumble, but they lack the style of an irradiated werewolf. Except you-know-who. From Vermont I think? It's just a rumor, but everyone hears the howling. Just sayin'.  (In related news: I was once in a band called Dino Poop Rubble.) Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat".  Atari Bytes show notes, social media and so much more! It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Pick up "Go play some old games" shirts and more in our Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store You can support the show financially on our Patreon page here.

EPISODE 115: LASER BLAST

Sunday April 8th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
As you emerge from your chocolate Easter bunny sugar coma, let episode 115 of ATARI BYTES spool soothing wake up game info into your ear holes. Back in 1980-81-ish, we imagine, the folks at Activision had this new space battle game, sort of a top-down Missile Command with alien invaders and ground forces and lots of laser battles. "What should we call it?" someone asked. They came up with lots of cool options, but couldn't agree on one. It was getting to be 5 o'clock and the production team wanted to get to the bar, so someone said, "Screw it. Let's just call the thing LASER BLAST and get out of here." And so they did. And now we're playing the most generically named video game since "Combat". But the story within the game is UNIQUE and EXCITING! At least, we think so. Hope you do too. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring". Atari Bytes - show notes, social media and episodes! It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. All the Snoopy, all the time. AB_Pod_Store at Zazzle.com - Here's where you can get "Go Play Some Old Games" shirts and more. Patreon.com - You can support the show financially here!  

EPISODE 114: SEA HUNT

Sunday April 1st, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Here, in episode 114, there be monsters! In Froggo's 1987 treasure-hunting adventure SEA HUNT, it's raining gold doubloons. The pieces of eight are scattered like our dreams on the ocean floor as you, fearless skin diver, harpoon man-eating fish and sea monsters to get to a sunken Spanish galleon. Is the game a treasure chest or a bucket of chum? Whatever the answer, the story within might be the key to Davey Jones' locker...and his heart. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat".  Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media and stuff... It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Get your Snoopy fix here, every month. AB_Pod_Store - that's our store on Zazzle.com where you can get "Go play some old games" shirts and more... Please consider supporting the show financially on our Patreon page here.

EPISODE 113: VIDEO PINBALL

Sunday March 25th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
Hey, Pinheads! Don't biff the bumpers, just nudge the podcast machine - DON'T TILT! - and check out this week's kick-out hole of an episode before it goes down the drain.  Obviously, this week's episode is all about golf.  Kidding! Don't do a panic flip.  Now, let me do a lazarus ball to get these show notes back on track. This week, on episode 113, we're playing VIDEO PINBALL, Atari's 1980 port of it's own 1978 coin-op machine. Is the game (and the story therein) a house ball or a gobble hole? Insert your quarters where indicated and let's find out. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat".  Atari Bytes episodes, social media, show notes and more here... It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Get your Snoopy fix here, every month. You can get "Go play some old games, they've missed you." shirts nd more at our Atari Bytes Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store here. Consider supporting the show financially on our Patreon page here. Here's the Mental Floss article where we got the pinball slang used in the episode.



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