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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: Monday February 18th, 2019 02:03:46 PM

EPISODE 160: CODEBREAKER

Sunday February 17th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
WOOOHOOOO! Check it out, y'all! We're doing CODEBREAKER on episode 160 of Atari Bytes! ZZZZZZZZZ. Sorry! Nodded off there. Seriously though, in 1978 when this game came out, the idea of using a keypad controller to play a game by entering numbers on the pad that show up on a TV screen was probably pretty compelling. Today though? Well, listen to the show to hear our thoughts. BUT...our favorite 1980s superspy STEVE STETSON, does drop by to save the world in this week's short story "DEATH BY THE NUMBERS: A STEVE STETSON, 1980s SUPERSPY, ADVENTURE". So there's that. 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 more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Thanks to Mike Mann for his Mad Mike Hughes update theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime Theme. Please consider supporting the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page. You can pick up Atari Bytes merch on our Atari Bytes store, AB_Pod_Store, on Zazzle.com

EPISODE 159: ENTOMBED

Sunday February 10th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
In this divided world we live in, it's fitting episode 159 features ENTOMBED, the U.S. Games title from 1982. It's a game about running blindly through a maze, not really knowing where you're going. You stay alive by putting up walls between you and those with whom you conflict. Also, your enemies are zombies. Substitute Internet trolls for zombies and it's just like real life. Relationships also are at the heart of this week's story "Wall-Eyed".  Archaeologist Roger Lipton's brain says one thing; his heart says another. What's an adventurer to do? So, cat-a-COMB on over and listen! (Get it? Like COME on over...Just humor me.) Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incomptech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat", and "Pinball Spring".  Atari Bytes - episodes, social media and more. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Get all your Peanuts info here! Consider support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here.  You can pick up sweet Atari Bytes merch at our Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store.  Thanks to Mike Mann for our Mad Mike Hughes Theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime Theme.

EPISODE 158: PRESSURE COOKER

Sunday February 3rd, 2019 06:30:00 AM
Come in! Come in! Welcome to "The Grille"! Sit anywhere. Grab a menu. It's short. You can have anything you want as long as it's a burger on a bun. What's that? Oh, that cursing from the assembly room is just Short-Order Sam trying to fill all the orders himself. You can't pay minimum wage to every one. Wait? Come back! He doesn't drop all the toppings on the floor... In episode 158, we're playing PRESSURE COOKER. Short-Order Sam single-handedly defends "The Grille" from bad Yelp reviews. Sam works hard, but is he happy? What brought him to this junction on life's highway? We have thoughts in this week's short story.  So grab some onion rings and some napkins. These burgers are messy. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat", "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for our "Storytime" theme. Atari Bytes - show notes, social media and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Check out merchandise in the Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store You can support Atari Bytes financially on our Patreon page here. 

EPISODE 157: DODGE 'EM

Sunday January 27th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
Episode 157 features a game whose name is both a title and cogent life advice: DODGE 'EM.  No time to write out the full word "THEM". This race car game moves too fast! Can you gobble all the pellets in the maze before you get caught? Does that sound a lot like Pac-Man? That's weird... Why are you, car driver, so desperate for speed and pellets? This week's short story has an idea... Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat", and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. Atari Bytes show notes, episodes and more here.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Get you fix of all things in the Snoopy universe here.  You can pick up Atari Bytes merchandise on Zazzle.com Please consider supporting the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here.  

EPISODE 156: CASINO

Sunday January 20th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
Plunk down your chips, put on your poker face and shove an extra Ace wherever you need to. It's time to play some cards! This week on episode 156 of the podcast, we're playing CASINO, from Atari, 1978. And you can BET the FULL HOUSE that this week's story, "A Quarter of the Way There" will DEAL you a HANDful of feels. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat", and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his Mad Mike Hughes update theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for our Storytime theme. Atari Bytes show notes and more. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can support the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page here.   

EPISODE 155: BASKETBALL

Sunday January 13th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
Are you ready for some football? Well, too bad. This week on episode 155 we're gonna slam dunk on Kareem Abdul Jabbar as we're playing Atari BASKETBALL from 1979. Then we'll celebrate Dr. James Naismith's creation of the wholesome American game of basketball with some mildly suggestive poetry in the style of Victorian era erotic literature. I'm not slapping the "explicit" tag on this episode, but don't say I didn't warn you.  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for the Mad Mike Hughes update theme.  Thanks to Sean Courtney for our brand NEW storytime theme. Atari Bytes show notes and more are here.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show.  You can support the show financially on our Patreon page here. Here's a link to the Strategy Wiki article about the various Atari Basketballs.

EPISODE 154: HUMAN CANNONBALL

Sunday January 6th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
Episode 154 fires at you like a cannonball, screaming profanity and peeing itself with fear like a human. That's right, we're playing from Atari's early days the "what the hell, let's try this" title, the 1978 classic HUMAN CANNONBALL. Those of you who didn't get enough of your aggressions out by splatting flailing stick figures into the ground in "Circus Atari", this game is for you. But does this week's short story land dead center in the water tank or smack the dirt? Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance". If you're still interested in a review of 2018 written in the style of classic children's book "Goodnight Moon", well I wrote one! Go read it here. Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Atari Bytes show notes, episodes and what not.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show!  

EPISODE 153: MEGAFORCE THE MOVIE - With Ferg!

Sunday December 30th, 2018 06:30:00 AM
HAPPY NEW YEAR! You could ring in 2019 watching a ball drop, while drenched in expensive champagne and kissing your favorite person. OR... ...you could crack open whatever was on sale and come on out to the movies. Tuxedo is optional. This week on episode 153, we're reviewing the 1982 action hit sort of action-y flop MEGAFORCE. This is the movie which inspired the MEGAFORCE game. (See episode 129). Who is "we"? Well, making his first appearance on ATARI BYTES, it's FERG! That's right, Robert Ferguson of the Atari 2600 Game By Game Podcast stops by to talk with me about this movie. I wonder if he'll ever come back.  So put on your blue headband and pilot your flying motorcycle into the cargo plane that is this movie. You probably won't be sorry. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Atari Bytes show notes, episodes and more here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can support the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Thanks in advance.  Christmas is over, but Santa is a jolly old elf for all seasons. And in my novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, he quits! He befriends a famous author with emotional problems and a multiple alien abductee. In this Santa story for adults, the three men learn about friendship, about themselves and - wait for it - save Christmas as we know it. Here's on of the many places you can order it.  My annual review written in the style of classic children's book "Goodnight Moon" is up! Check out GOODNIGHT, 2018! on the blog.

EPISODE 152: 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE ATARI CHRISTMAS

Sunday December 23rd, 2018 06:30:00 AM
Ho - Ho - HO...ly cow! It's the Christmas episode of ATARI BYTES! In episode 152, we set aside the egg-nog-drenched game console to wish you all a joyous holiday season. To thank you for your support throughout the year, please enjoy the world debut of my original poem 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE ATARI CHRISTMAS. Now go ask Santa to stop using the Pac-Man cart as a coaster for his milk. And the E.T. cartridge is not a cookie plate. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring", "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", and "Oh, Christmas Tree".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Atari Bytes - show notes, social media and more.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Support the show on the Atari Bytes Patreon.com page here. Want to keep the holidays going for a bit, at least in your own brains? Check out my Santa Claus novel FOR ADULTS. It's called IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, available wherever you like to order books, such as this place. 

EPISODE 151: ENDURO

Sunday December 16th, 2018 06:30:00 AM
We hope you already peed, because once the cross-country race that is this week's episode gets going, we're not stopping. It's the Activision game ENDURO, from 1983. So, this week's story probably has something to do with eggplant farming. Racers! Ready! Get set! Listen to 151! Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Springs".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Atari Bytes show notes, social media and more.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown- grab a root beer and get your fill of ALL things Peanuts here, on the 15th of every month.  Here's the Atari Bytes Patreon page where you can support the show financially. Thanks.  In the St. Nick of Time is my holiday novel. A Santa Claus story for us adults. You can order it wherever you get books. Here's one of those places.

EPISODE 150: KARATEKA (7800)

Sunday December 9th, 2018 06:30:00 AM
Much like the unnamed karate-practitioner in Broderbund's 1988 port of KARATEKA for the Atari 7800, my moves are lightning fast and totally ineffectual. But we both look great with bare feet. Bunions are in now, right? Why is Mr. No Name - let's call him "Ed" - storming the castle of evil warlord Akuma? Why does Akuma leave his doors unlocked? Is the lovely, Princess Mariko longing to be saved by...Ed...or is she doing just fine on her own, thank you? We'll take a flying drop kick into episode 150, roundhouse the deets on this game and then, as the story within the game lies convulsing on the floor, we'll FINISH HIM.  (Note to self, less coffee before writing the show notes for next episode.) Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes Theme".  Atari Bytes show notes, episodes, and social media. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Good Grief! That's my other show! Patreon - You can support Atari Bytes financially here.  Zazzle.com - the Atari Bytes merchandise store is here. If you have suggestions for items you'd like to see, let me know. You can order my novel IN THE ST. NICK IN TIME pretty much anywhere you want (support your indie book stores!), but here's a common location. And don't forget to leave a review!

EPISODE 149: GOPHER

Sunday December 2nd, 2018 06:30:00 AM
Episode 149 offers up GOPHER, a 1982 U.S. Games title for those among us who long to bash in the brains of a furry little creature with a shovel.  In the game, you are a farmer defending your carrot patch from relentless gophers stealing your crop. You are armed with a shovel which you wield with merciless glee. Sometimes you actually use to fill in the holes the gopher leaves, but, mostly, you're all about the bonking. Who doesn't love to bonk their pocket gopher now and then? So what's this week's story about? I, too, am scared to imagine... Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Atari Bytes show notes and more. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can, if you're able, support the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Thanks! If you're so inclined, check out my novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, a sort of Santa Claus story for ADULTS. Humor, gun play, and St. Nick in an existential crisis. Hope you enjoy! Here's one of many places you can order it. 

EPISODE 148: VENTURE

Sunday November 25th, 2018 06:30:00 AM
What goes better with reheated Thanksgiving leftovers than the disturbing jelled, canned cranberry podcast equivalent ATARI BYTES? If I had to venture a guess, I'd say this week's episode IS THE SINGLE GREATEST PODCASTING EXPERIENCE YOU WILL EVER HAVE... during the time you listen to this particular podcast.  In episode 148, we're playing VENTURE, Coleco's 1982 port of the classic arcade game that I never actually played. Treasure hunters seek their booties in deep, dark dungeons. Meanwhile monsters shake their booties in pursuit of those same hunters.  You'll be relieved to know that I don't think the word "booty" appears anywhere in this week's story. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat". Atari Bytes - the website It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Calling all Snoopy lovers! Thanks to Mike Mann for our Mad Mike Hughes Theme! Consider checking out my novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, a sort of Santa Claus story...for adults! You can order wherever you like to order books. Here's one of those places! Please consider supporting the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page. You can do that here. Thanks. 

EPISODE 147: 3D TIC-TAC-TOE

Sunday November 18th, 2018 06:30:00 AM
Take a deep breath and bend over to touch your toes! Your tic-tac-toes, that is. And 1 and 2 and 1 and 2... This week on episode 147, we're playing an early Atari effort from 1978: 3D TIC-TAC-TOE. Was making tic-tac-toe three dimensional an innovative twist on a perennial diner placement favorite or was it a distracting, pancake-themed riddle over nothing more worthy than a gravy stain on that placemat? Thanks to Mike Mann for the Mad Mike Hughes Theme. 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 and what not. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Thanks.  Here's one of many places you can pick up my novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME - a sort of Santa Claus story for adults. Don't like this retailer? Pick your own! You can order it pretty much anywhere! Thanks in advance!

EPISODE 146: RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX

Sunday November 11th, 2018 06:30:00 AM
Despite the waves of political unrest, some 8 million tourists visit Egypt every year to take in such amazing sites as the Great Sphinx. Therefore, when the listener stats come in for episode 146 of the show, iMagic's RIDDLE OF SPHINX, we're expecting similar numbers. That's reasonable, right? *Ahem* Anyway, as the son of the Prince of Egypt, you are the ultimate tourist striving to get in line ahead of death god Anubis at the funnel cake stand. Or something. 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 and oh, so much more. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show.  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes Theme". Please consider supporting the production costs for Atari Bytes by joining the Patreon. You can do that here. Thanks in advance! Here is one of the places you can pick up IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, my holiday Santa Claus story for adults. 

EPISODE 145: SPIKE'S PEAK

Sunday November 4th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
This week on episode 145 of ATARI BYTES, we dive deep into the valley of the poisonous mountain cacti (plural for cactus) that is the intersection of philosophy and science. For example: If the universe encompasses everything we know, but the universe is also expanding, WHAT is it expanding into? Mallory said he climbed Mt. Everest simply because it is there. What the hell does that mean? That second wondering is prompted by this week's mountain climbing game SPIKE'S PEAK, Xonox, 1983. It was hard getting hold of this one. A cadre of strong men put all their effort into turning the double ender cartridge we played "Ghost Manor" on last week around so that we could play SPIKE'S PEAK. We're exhausted. You're welcome.  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 our "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Atari Bytes show notes, episodes, social media, puppies* *No actual puppies.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - My other show is chock full of Chuck Brown, Snoopy, and cartoonist Charles Schulz himself The Atari Bytes Patreon page is here. If you can donate to the show, we thank you in advance.   

EPISODE 144: GHOST MANNOR

Sunday October 28th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
We've got a spook-tacular Halloween-ish episode this week. You won't get any candy, but it could be worse. You could get a bag full of rocks. (Sorry, Charlie Brown) We scare ourselves silly* with the 1983 Xonox title GHOST MANOR. *Not actually that scary.** **The game has not so much in the way of ghosts as it does have frolicking little boys and girls playing amongst the tombstones.*** ***That's pretty weird though. So, if you think you're brave enough, join us for a chillingly good time... Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring". Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike" update theme. Atari Bytes show notes and what not. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! The Atari Bytes Patreon page is here.

EPISODE 143: ASTROBLAST

Sunday October 21st, 2018 05:30:00 AM
This week on episode 143, we get a demonstration of what happens when you title a game by smashing two words together to create a third word.  This week's game is ASTROBLAST, an unholy union of "astronomy" or "astronomical" and "blast". Personally, I thing "Astronomical Blast" is just as, if not more, inviting a game title as Astroblast, by M Network in 1982 never asked me.  The title is enough to tell us this game is about blasting things wherever astronomy is. That probably means space! And that is awfully fun.  So is this week's original short story! So much goodness in one podcast episode.  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Hughes" theme Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show The Atari Bytes Patreon page can be found here. Please consider donating. Thanks in advance.

EPISODE 142: STARMASTER

Sunday October 14th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
In "Ghostbusters", Rick Moranis told Sigourney Weaver he was the key master. Well, cool as Rick was, he's got nothing on you, my friend. For, with a little luck, you can be the STARMASTER. This week, we're playing the 1982 Activision game STARMASTER. Anyone can wish upon a star. Catch a falling star. See stars if you smack your head on the game console after passing your eighteenth straight hour of Pitfall II. But only the elite listener of this podcast can attain the rank of STARMASTER. Good luck. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".  Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad Mike Theme". Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, social media and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show. Everything you wanted to know about the Peanuts strip, animation, the mind of cartoonist Charles Schulz, and the strip's place in the universe. You can support the show financially on the Atari Bytes patreon page here.

EPISODE 141: BLACKJACK

Sunday October 7th, 2018 05:30:00 AM
You got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.  Then prepare to get laughed at and possibly shot by the dudes you're playing with at the Old West saloon, because we're not playing poker on episode 141 of the podcast, we're playing BLACKJACK.  This 1977 title from Atari is one of the original nine the company released with this new-fangled devil-machine unleased on the unsuspecting masses who'd only just recovered from the mind scramble that was pong. After the cards are dealt, we have a short story inspired by the sweet science of blackjacking. Or whatever. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring". Thanks to Mike Mann for his Mad Mike Hughes theme. Atari Bytes - our site with all our episodes, show notes, social media and what not. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey, Peanuts fans (and you know you are), here's my other podcast. On the 15th of every month, dive deep into the lore of the strips, the TV specials, the movies, the mind of cartoonist Charles Schulz itself.  Please consider supporting the show financially to keep the lights on here at the studio. You can do that at our Patreon page here. Thanks.



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