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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: Thursday May 23rd, 2019 01:38:19 AM

EPISODE 173: SUB SCAN

Sunday May 19th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
Dive down deep into episode 173: SUB SCAN, the 1982 port of Deep Scan from Sega. We explore the depths of this submarine v. destroyer ocean battle.  I hope you don't get the bends coming back up to the surface to listen to this week's original short story: "Maximum Depth Charge: A Steve Stetson, 1980s Superspy, Adventure".  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 the "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime theme.  Atari Bytes show notes and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Pick up Atari Bytes "Go play some old games" shirts and mugs at AB_Pod_Store on the Zazzle.com store. You can support the show financially by becoming a Patreon subscriber here.  Pick up my book! Please! Here's one of the places you can get MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

EPISODE 172: BUGS

Sunday May 12th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
In 1982, Data Age had a video game concept meeting. "We need a new idea, people," the team leader said. "We gotta get this one out by the end of the day." It was 4:45 p.m. The office closed at 5:00 It was also Friday. In desperation, someone grabbed a marker and scrawled "SPACE BUGS" across the large flip chart, knocking the easel to the floor.  Ernie sat at the computer. He wasn't the best programmer, but was the fastest typist. He banged out some code that would have pink centipedes type things and some other cylindrical bug with antennae crawl slowly across the entire upper half of the screen. It wasn't really clear what they were doing, but you could shoot them. "Good enough?" Ernie said. "YES," the rest of the team said in unison and fled out of the building into the five o'clock world where no owned a piece of their time. And, thus, BUGS, the game at the heart of episode 172, was born. Is this a bad game? Well, can one dung beetle drag 1,141 times its weight? This week's story is...BUGS: A POEM Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring", "Reformat" and "Circus Waltz".  Thanks to Mike Mann for the "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. Atari Bytes show notes and what not It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! The AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com has Atari Bytes related stuff to buy. Please consider supporting the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page. Pick up your copy of MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS wherever you like to buy ebooks or print books. Here's one of those places.

EPISODE 171: T:ME SALVO (7800 Homebrew)

Sunday May 5th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
We exist in three dimensions: length, width, height. This podcast has spanned three types of classic video games: Intellivision, Atari 2600, Atari 7800. And now, much as H.G. Wells, in his 19th century novel "The Time Machine", bravely journeyed in time, the fourth dimension, this podcast is venturing into a fourth type of game... We are playing our first Atari 7800 HOMEBREW! We're playing the 2016 title T:ME SALVO, a run and shoot game inspired by Wells' novel and the movies the book spawned. Is the game destined to become a timeless classic or is it simply not worth the time? This week's short story is "Weena: Warrior Princess".  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 and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can support Atari Bytes financially on our Patreon page here. Pick up show mugs and shirts and what not in our Zazzle.com AB_Pod_Store...store! Thanks to Mike Mann for the "Mad Mike Hughes" theme Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime theme Don't forget to check out the new collection of short stories from this very podcast. MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS. Here's one of the places you can order it.

EPISODE 170: GRAND PRIX

Sunday April 28th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
Formula One is our focus this week.  That's right! Grecian Formula One, that liquid warrior against grey hair rides in on a wave of faux-youthful delusion and - Whoops! Wait! Formula one RACE cars... *Puts on a hat. Reminds Grecian Formula we are still looking for sponsors.* We're actually playing Activision's 1982 race car effort GRAND PRIX. Is it grand? Is it prix? Join us before the checkered flag drops... This week's short story: Once More 'Round the Track 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 theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime theme Atari Bytes show notes and more It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com  Support the show financially on the Atari Bytes page on Patreon

EPISODE 169: MIDWEST GAMING CLASSIC ROUND UP

Sunday April 21st, 2019 05:30:00 AM
Quiet! I'm sleeping! A week out from Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee and I am STILL tired. But it's a good tired. Had a great time playing a few games, reconnecting with friends and fans old and new, and, of course, talking about this podcast and the Misery Banana book.  This episode has my exhausted reactions to the weekend AND you get to hear my audio journal entries recorded at various times throughout the weekend.  All right. Well, much like the lady with the tail who came over to say "hi" and then abruptly bolted, I'll end these show notes here. Where do I sign up for MGC 2020? 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 the "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. Atari Bytes - show notes, episodes, etc. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Pick up Atari Bytes shorts and more in the AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com Please consider support the podcast financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Misery Banana: Very Short Stories Inspired by Old Games and Odd Thoughts is for sale many places. Here's one. In the St. Nick of Time

EPISODE 168: CONGO BONGO

Sunday April 14th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
In 1983, Sega said, "We took a shot at creating a 3-D looking game for the arcade. Congo Bongo looks amazing." "We took a shot," some staffer said. "But it really doesn't look that great." "We should now adapt that for the home console," the powers-that-be said. "It will look even better." "It will look even worse," the staffer said and was summarily fired. Okay, that's not exactly how it happened, but it might as well have.  Well, if Gilligan can spend all those years lovin' on his coconuts. We can spend one episode.  This week's short story is: "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts...But is That All There is to Life?" Con-Go? Bon-Go! 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 and what not... It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Thanks to Mike Mann for the Mad Mike Hughes theme Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime Theme Support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Pick up Atari Bytes merch at the AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com You can pick up Misery Banana: Very Short Stories Inspired by Old Games and Odd Thoughts in many places. Here's one of them!

EPISODE 167: MILLIPEDE

Sunday April 7th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
Episode 167 finds us revisiting an old gaming friend sporting a slightly more youthful facelift. Or something. We're playing the 1984 MILLIPEDE which was pretty fun...when it was called CENTIPEDE.  "Centi" means hundred. "Milli" means Vanilli's disgraced music fraud partner.  Whoops! I meant "milli" means "thousand". At this rate, I would expect the next title in the "pede" franchise will be Gazilipede or maybe Bazillipede. I'd play those.  This week's short story is: "Untitled Diploda-Based Comedy Pilot Pitch Meeting". 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, etc. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Thanks to Mike Mann for the "Mad Mike Hughes Theme" Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. Support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Zazzle.com - pick up Atari Bytes merch here. Misery Banana: Very Short Stories Inspired by Old Games and Odd Thoughts

EPISODE 166: SPACE ATTACK

Sunday March 31st, 2019 05:30:00 AM
This week, we have another M Network game for you, this one from 1982, boldly titled SPACE ATTACK. That's a name right up there in the creativity pantheon with "Space Battle", "Racing" and "3D Tic-Tac-Toe". At least that last one tries to dress things up with the 3D part. Does only being in 2D keep SPACE ATTACK from being a classic? Or even fun? Does this week's original short story "It's People I Can't Stand...But I Can Stand With Them" overcome its clunky title? Do I use the ellipsis as a means of expression too much? So many ... questions.  And please check out my Atari Bytes - inspired short story collection MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS 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 the "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the Storytime theme. Atari Bytes show notes and more here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page. Thanks in advance. Pick up show merchandise on the Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store.

EPISODE 165: DARK CAVERN

Sunday March 24th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
My dad always said never stay at a hotel called Lakeview. There won't be a lake within sight. It seemed like just a bit of clever wordplay. But this week, ATARI BYTES episode 165 is DARK CAVERN. What we get on screen for this M Network game is neither dark, nor cavernous.  Holy crap! Dad was right! So, if you're brave enough, journey down into the caverns of this episode and then, when you come out the other side, enjoy this week's original short story "Lost and Found".  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 the "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the storytime theme. Atari Bytes show notes, episodes, social media It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! You can support the show financially on our Atari Bytes Patreon page. Thanks in advance. Check out the Atari Bytes merchandise store AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com

EPISODE 164: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: MUSICAL MATCH-UPS

Sunday March 17th, 2019 05:30:00 AM
This week, episode 164 of ATARI BYTES is drenched in sweetness. So much squeaky clean gaming joy, it'll make your teeth hurt. This is bad because of the teeth gnashing you'll do trying to have fun playing STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: MUSICAL MATCH-UPS. To be fair, you're probably not a preschooler who's into mixing and matching the heads, torsos and legs of Strawberry and her friends Lime Chiffon, Huckleberry Pie and Blueberry Muffin. That jerk Purple Pieman has messed them all up. It's basically "Frankenstein" with a fruity pastry scent. After you get through that, stick around for a big ol' slice of this week's "Untitled Strawberry Shortcake Story". It's like the a la mode to your gaming pie.  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 the "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! Pick up Atari Bytes merchandise on the AB_Pod_Store podcast store on Zazzle.com You can support the show financially on our Patreon page here. Thanks in advance for doing so!

EPISODE 163: KANGAROO

Sunday March 10th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
Wallaby darned! It's another episode of ATARI BYTES! Though the game is actually KANGAROO! Not Wallaby! Which makes the pun even more annoying! If that's possible! That's right. This week, episode 163 is devoted to the largest marsupial in the family Macropodidae, that icon of Australia that isn't Crocodile Dundee: the kangaroo. KANGAROO is a 1982 Sun Electronics arcade game distributed by Atari, which caused some hard feelings. Know who else is experiencing some hard feelings? The kangaroos in this week's short story "Kanga-Ruined".  So throw some shrimp on the barbie and hop on over and give us a listen.  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 our "Mad Mike Hughes" theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. Atari Bytes show notes, episodes and social media here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show! Pick up Atari Bytes merchandise at the AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com Please consider supporting the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here.

EPISODE 162: DRAGSTER

Sunday March 3rd, 2019 06:30:00 AM
This week, episode 162 of the podcast isn't just coasting in neutral. We pop the clutch, pop a wheelie and burn rubber down the track! It's DRAGSTER from 1980, one of Activision's first efforts for the Atari.  I know there's been some controversy about world record scores and what not. But know what isn't controversial? This week's poem written (Why not?) in the style of Schoolhouse Rock's "A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing", though not really. Did Schoolhouse Rock feature a clown named Mr. Soggy Pants? Well, MY poem does! But please listen anyway. 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 the "Mad Mike Hughes" update theme. Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. You can support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here. Thanks in advance. Pick up Atari Bytes merchandise in the AB_Pod_Store on Zazzle.com Atari Bytes social media, episodes and more here. It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show!

EPISODE 161: XENOPHOBE (7800)

Sunday February 24th, 2019 06:30:00 AM
BRIAN COLIN IS A FLIPPIN' GENIUS. How do I know? Well, he helped design two of the most beloved fun, whimsical arcade games of ALL TIME. RAMPAGE and XENOPHOBE, among many others. And then they were adapted for the home video console market which was...almost as good? We've talked about Rampage in the past. This week on episode 161, we've got the 1988 Atari 7800 port of XENOPHOBE. Does it live up to it's arcade progenitor? Ancestor? Daddy?  This game about beaming aboard a space station overrun by aliens and blasting them with your phaser - which is totally different than Star Trek - is the backdrop for this week's story "To Go Where No One Has … But Not Boldly". The story centers on a character who is basically the space equivalent of Hermie from 1960's TV's "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".  Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons us of his songs "Take a Chance", "Pinball Spring" and "Reformat". Thanks to Sean Courtney for the storytime theme. Thanks to Mike Mann for the Mad Mike Hughes update theme. Atari Bytes show notes episodes and more.  It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown - Hey! That's my other show.  Check out the merch in our Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store. You can support the show financially on the Atari Bytes Patreon page here.  

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!  



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