Atari Bytes-logo

Atari Bytes

Video Games >

Remember those classic Atari 2600 games? They were sure fun to play, but didn't you ever wonder why they sent a plumber to take out Donkey Kong? What Yar was seeking revenge against? What made those robots go berserk? Me too? ATARI BYTES is more than a game review podcast. It's an exploration of the games to divine what exactly the story within the game is. And when we can't find those answers, well, we make 'em up.

Remember those classic Atari 2600 games? They were sure fun to play, but didn't you ever wonder why they sent a plumber to take out Donkey Kong? What Yar was seeking revenge against? What made those robots go berserk? Me too? ATARI BYTES is more than a game review podcast. It's an exploration of the games to divine what exactly the story within the game is. And when we can't find those answers, well, we make 'em up.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

Remember those classic Atari 2600 games? They were sure fun to play, but didn't you ever wonder why they sent a plumber to take out Donkey Kong? What Yar was seeking revenge against? What made those robots go berserk? Me too? ATARI BYTES is more than a game review podcast. It's an exploration of the games to divine what exactly the story within the game is. And when we can't find those answers, well, we make 'em up.

Twitter:

@ataribytes

Language:

English


Episodes

EPISODE 190: GORF

9/15/2019
More
In 1982, there was an epidemic of sides splitting at CBS Electronics due to all the laughing. What was so funny? The programmers were handed a new arcade game to adapt for the Atari. "Tell me again what it's called," one giggling programmer said, gasping for breath. "It's called GORF," the other shrieked, wiping mirthful tears from his eyes. This week's game in episode 190 is the space shooter with the dumb name: GORF. Part Space Invaders, part Galaxian...all fun? We shall see. This...

Duration:00:38:05

EPISODE 189: DESERT FALCON

9/8/2019
More
Remember "Happy Days", the feel good 1970s show about a bunch of teens in 1950s Milwaukee? In the show, break-out popular hoodlum character Fonzie had cut ties with his old gang of trouble-makers "The Falcons". DESERT FALCON, the 1987 Atari game that is the focus of episode 189 has absolutely nothing to do with that. But it's fun to remember such a good show isn't it? This week's short story is titled: DISPENSE WITH THIS Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use...

Duration:00:50:58

EPISODE 188: SLOT RACERS

9/1/2019
More
We're not sure, but we're guessing that in 1978 at Atari HQ, game designer Warren Robinette won an office pool. The bet was who could come up with a game that matched it's title close enough that the boss would take it, but still had really nothing to do with it. SLOT RACERS, a game that has "cars" in it, but are not slot cars, nor are they racing, was the result. In keeping with that spirit, this week's short story in episode 188 is SLOTTED, really has very little to do with the game we're...

Duration:00:43:47

EPISODE 187: WIZARD OF WOR

8/25/2019
More
You know, we here at ATARI BYTES are tired of hearing people whine about video games dumbing down generations and making kids illiterate. We happen to think there's lots of educational value to be had and these games are designed by sharp literate people with impeccable language and spelling skills. Just consider the game in episode 187: WIZARD OF WOR. Uh. Never mind. But does the dubious spelling belie a great game? Joyne usss to fynd owt. This week's short story: THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF...

Duration:00:43:54

EPISODE 186: FLASH GORDON

8/18/2019
More
In episode 186, we're playing FLASH GORDON, the 1983 Twentieth Century Fox game inspired by the golden age comic book character. Flash Gordon is a blow-dried, blonde, muscular polo-playing-space-football-astronaut. Who says video games aren't relatable to our real lives? This week's short story is: WHY IS EVERYONE FLASHING GORDON? 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 the...

Duration:00:36:39

EPISODE 185: HANGMAN

8/11/2019
More
In episode 185, imagine yourself on an early Sunday morning in a crowded, noisy breakfast joint. The scents of coffee and waffles waft through the air. Your arms are pleasingly sticky from syrup residue on the table. What are you doing to pass the time until your twelve egg omelette and bacon with a side of heart attack arrives? Playing HANGMAN on the placemat of course! And this week, we've got Atari's 1978 placemat-fun-in-a-cartridge answer to the pen and paper icon. You provide your own...

Duration:00:39:29

EPISODE 184: STREET RACER

8/4/2019
More
In 1977, Atari said, "We need a small batch of games to show off this new video console we've got." Larry Kaplan heard this and was like, "Great! Here's like six of them. Car racing. Skiing. Airplanes. All sorts of stuff." "But, Larry," Atari said, "we've only got room in the catalog for one more." Larry grumbled a bit and instead of scrapping his six games, he stuffed them all into one cart, slapped a STREET RACER label on it and went home to dinner.* Before Atari knew it, the misnomer...

Duration:00:44:16

EPISODE 183: FIRE FLY

7/28/2019
More
Episode 183 flutters in on cute-as-a-bug little wings with FIRE FLY, a 1983 offering from Mythicon. Is this game where you pilot a metallic humanoid insect in battle against other metallic humanoid insects in exchange for fabulous prizes mere myth? A flat-out con? The bee's knees? What's the buzz around the nectar-filled flowers on this one? Plant your stinger in this episode and find out for yourself. This week's short story: HELL'S CEREAL Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for...

Duration:00:37:23

EPISODE 182: TITLE MATCH PRO WRESTLING

7/21/2019
More
It's episode 182, in which I lose my title belt and my podcast pants fall down so I'm left in my gaming skivvies. Aren't you glad this is an audio podcast? This week, we're playing TITLE MATCH PRO WRESTLING, a 1987 entry from Absolute Entertainment. Is it absolutely entertaining? Well, we'll pile drive this sucker to the mat and see if it airplane spins out some fun. Or something. This week's short story is: "Humble Pie...Er, Cobbler" Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative...

Duration:00:45:08

EPISODE 181: MS. PAC-MAN (7800)

7/14/2019
More
Everything old is new again...even in podcast land. In episode 181, we're going home to episode 8 with MS. PAC-MAN. Sort of... You see, this week we time travel to Atari's future with the 7800 port of this iconic 1984 title. Do we still like the game in new wintergreen - er, 7800 - flavor? Yes, yes we do. (spoiler) Are we any better at it on the new platform? Well... This week's short story is: TURN LEFT! NO, RIGHT! NO, LEFT! Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons...

Duration:00:34:50

EPISODE 180: ROBOT TANK

7/7/2019
More
Episode 180 of Atari Bytes is all about giving tanks. That's not a typo, 'cause we're overjoyed and overrun by tanks this week with Activision's 1983 Battlezone rip-off tank adventure game ROBOT TANK. In the game, it's 2019 and the landscape is overrun by hostile forces who want nothing more than to destroy you and take control. Weird how Activision knew in 1983 what life would be like so many years later. It's like Activision predicted Twitter. This week's short story is: ROSIE THE...

Duration:00:43:41

EPISODE 179: PITFALL! (INTELLIVISION)

6/30/2019
More
This week, I'm swinging in on a vine as Planet Funk Con sinks into the quicksand below and I land on the other side to record a podcast. The episode, unfortunately, is just me screaming as I am crushed by a rolling log. I recorded episode 179 after attending Planet Funk Con where much fun was had. (Hello, new listeners!) This week marks the end of Intellivision Month for the podcast. (Stop cheering!) We close on a high - and not just because of those vines. We're playing PITFALL! for the...

Duration:00:32:58

EPISODE 178: LOCK 'N' CHASE (INTELLIVISION)

6/23/2019
More
This week on the podcast we LOCK in episode 178 and CHASE down another game as Intellivision month avoids the Atari cops to continue for another week. My surprise co-host and I are playing the Mattel 1982 edition to the Intellivision line LOCK 'N' CHASE. Does this Pac-Man wannabe maze game steal our hearts or leave us locked in a cold dungeon of disappointment? This week's short story comes to us from Bad Poetry Corner: DEADLOCKED. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative...

Duration:00:56:37

EPISODE 177: ROULETTE (INTELLIVISION)

6/16/2019
More
So, is Intellivision month on ATARI BYTES continuing in episode 177? You BET it is! In 1979, Mattel gambled on a game based on the thing kids love most: casino gambling. This week's title is ROULETTE. Place your bets. When the ball drops on this episode, will you be in the audio chips or the gaming gutter? This week's original short story is: SPIN IT, BOB! Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance", and "Pinball...

Duration:00:48:29

EPISODE 176: HORSE RACING (INTELLIVISION)

6/9/2019
More
YAH, HORSEY! YAH! ATARI BYTES Episode 176 comes down the stretch with the second entry in our annual "Intellivision Month" - HORSE RACING, Mattel, 1980. Pull off your blinkers, grab hold of your podcatcher's irons and coax that filly into the backstretch to break maiden on this latest episode! It's a breeze! Oh, and, for you Henry groupies: He's on this week! This week's original short story: "Ghost Horses" Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs...

Duration:01:04:50

EPISODE 175: SPACE ARMADA (INTELLIVISION MONTH)

6/2/2019
More
Do you like gladiator movies? I only ask because when you watch a gladiator movie, it's astounding how these brave, bold warriors insist on lining up in straight lines and running at each other, expecting that they won't be mowed down. Still, you have to cut the gladiators some slack. They lived centuries ago and had limited technology. Which makes it even more stunning that the futuristic alien invaders in Intellivision's SPACE ARMADA, Mattel, 1981, aren't any smarter. In episode 175,...

Duration:00:38:16

EPISODE 174: PLAQUE ATTACK

5/26/2019
More
Listen closely...hear that? Right now, as I write and you read this, tiny little plaque jerks are eating away at your tooth enamel. You can hear them, can't you? I can't unfortunately, as the voices in my head are much louder. We're playing Activision's 1983 ode to oral hygiene, PLAQUE ATTACK. Blast the plaque with your tube of toothpaste and leave the whole eight teeth in your mouth minty fresh. Pucker up! This week's short story is: "Bared Teeth. Bared Soul." Thanks to Kevin McLeod at...

Duration:00:45:23

EPISODE 173: SUB SCAN

5/19/2019
More
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...

Duration:00:41:49

EPISODE 172: BUGS

5/12/2019
More
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...

Duration:00:34:25

EPISODE 171: T:ME SALVO (7800 Homebrew)

5/5/2019
More
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...

Duration:00:47:42