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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.
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United States

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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 181: MS. PAC-MAN (7800)

7/14/2019
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

EPISODE 170: GRAND PRIX

4/28/2019
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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...

Duration:00:30:57

EPISODE 169: MIDWEST GAMING CLASSIC ROUND UP

4/21/2019
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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...

Duration:00:36:41

EPISODE 168: CONGO BONGO

4/14/2019
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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...

Duration:00:36:09

EPISODE 167: MILLIPEDE

4/7/2019
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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...

Duration:00:39:37

EPISODE 166: SPACE ATTACK

3/31/2019
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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...

Duration:00:37:10

EPISODE 165: DARK CAVERN

3/24/2019
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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...

Duration:00:49:40

EPISODE 164: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: MUSICAL MATCH-UPS

3/17/2019
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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...

Duration:00:47:43

EPISODE 163: KANGAROO

3/10/2019
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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...

Duration:00:38:11

EPISODE 162: DRAGSTER

3/3/2019
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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....

Duration:00:40:06