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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

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 142: STARMASTER

10/14/2018
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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....

Duration:00:31:43

EPISODE 141: BLACKJACK

10/7/2018
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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...

Duration:00:44:41

EPISODE 140: TENNIS

9/30/2018
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This week's episode is dedicated to tennis great Serena Williams, who was beaten recently by a young upstart. Serena, if you're listening (and reading those show notes), you are welcome to come play TENNIS from Activision with me anytime. I assure you, you will have no trouble beating me. That's right, in episode 140, we're playing the 1981 Activision (squee!) game TENNIS. "What's this one about?" you ask. Then I ignore you because, really, that should be self-evident. We're talking about...

Duration:00:38:10

Episode 139: VIDEO CHESS

9/23/2018
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"Wouldn't you rather play a nice game of chess?" - Joshua, the WOPR US defense computer, speaking to Matthew Broderick in "Wargames". "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Matthew Broderick, though I think that was in a different movie. Anyway, this week, we're playing the 1979 Atari stalwart VIDEO CHESS. You thought you knew chess, but you haven't lived until you've seen rooks and bishops and whatnot rendered in digital form....

Duration:00:36:51

EPISODE 138: CRACK'ED

9/16/2018
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Sometimes, the setups for these blurbs write themselves. Are you ready? Here we go. This week's game is Atari's 1988 offering for the 7800 console CRACK'ED. Join us to find out if this game is all it's CRACKED up to be. Low-hanging fruit, friends. Or low hanging eggs, we should say. And we have to protect them from snakes and relentless birds. Seriously, Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" has nothing on this game. And why are the eggs in the trees? And in the sewer? And UNDER THE FLIPPIN'...

Duration:00:34:35

EPISODE 137: GALAGA (7800)

9/9/2018
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This week, we're battling the flagship of the Galagan fleet on ATARI BYTES, the flagship of all the podcasts on the Internet.* *Might not be the actual flagship.** **The podcast is mostly just tolerated. We're playing the 1987 Atari 7800 port of Namco's legendary GALAGA. The. Best. Game. Ever. Okay, that's debatable, but as much as has been said about the virtues (and some deficits) of the game, has anyone ever speculated about what was ticking off the Galagan Fleet? What it was like to...

Duration:00:35:04

EPISODE 136: SHARK ATTACK

9/2/2018
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the podcatcher… ATARI BYTES Episode 136 SHARK ATTACK (formerly known as LOCHJAW) is circling ever closer to its prey - I mean its listener - offering you a unique take on this 1982 Apollo game. This week's story could feature sharks...but that's a little on the nose, don't you think? We might go with a "My Dinner With Andre" type think piece instead. Or maybe not. You'll just have to listen and find out! Thanks to Mike Mann for his "Mad...

Duration:00:35:02

EPISODE 135: WARPLOCK

8/26/2018
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If your lock is warped, do you need a skeleton key with scoliosis to open it? We have many questions in episode 135, WARPLOCK from Date Age, 1982. None of which will be answered. How will the ship get free of the space/time warp leaving it at the mercy of the space pirates? If you warp time, does that mean I can watch Sharknado 6 live again? If you lock space, and you call a locksmith, can you just carpool with the locksmith back to where the ship is since you now occupy the same...

Duration:00:37:05

EPISODE 134: BUCK ROGERS PLANET OF ZOOM

8/19/2018
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In 2018, the ATARI BYTES podcast life support systems malfunctioned, freezing the host and leaving him in suspended animation. When he was revived five hundred years later, no one had a podcast app. NOOOOOOO! The future is scary, friends. But the future is a safe space in episode 134, BUCK ROGERS PLANET OF ZOOM from Sega, 1982. Why? Because Buck is here protecting us. Well, not actually US. He's protecting Planet Zoom. Or fighting it? And I guess it's never really clear that it's Buck in...

Duration:00:39:31

EPISODE 133: COSMIC CREEPS

8/12/2018
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In Episode 133 of Atari Bytes, we release our bopper! It's both creepy and cosmic, man! Our game this week is COSMIC CREEPS from Telesys, 1982. Your orbinaut must save the cosmic kids from the space station before the planet's orbit is in retrograde and the moon is in Sagittarius, but only when Uranus is visible. Or something. And why, exactly, are we unleashing our bopper in front of the orbinaut? Well, you'll have to stick around for the story to find out. Thanks to Kevin McLeod at...

Duration:00:30:35

EPISODE 132: WORM WAR I

8/5/2018
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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...

Duration:00:28:26

EPISODE 131: MOUNTAIN KING

7/29/2018
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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...

Duration:00:36:09

EPISODE 130: SSSNAKE

7/22/2018
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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...

Duration:00:26:59

EPISODE 129: MEGA FORCE

7/15/2018
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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...

Duration:00:46:38

EPISODE 128: POOYAN

7/8/2018
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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...

Duration:00:34:58

EPISODE 127: FREEWAY

7/1/2018
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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,...

Duration:00:36:52

EPISODE 126: INTELLIVISION MONTH- SUPER VIDEO ARCADE BOWLING

6/24/2018
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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...

Duration:00:36:43

EPISODE 125: INTELLIVISION MONTH - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

6/17/2018
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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...

Duration:00:34:54

EPISODE 124: INTELLIVISION MONTH - ASTROSMASH

6/10/2018
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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...

Duration:00:36:59

EPISODE 123: INTELEVISION MONTH - BURGERTIME

6/3/2018
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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...

Duration:00:38:55