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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.
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Remember those great Atari 2600 games? Sure, they were 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 the Defender was defending or why those robots went Berserk? Me too! ATARI BYTES is a game review podcast like no other. We review not just the game play, but the STORY within these classic games. We take a BYTE out of the story (get it?) and see if that story BYTES us back (now do you get it?).

Mar 26, 2017

We're taking another spin through the time vortex and jumping out in the era of the Atari 7800 this week to play the 1986 iconic Atari game ROBOTRON 2084. If you're one of the few who hasn't heard of or played this legendary game, this might help: just imagine this is an even MORE dystopian version of the world set out in George Orwell's novel 1984. It's no surprise that Orwell might be interested in writing about robots. Orwell, famously, was a cyborg novelist.*

*That might not be accurate.**

**But how cool would that be????

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Pinball Spring", "Take a Chance", and "Reformat".

Atari Bytes show notes and episodes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Please consider supporting the show on our Patreon page!

Also check out cool "Go play some old games" shirts and more at our Zazzle.com store, AB_Pod_Store

Mar 19, 2017

So, what do we get in Atari's 1978 adventure game SPACE WAR?

There's space.

There's war.

Sort of.

Tune in to find out just what we mean by that!

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Find awesome "Go Play Some Old Games" shirts, mugs and more at our store on Zazzle.com

Consider supporting the show financially on our Patreon page.

Mar 12, 2017

For all you haters who think video games rot the mushy brains of impressionable youth, the 1978 Atari game BRAIN GAMES is for you. It's like a console version of the classic handheld games Simon and Merlin without the portability. Or the bright colors. Or the fun.

Doing its part to foster a generation of drug free, sex free, non-fun-having gamers, playing BRAIN GAMES is like being the 1980s teen our parents dreamed of all over again!

Sorry for all the thoughtless Wargames: Dead Code spoilers this week! You've been warned. (Settle down, you've never heard of that movie before now either.)

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

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store AB_Pod_Store at Zazzle.com

Contribute financially at our Patreon Page.

Mar 5, 2017

I wear my sunglasses at night.

This made it a bit difficult to play this week's game NIGHT DRIVER, the 1980 game from Atari. I pretty much crashed into everything, then just reset the game and pretty much acted as if nothing happened. It's kind of like what Congress does.

Put on your sunglasses and hop into the driver's seat.

Atari Bytes episodes and show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon page where you can help support the show.

Pick up "Go Play Some Old Games" shirts and more at Zazzle.com AB_Pod_Store

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Feb 26, 2017
EPISODE 58: TUTANKHAM

WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN...

Seriously. Do it. Do it now.

Okay, sit down, you look ridiculous.

This week on the podcast, we have a 1983 Parker Bros. game about looting ancient Egyptian ruler King Tut's tomb. The game is called TUTANKHAM, and is apparently so good, you won't have time to put the last "en" on the name before you must rush off to play it.

Do we agree? More importantly, what stories has the mysterious ancient tomb left to tell?

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 episodes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon donation page

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com AB_Pod_Store - new t-shirts and mugs!

The Nerdist Weird Al Yankovic interview

The History of Digital Games by Andrew Williams

Feb 19, 2017
EPISODE 57: STAR FOX

We wondered why one reviewer declared that the best thing about Mythicon's 1983 game STAR FOX, the intended first in a series of games, was that Mythicon didn't make any more games in that series.

Now we know.

This space adventure(?) has something to do with recuing mysterious space-y energy crystals, which might just be Walter White's blue meth, for all we learn from the game, from some vague enemy race.

Sound fun? No, really. Does it?

Well, a bad day of Atari is still better than a good day at work. Right? And if work is bad too, maybe this good (?) episode will get you through it.

My 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 episodes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store - now with new shirts and mugs!

The Atari Bytes Patreon page - help support us financially!

Feb 12, 2017
EPISODE 56: CHOPPER COMMAND

We love us some Activision on the podcast, so doing the 1982 high-flying adventure CHOPPER COMMAND was a no-brainer.

But is this helicopter game hella-good? Will the Sun God Helios be favored or displeased by all the heli-stuff that isn't him?

So many questions. Also, we shoot things with lasers. Go find an air sick bag and join us!

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance", and "Pinball Spring".

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Atari Bytes

The Atari Bytes page on Zazzle.com for cool shirts and mugs and stuff

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

Feb 5, 2017
EPISODE 55: SNEAK 'N PEEK

Red rover, red rover...

Bubblegum, bubblegum, in a dish...

Olly olly oxen free...

So, at some point in the early 1980s, someone had the idea to turn the perennial children's backyard pastime, good ol' hide and seek, into a two-dimensional, piexelated video game. SNEAK 'N PEEK, 1982, from U.S. Games Corporation, was the result. How'd that work out? About as well as you'd expect.

But we played it anyway.

Also, the junior podcaster, Henry, is along for the ride to help us through this nonsense as only he can.

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring".

Atari Bytes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store (AB_Pod_Store) at Zazzle.com

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

Jan 29, 2017
EPISODE 54: DOUBLE DRAGON (7800)

This week on the podcast, we experience our own days of future past as we leap forward in time to the 7800 era of Atari to check out the 1987 classic DOUBLE DRAGON, a throwback '80's mullet and leg warmers classic. Also, lots of people get punched in the face.

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".

Thanks also to bensound.com for the use this week of his song "Funny Song".

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store AB_Pod_Store at Zazzle.com

The Atari Bytes Patreon Page

Jan 22, 2017
EPISODE 53: SKIING

This week on the podcast, we hit the slopes for a little downhill fun...by which we mean sit in the ski lodge with a hot toddy. Or two.

Activision's 1980 SKIING is our focus. We love us some Activision on the podcast. Does this game make all the gates in record time or is it just one big ugly series of moguls all the way down? Tune in to find out.

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring", "Take a Chance", "Killers" and "Volatile Reaction".

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

The Atari Bytes Patreon donation page

Jan 15, 2017
EPISODE 52: ROAD RUNNER

BEEP BEEP!

This week, we take a bird seed break, which should give us just enough time to talk about the 1985 Atari game ROAD RUNNER before the coyote catches us.*

*Kidding. You've seen Looney Tunes, right? No WAY is he going to catch us.**

**Actually, I haven't gotten past level 2, so the coyote does catch us. A LOT.

Discussion topic for the week: Is the Acme Corporation really just the 1940s version of Amazon? I'll expect your five-hundred word essay answers on my desk by Monday morning.

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

Atari Bytes Patreon page

Jan 8, 2017
EPISODE 51: ADVENTURE

Well, 2017 has firmly affixed itself to our calendars, much like a parasite feeding on our very souls.

So! Do we hide in a carton of ice cream and binge Netflix? Or do we embrace the adventure that life has in store?

Well, we here at Atari Bytes have a compromise. If adventuring outside is too scary...just play this week's game -  Atari's 1980 legend ADVENTURE!*

*You can still have the ice cream.

Side note: the artwork on the cartridge is great. That just needed to be said.

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

Jan 1, 2017
EPISODE 50: GALAXIAN

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hey! Wake up. Splash some cold water on your face and drown your hangover in coffee. Then crawl feebly onto the couch to check out this first episode of 2017.

Our focus this month is Atari's 1983 port of the legendary GALAXIAN (legendary mostly in the sense of being the forerunner of the way more popular Galaga). Like the Baby New Year, does this game fills the diaper of our souls with the promise of great things to come or a steamy pile of eight-bit poo?

Now, let's fire up the Atari and get our galaxi-ON!

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance."

Atari Bytes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

The video of that dude making me look bad by getting 99 points in Sky Diver is right here. Grrrrrrr! How I hate that guy!*

*I don't really hate him.**

**Well, maybe a little.

Dec 25, 2016
EPISODE 49: THE CHRISMYSTERY EPISODE

It's Christmas Day! Merry Christmas! (If you're listening to this in, like, June, then, um, happy Tuesday or whatever.) Here's a brand new, shiny yuletide package of pod-goodness from me to you.

And maybe, just maybe, if I've been a good little podcaster, there'll be a new game under my audio tree. But what game will it be....? It's a Chrismystery!

So ignore your relatives for thirty-eight minutes or so and come find out!

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".

Atari Bytes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

Check out my year in review at my blog. It's GOODNIGHT, 2016! presented in the style of "Goodnight, Moon".

Here's an Amazon link to Bill's novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME, but you can get it wherever you like to get books.

Dec 18, 2016
EPISODE 48: STAR WARS: JEDI ARENA

This week, episode 48 of the podcast is going to the dark side. In fairness, it wasn't a long journey given life in late 2016.

But it's all good because we're celebrating the release of STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE by playing the 1983 Parker Brothers game STAR WARS: JEDI ARENA.  You versus a fellow Jedi in a fast-moving battle of light saber on light saber action. If this is not the droid game you're looking for...moving along. But not until after you listen to this episode.

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Pinball Spring", "Reformat", and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

Bill's novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME makes a great gift! Could even be a stocking stuffer!

Dec 11, 2016
EPISODE  47: SKY DIVER

This week on the show, we plummet into the abyss and hope the parachute opens.

It's like life, really.

Our focus is Atari's 1979 port of the class arcade game SKY DIVER. As you plummet to the ground from a zooming plane hoping to hit the tiny landing pad, you'll wish you had that golden parachute. That's dumb, of course, since a gold parachute would be way too heavy and you'd crash to the ground like a bag of wet sand. Maybe it's best if you just stay in the plane and order another drink.

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat", and "Pinball Spring".

Atari Bytes notes and episodes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes store at Zazzle.com

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

Bill's novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME

Dec 4, 2016
EPISODE 46: SPACE INVADERS

You know how sometimes people say "this isn't your father's...whatever" to imply that the version of that thing YOU have is way cooler than what YOUR DAD had?

Well, this week on the show, we talk about your father's whatever.

That sounds weird. I'll explain.

The focus this week is Atari's 1980 port of the 1978 arcade classic SPACE INVADERS. When pong clones (soon to be a BBC series starring Tatiana Maslany) killed the video game market in 1977, an invasion of aliens marched in lock-step to bring the market back. SPACE INVADERS became so closely identified with gaming, that the little aliens are still iconic of that era.

But what about the game itself? Any good? Why are they invading? What do they want? Why are you the only one that can defend the Earth? So. Many. Questions.

Join us, won't you?

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons access to his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Atari Bytes Patreon Page

Zazzle.com Atari Bytes store AB_Pod_Store

Bill's novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME

Nov 27, 2016
EPISODE 45: TOWERING INFERNO

This week on Atari Bytes, we're burnin' down the house! Well, burnin' down a skyscraper anyway. Also, technically, we're supposed to be saving the building. Would have been nice to know that sooner.

Our focus is the 1982 U.S. Games production TOWERING INFERNO, which may or may not be based on the 1974 classic disaster film "The Towering Inferno". (Pick whichever enhances your enjoyment of the experience.)

In the game, you are a firefighter braving relentless flames, going floor-by-floor searching for survivors. I don't want to brag about my firefighting skills, but I'm going to be Mr. January in next year's "shirtless firefighter" calendar. So watch for that!

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance."

Atari Bytes shownotes

Zazzle.com AB_Pod_Store

Atari Bytes' Patreon page

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Bill's book IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME

Nov 20, 2016
EPISODE 44: AIR SEA BATTLE

A funny thing happened on the way to the podcast, this week...

We intended to do Codebreaker, as announced on the last episode. Turns out, though, that you need keypads to play it. This is a problem inasmuch as I didn't know Atari keypads existed. Fear not! Armed with this knowledge, Codebreaker will appear in a future episode.

Instead, we've got one of the original nine Atari games: 1977's AIR SEA BATTLE. This is a good time for a game based on conflict given that November 2016 has seen SO LITTLE conflict in American life. Oh well. It's play time!

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".

Atari Bytes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Atari Bytes Patreon page

Atari Bytes stuff at Zazzle.com

Bill's novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME

 

Nov 13, 2016
EPISODE 43: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Adventure has one name and that name is...James Bond.

Wait. That's not it. What is it again?

*Whip cracks*

Oh, right. Adventure has one name and that name is INDIANA JONES.

This week, we're off to Cairo as we race Nazis to get to the fabled lost ark first in Atari's 1982 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK adaptation. Also, Henry has a snack. So there's that.

Join us if you dare. But fair warning: there will be snakes.

Bonus points if you can hear my dog snoring on the audio. (Sorry 'bout that.)

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Take a Chance" and "Pinball Spring".

Atari Bytes notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Zazzle.com store at AB_Pod_Store

Atari Bytes Patreon page

Amazon link for Bill's novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME (or get it wherever else you choose)

Nov 6, 2016
EPISODE 42: MEGAMANIA

Mega!

Mega-mania!

it's gonna drive you insane!

Not really. if it does, maybe you should dial it back a bit.

BUT...the 1982 Activision (we love us some Activision!) game MEGAMANI is tons of crazy fun. (Spoiler: I really like this game.) It's our focus on this meaning-of-life-defining episode 42 (That's for you Douglas Adams fans) and we are crazy excited to get to it. Maniacal even!

Join us, won't you?

My thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes page

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Atari Bytes Patreon page

Zazzle.com store - AB_Pod_Store

Bill's novel - In the St. Nick of Time (Amazon link; but feel free to order wherever you like)

Oct 30, 2016
EPISODE 41: HAUNTED HOUSE

It's Halloween! (As this episode drops). Here's a little pod-treat for your goodie bags, you little goblins.

I'm joined by not one, but TWO, cohosts as both Henry and Sophie light candles and come along on a tour of Zachary Graves' spooky old mansion in Atari's 1981 fright-fest HAUNTED HOUSE. Join us...if you've got the guts.

BOO!

My 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

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store

Atari Bytes Patreon page

 

 

Oct 23, 2016
EPISODE 40: M*A*S*H

Grab a martini and Radar's teddy bear and come play M*A*S*H! The video game! On your TV!*

*You might need to put down either the martini or the bear to hold the joystick.

In episode 40, our focus is the 1983 20th Century Fox Video Games edition of the game based on the HUGELY popular show about whacky doctors and nurses plunked down in the army camp 4077 during the Korean War.

Plus...We have a special guest.  Henry is back! He joins us to share his thoughts about a game set in a war that, historically, means little to him because it happened sixty years ago and he's only seven.

But did he like the game? Tune in to find out!

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance."

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

The Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store

 

 

Oct 16, 2016
EPISODE 39: G.I. JOE: COBRA STRIKE

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

G.I. JOE: COBRA STRIKE, the 1983 Parker Brothers Atari game, is here to slither its way into your ear holes.

The game finds the evil COBRA organization targeting new Joe recruits with a HUGE laser-shooting and venom dripping snake. As one does.

In the game, you are manning the guns to defend the Joes. All of this smacks of bad military strategy to me. Does the plot hold up? We put our forked tongue all over this one to find out.

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance."

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

The Atari Bytes Zazzle.com store AB_Pod_Store

 

Oct 9, 2016
EPISODE 38: DONKEY KONG JUNIOR

In "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", Harrison Ford saved his father. Ian Ziering saved his dad David Hasselhoff a bunch of times in those "Sharknado" movies.

And now, this week, Donkey Kong Junior steps - make that leaps - up to claim his own place as daddy-saver. Will he do the family proud? If not, there's always "Sharknado IV".

Also in the episode: I rap, apparently.

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Reformat", "Pinball Spring" and "Take a Chance".

Atari Bytes show notes

It's a Podcast, Charlie Brown

The Zazzle.com store at AB_Pod_Store

The Atari Bytes Patreon page

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