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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?).

Aug 2, 2020

With all the stress and worry in the world right now, it'd be great in ATARI BYTES episode 236 to play a relaxing little game. Maybe "Concentration" or "Surround". Something low stress. Let's see what we've got...

*Reads production notes*

FRONT LINE...Coleco 1984...Soldiers. Jungle warfare. Tanks. Anti-tank missiles....

Well, crap. 

I'll be over here in a fetal position. 

This week's short story: CONSTANTLY ON THE FRONT LINE, SO DAMN EXHAUSTING - BAD POETRY CORNER

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. 

www.carnivalofgleecreations.com is where you should go for info, social media and episode links for this show ATARI BYTES here and for my other show IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here

The website also has information about and links to some places to buy books that I've written, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Support the show by becoming a subscriber on patreon.com. Get episodes early! Get bonus content!

"Invisible Zeppelin" is a weekly "audio sitcom" from Nat Gertler and aboutcomics.com  Episode 5 just came out and was written by me! I had a lot of fun doing it and I hope you'll check it out. Go find it on the podcatcher of your choice or at the website here.

Jul 26, 2020

If Kermit the Frog and Michigan J. Frog from Looney Tunes were amphibian stars, episode 235 of ATARI BYTES features that frog who desperately wanted to be in show business, but never caught a break. We're playing FROG POND, Atari's 1982 game for kids that never got released. Sorry, froggie. 

This week's short story: POND-CAST

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

Go to www.carnivalofgleecreations.com for links, social media and show notes for this show, ATARI BYTES, and my other show IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN. 

The website also has info and links to some of the places you can order my books, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Subscribe to the show on patreon.com and you could get episodes early! Or maybe even BONUS CONTENT! Go do that thing here. 

Zazzle.com has "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts at mugs here.

Jul 19, 2020

This week in episode 234 of ATARI BYTES, it's clear Atari in 1989 was really out there. How else to explain the premise of FATAL RUN: a scared, sick and dying world waits desperately for the delivery of a vaccine that will save them.

I mean, how crazy is that?!?!

This week's short story: VACCINE VALENTINE

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

You can find ATARI BYTES show notes, episodes, social media and many other what nots at www.carnivalofgleecreations.com The same can be said for my other podcast IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here.

The website also has information about my books, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS, and links to some of the places you can buy them. 

You can support the show by subscribing on Patreon.com. You could get episodes early and bonus content. Thanks!

"Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs are over there at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

 

Jul 12, 2020

As the once mighty ship 2600 slipped beneath the waves of the gaming ocean, Atari tossed out a few last games for the iconic, but now obsolete, system. Episode 233's game is one of them.

We're playing DOUBLE DUNK, a 1989 basketball game; one of only two basketball games Atari made, evidently. Is it clear from playing this game why that might be? Or did Atari miss it's b-ball calling the way I miss most three-pointers?

This week's short story: DAN DUNK AND THE DETERMINED DOUGHNUT

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

Go to www.carnivalofgleecreations.com for show notes, info and social media for ATARI BYTES here and my other show IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here.

The website also has information and links to some of the places where you can buy my books, like IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME and MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Become a subscriber to ATARI BYTES on patreon.com and you could get episodes EARLY! You could even get various bits of BONUS CONTENT of dubious quality! Go here to do that!

"Go Play Some Old Games. They've Missed You." shirts and mugs exist for your consumption over at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

Jun 28, 2020

As Intellivision Month draws to a close in episode 231, prepare to be swept off your feet by the enchanting tale of "Beauty & the Beast"! Soak up that Disney Magic!

*checks notes*

Sorry, not the Disney movie. Okay, we cover the times fairy tale from....

*squints at some scribbles in notes*

Sorry again. Actually, we're playing iMagic's 1982 game "Beauty & the Beast" which seems to bear no relation to either of these two. The real question, though: is this game a BEAUTY or a BEAST?!?!?

THIS WEEK'S SHORT STORY: QUARANTINE'S MONSTER - A Bad Poetry Corner Haiku-Off.

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

www.carnivalofgleecreations.com is your one stop for ATARI BYTES episodes, social medial and more. While you're there, check out IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN, a monthly show dedicated to all things in and around the iconic "Peanuts" comic strip. 

The website also has information about books I've written and links to some of the places from which you can order them. 

Subscribe to ATARI BYTES on Patreon.com and you could get access to episodes early! You could even get bonus content!

Get "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

 

Jun 21, 2020

Intellivision month rolls on in episode 230 like a poker chip off the chest of a gambler who has passed out after a sound thrashing by Lady Luck.

We're playing Mattel's LAS VEGAS POKER & BLACKJACK from 1979. What are the odds that this is a good episode? Well, we're keeping our cards close to our vest. We've managed to bluff our way through 230 episodes so far...

THIS WEEK'S SHORT STORY: WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS ISN'T GOING TO CLEAN ITSELF

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

You can find ATARI BYTES show notes, social media and episodes here and for the monthly IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN, dedicated to all things Snoopy and "Peanuts" here at www.carnivalofgleecreations.com 

The website also has info about books I've written and links to some of the places you can buy them. 

Subscribe to the ATARI BYTES Patreon project at patreon.com and you could get access to episodes early! And BONUS content!

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store. 

Jun 7, 2020

Any old episode could give you swords.

Any old episode could give you serpents.

But this week in episode 228, to launch INTELLIVISION MONTH 2020, we're giving you SWORDS AND SERPENTS.  I know! How can we afford such generosity?

Does this 1982 iMagic sword and sorcery (and serpent) title win the treasure or deserve to die in a fireball? 

THIS WEEK'S SHORT STORY: STUCK

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

www.carnivalofgleecreations.com has show notes, episodes, social media and more for ATARI BYTES here and for the monthly podcast dedicated to all things Charles Schulz and the iconic comic strip "Peanuts" IT'S  A PODCAST, CHARLE BROWN here.

The website also has info about books I've written, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS here.

Become a subscriber to the podcast on Patreon.com and you could get access to episodes EARLY. You could even get bonus content. 

Check out "Go Play Some Old Games. They've Missed You." shirts and mugs in the ATARI BYTES store on zazzle.com.

 

May 31, 2020

ATARI BYTES episode 227 explores a concept many of us in this pandemical age in which we live may have forgotten: commuting from one place to another. That place, specifically, is outer space. We're guessing social distancing is a bit easier up there. And if you sneeze, you just splatter the inside of your own helmet instead of the other commuters.

We're playing Activision's 1984 ode to the soul-crushing time-suck that is the commute: COSMIC COMMUTER. Whatever else can be said, at least we know the experience will be...stellar.

This week's short story: THE COMMUTANTS

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

You can find ATARI BYTES show notes, social media, episodes and more here on www.carnivalofgleecreations.com and the same stuff for my other podcast, IT'S  A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here.

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." mugs and shirts at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store 

Become a subscriber to ATARI BYTES on the Patreon.com page. If you do, you could get episodes early! Even BONUS CONTENT! The commute over to Patreon is totally worth it!

Please consider picking up one of my books, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS or the novel IN THE ST. NICK OF TIME. The website has info and links to some places you can do that.

May 24, 2020

The game this week on ATARI BYTES is an unreleased prototype. The episode is not.

Or is it?

We're playing COMBAT TWO, announced by Atari in 1982 for a 1984 release that never happened. Yet, here it is.

Maybe the show has never happened either. Maybe never happened. Or you. Maybe everything is an illusion.

Anyway...happy listening!

This week's short story: COMBAT, COMBAT EVERYWHERE

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

www.carnivalofgleecreations.com has info, show notes, episodes and more for this show, ATARI BYTES, here and for my monthly podcast IT'S  A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here.

The website also has info and links to some places to order my books, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS. 

Support the show by becoming an ATARI BYTES subscriber on Patreon.com. Get episodes early! Get BONUS content!

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

Apr 26, 2020

ATARI BYTES episode 222. Three of the same digit in the episode number. Three names for the same game. Coincidence?

Yes. Yes, it is.

We're playing homebrew "ATARI CLIMBER" in our continuing effort to alphabetically work our way through the Flashback 9. Or maybe we're playing "Climber". Or perhaps "Climber 5". 

Does the game reach the highest heights or sink to the lowest lows? Climb on up and grab a seat...

THIS WEEK'S SHORT STORY: JACOB'S OTHER LADDER

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

You can fine info, social media and episodes for ATARI BYTES here and for IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here on www.carnivalofgleecreations.com 

Become an ATARI BYTES Patreon subscriber here. You could get episodes EARLY. You could get BONUS content. Craziness!

Check out my books, including MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Get "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs at www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store.

Apr 12, 2020

THE CARNIVAL IS IN TOWN!

In episode 220, we flagrantly defy stay-at-home orders to go to the carnival. Okay, not really. But we are playing Sega's 1980 Atari 2600 game CARNIVAL. Grab a corn dog, do something involving butter, and take  a spin on the tilt-a-whirl. Just don't hug a carney. Social distancing, friends.

This week's short story: SECOND DUCK ON THE LEFT

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

You can find show notes, social media and info about ATARI BYTES here  and about my other podcast, IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here on www.carnivalofglee.com

Get info on the website about books I've written, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Support the podcast by becoming a subscriber on the ATARI BYTES page on Patreon.com here. Get episodes EARLY! Get BONUS episodes! Madness! Exclamation points!

Pick up "Go Play Some Old Games. They've Missed You." shirts and mugs. www.zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

Mar 29, 2020

So, in 1981, Atari was wanting to do a follow up to the hugely popular ASTEROIDS. What to call it? Asteroids II? Boring. Asteroids Again? Kind of whiny. And it doesn't play up the goal of improving on the original. Asteroids Better? Better what? Asteroids Mediocre?

*sigh*

Kenny from janitorial services walked by with a broom in one hand and a ham sandwich in the other. "Call it 'Asteroids Deluxe', he said and kept on walking.  

And a legend was born, one day to appear in episode 218.

This week's entry in Bad Poetry Corner: ODE TO ASTEROIDS DELUXE

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme. 

You can find info, show notes and episode links for ATARI BYTES and the monthly deep dive into the iconic "Peanuts" comic strip and related stuff IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN at www.carnivalofgleecreations.com 

Become an ATARI BYTES subscriber on Patreon.com and you could get episodes EARLY or maybe even BONUS content!

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs at zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

The website www.carnivalofgleecreations.com also has info and purchase links for books I've written, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Mar 15, 2020

Until now, I think the "newest" Atari game I had talked about on the show was from, like, 1988. Episode 216, though, is breaking new ground...by revisiting old ground. 

In 2007, AtariAge produced ADVENTURE II, a loving tribute to the iconic ADVENTURE as a cartridge you could actually buy and hold in your hands, I, however, played it on the Flashback 9, which came out a couple years ago. Castles! Vaguely (okay, now so vaguely) duck-like dragons! Chalices! It's all here!

This trip through the decades is exhausting. Kick back with my original short story: FATE'S FATE. 

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

www.carnivalofgleecreations.com is your one stop shop for ATARI BYTES info, social media, and episode links here. All that same stuff for my other podcast IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN is there too. What's that? Only the finest (and only the only) monthly podcast devoted to ALL THINGS related to the iconic "Peanuts" comic strip and related properties. (And we do mean "all things".)

Did you know I write books too? I do! Go the website here to find out about those titles and some of the places you can order them, if you're so inclined. Thanks!

Become a subscriber to the show on Patreon.com. Different subscription levels unlock different rewards. Get episodes early! Get bonus episodes! Thanks!

Pick up "Greetings, Fellow Blockheads" shirts and mugs on zazzle.com/ab_pod_store 

Mar 1, 2020

In episode 214: GOLF, we consider Atari's answer to the question: How can we take a game designed for walking around outside in nature and make it less healthy?

We also say goodbye to daredevil Mad Mike Hughes.

This week's short story: PEANUT PUTTER BUTTER

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

Thanks to Sean Courtney for the "Storytime" theme.

Find show notes, episode links, social media and more at www.carnivalofgleecreations.com here for ATARI BYTES and here for the monthly devotion to all things in and around the Peanuts comic strip IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN.

The webiste also has info about books by William Pepper, including MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Become a subscriber on the ATARI BYTES Patreon page here and help keep the lights on in the studio. 

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs on zazzle.com/ab_pod_store

Feb 23, 2020

If sports is a metaphor for human competition, auto racing is a metaphor for life as a whole: going round and round as fast and loud as possible, consuming as many resources as possible, without actually getting anywhere. 

Exhibit A: this week in ATARI BYTES episode 213, we're playing Atari's 1977 contribution to automotive sports INDY 500. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and perhaps you'll outrun the futility of existence without crashing into the inevitability of the finish line that awaits us all.

This week's short story: ANATOMY OF VROOM: A POEM

Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use 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" theme.

Show notes, episode links, social media for ATARI BYTES here. Same stuff for the monthly exploration of the "Peanuts" comic strip, IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here.

The website also has info and links to just some of the places you can order books by your host. For example, MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs at zazzle.com/ab_pod_store. 

Become a subscriber and help keep the lights on in the podcast studio by signing up at the Atari Bytes Patreon page. Get episodes early! Get bonus episodes! Good stuff!

Feb 16, 2020

On episode 212 of ATARI BYTES, we learn that maybe not all board games need to make the jump to the TV screen.

To be fair, our discussion of Atari's 1979 BACKGAMMON adaptation could be colored by the flu and flu-related weariness bombarding the podcast studio while putting the episode together. But we're not sure that excuses everything...

This week's short story: GET BACK, GAMMON!

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.

You can find show info, social media and links for ATARI BYTES on www.carnivalofgleecreations.com here and the same for the monthly devotion to ALL things related to the iconic comic strip "Peanuts" IT'S A PODCAST, CHARLIE BROWN here.

Pick up "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs on zazzle.com/ab_pod_store here.

Support show by becoming a subscriber on the ATARI BYTES Patreon project here. 

Go here for info and links to some of the places you can order books written by your host, like MISERY BANANA: VERY SHORT STORIES INSPIRED BY OLD GAMES AND ODD THOUGHTS.

Feb 9, 2020

Episode 211 of ATARI BYTES asks you, the listener, to test your MEMORY and remember back to a time long ago. CONCENTRATE and get ready to MATCH the fun you had with Hunt & Score in episode 192 as we get ready to play CONCENTRATION this week; the same game, by another name.

I know. You're not sure you can handle so much excitement in such a short time. It'll be okay. 

This week's short story: PERFECT MATCH

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.

Get show notes, episodes, social media and more for ATARI BYTES on www.carnivalofgleecreations.com

Also find show notes, episodes, social media and more for the monthly discussion of all things related to Peanuts comics here on www.carnivalofgleecreations.com 

Get "Go play some old games. They've missed you." shirts and mugs. 

Support the show by subscribing on the Atari Bytes page on Patreon here. Get episodes early! Got BONUS content! 

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