show episodes
 
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 if we can't find those answers, we'll make 'em up.
 
Game designer Matt Jackson, a 10 year game industry vet, and his guests explore the world of game design and game dev to bring you their perspectives on how games are made. Explore the fundamentals to get you started on your first game, learn how small, medium and large projects come to life from a wide range of game devs and gain knowledge to build better games.
 
We're a lifestyle podcast hosted by adult gamers trying to juggle our hobbies with the increasing demands of the "real world." Join us each week to catch up on what we've been up to lately, whether it's saving the world from space aliens or learning how to change a diaper. Check out our web site for links to connect with us on YouTube, iTunes, Stitcher, and more, at gamelifebalance.us. And if you like what you hear, then please leave us a review!
 
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show series
 
Let ye who is without Sin-istar, cast the first pod. Well, fortunately for us, we DO have this episode's game SINISTAR, the 1984 Atari 2600 port prototype of the arcade game. Is the game a heavenly delight or sinfully awful? Count your luck stars and join us. Bad Poetry Corner: THE SINN SISTERS HOST A BRUNCH Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.co…
 
Todays episode Denise Chan joins me for one of the most mind-bending, f#cked up, bat s#it crazy movies I've ever seen . Despite this film's wacky over the top universe jumping and visually stunning special effects, "Everything Everywhere all at once" is also a heartfelt story about family, acceptance and generational trauma. If you'd like to hear m…
 
Released in 2021, 'Pig' is an intriguing tale. At first it seems like yet another run of the mill revenge tale about a reclusive man who has his truffle pig kidnapped. Initially, it follows the same cliches as action hits like 'John Wick', but about 10 minutes into this film, you start to realize that this is going to be something so much more. Thi…
 
Over the last few years, Nicolas Cage seems to have made a comeback, and today’s movie seems to embody everything we love about the actor. Tuning in you’ll hear about the setup of this action-packed comedy film in which Nicolas Cage plays himself caught between a super fan (played by Pedro Pascal) and a CIA agent (played by Tiffany Haddish), with p…
 
In episode 304, you're joining the podcast at an historic moment...the debut of our brand-new (refurbished) ATARI 5200 CONSOLE (Thanks, Jose!) We launch into the stratospheric heights of new game possiblities by falling into the dungeon, the SPACE DUNGEON, to be specific. The 1983 Taito arcade port is my focus in this one...until my cameraman wrest…
 
Today Michael reviews Scream 5, which he refuses to refer to as Scream 2022. Without giving away any spoilers, he explains the basic setup of this film and how it fits into the greater Scream franchise. Michael explains how the franchise compares to other franchises (like Halloween), which, unlike Scream, often tend to disregard all previous sequel…
 
Today on the show, Michael reviews Morbius, the latest movie to come out of Sony studios. If you were hoping that Morbius would be an improvement on Sony’s Venom, prepare to be disappointed. Many of the movies that have come out of Sony studios have been baffling in how terrible their story-lines are. With their wealth of resources and talent, you’…
 
Throw this ATARI BYTES episode on the junk heap. Episode 303 is going to the SCRAPYARD DOG (For the 7800, Atari, 1990). Is this game doggone fun or just one for the dogs? SHORT STORY - BAD POETRY CORNER: DOGGED Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Reformat" and "Pinball Spring". Thanks to…
 
In this episode, Denise and Michael sit down to review the latest Pixar release, Turning Red. A touching and progressive film, Turning Red tells the story of puberty through the experiences of Mei-lin, a 13-year old girl, who keeps turning into a big red panda whenever she gets excited! The film uses this looming metaphor to explore the discomfort …
 
Episode: Show Notes. The new Batman film directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz has received a lot of attention and acclaim from critics and audiences since its release. An even more gloomy and hopeless noir about the world of Gotham City and the Dark Knight, it can be argued that The Batman does not even feel like a …
 
Do you remember the 1970's cartoon "Gilligan's Planet", where the castaways travel from the island to outer space? No? Well, you should. It was...something. The 7800 game BALLBLAZER, which we played in episode 301, is a little like that. It's like transporting a soccer game from the stadium to space. "Ted Lasso" in an astronaut helmet maybe. So, is…
 
Uncharted is one of Sony Playstation's biggest videogame franchises and now it's time for this game to become A GENERIC ACTION MOVIE starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. Can this videogame adaptation finally prove that video game movies don't have to suck or will its miscasting cause audiences to check out Support the show (https://www.facebook.…
 
ATARI BYTES is 300 episodes old! If it were years, we'd be older than America! ATARI BYTES deserves some respect as the country's elder. I'm going to stop paying taxes. We're taking a break from the video games and story-fying to play a good, old-fashioned video game. This time, it's Buffalo Games' 2021 SPACE INVADERS: THE BOARD GAME. But is this b…
 
The Moon God gets a bad rap. Sure, in QUEST FOR QUINTANA ROO, the 1984 game from Sunrise Software, the Moon God wants to kill you. But, I mean, in the game you are plundering the Moon God's ancient temple. On the upside, all this unpleasantness did bring about episode 298 of ATARI BYTES! Bad Poetry Corner: The Quest Chooses Us Thanks to Kevin McLeo…
 
King Richard stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams. The film deals with the struggles that Richard faced as he guided and mentored the girls through the harsh path to becoming the 2 biggest sports icons of all time. I discuss whether this film is another trash biopic that fails to capture the spirit of its re…
 
Any old show could give you mutants, but how many can offer you COMMUNIST mutants? 2021 had Covid spinoffs, insurrections and climate upheavals. 2022 has communist mutants. Seems about right. In episode 297, we played the 1982 weirdly named Starpath game COMMUNIST MUTANTS FROM SPACE. Because with a title like that, how could we not? Short Story: A …
 
In this week's episode, we do an in-depth spoiler review of the latest web-swinging adventure from the Marvel cinematic universe "SpiderMan No Way Home" the third installment in the Tom Holland Spiderman films. Can a Spiderman film that relies on nostalgia and juggling so many old supervillains maintain balance or does Spider-Man feel like another …
 
It's the last episode of 2021! And in honor of our laziness tradition, for the last episode we put away the games and rest our story-thinking brains, and kick back with a movie. This time, we're watching the 1983....cult?...classic KRULL, which inspired the Atari game eagle-eared listeners will remember we talked about in episode 295 Was KRULL a kr…
 
ATARI BYTES episode 295 is all about KRULL, Atari's adaptation of the 1983 sci-fi movie...classic?...of the same name. The game, like the movie, has you, the hero, trying to defeat The Beast, with a star-shaped "glaive", save the princess and defend the galaxy. So, is this game a five-pointed romp, or a pointless exercise, times five? We'll find ou…
 
The Suicide Squad is BACK! Bloodier, funnier, and more focused this time from director James Gunn Does this kinda-sorta sequel-reboot to 2016's Suicide Squad finally do justice and erase the horrible taste in my mouth of 2016 's Suicide Squad' or is it the 2nd strike for Warner Brothers Support the show (https://www.facebook.com/TheOzCulturePodcast…
 
Birds of a feather listen to podcasts together. Or alone. Whatever. You do you. In episode 293, from 1982, we're playing one of the few Ultravision titles, CONDOR ATTACK. Does the game soar above the rest, or was I a dodo for playing? Here's hoping you don't get dive bombed while listening... Short Story: ATTACKED Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompet…
 
Michael is joined by Denise and Anthony to review the new video game movie Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds. Ryan Reynolds plays ....... you guessed it Ryan Reynolds is himself THE RYAN REYNOLDS!!. This episode discusses the frustrations of gender politics in movies, the misrepresentation of the gaming culture, and we work out whether Free Guy is t…
 
I LOVE TRASH! ANYTHING FUNNY AND GAMEY AND PODCASTY! OH, I LOVE TRASH...PODCASTS! In episode 291, can you tell me how to get to podcast street? We're playing the 1983 educational title SESAME STREET: OSCAR'S TRASH RACE. Oh, yes. We are. Bad Poetry Corner: GROUCH POTATO - A POEM Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of h…
 
today Michael has special guest Dani Bouskila help him countdown our top 5 favorite sex scenes in movies. We discuss what makes a great sex scene in a movie and what makes a bad one. better get ready cause it's about to get hot! Support the show (https://www.facebook.com/TheOzCulturePodcast/)By Michael Pisciuneri
 
Pass the Pepto!* I mean joystick! *This episode sponsored by Pepto-Bismol** **We wish. In episode 290, we're playing the Parker Brothers 1984 title MONTEZUMA'S REVENGE, where you race through gloomy caverns, dodging skulls, snakes, spiders, treacherous drops and lava. All to make your way to the toilet. Sorry! Make your way to the treasure room. Ma…
 
In today's episode, Michael and special guest Hayley Hughes countdown our top 5 female characters in film. They could be ass-kickers, femme Fatales, or villainous beauties. These are the women that promote strength, character depth and left a lasting impact on us even after the credits rolled Support the show (https://www.facebook.com/TheOzCultureP…
 
In ATARI BYTES episode 289, the unicorns are chasing the centaurs across the grassy knolls that dot Mt. Olympus; winged gods soar above, inspiring the mortals...and probably impregnating them occasionally. Not really. We're playing MINES OF MINOS, from CommaVid, 1982. It's all maze, no minotaurs. You can put away your ball of thread. Or not. Someth…
 
Play a space game requiring super technical, minor adjustments to thrust vectors and yaw? More like YAWN, amirite? In 288, we're playing Activision's (squee!) 1983 space shuttle simulator SPACE SHUTTLE: A JOURNEY INTO SPACE. Instead of, we suppose, a journey into the local supermarket. The game is a technical marvel. But is it fun? Is it really eve…
 
In today's episode, we countdown our top 5 movies that ruined popular movie franchises and may have been the final nail in the coffin or the beginning of the end for one once popular movie franchises Then we look at the top 5 movies that saved movie franchises from ending and brought them back to the promised land Support the show (https://www.face…
 
Belgian listeners! Episode 287 is for you! On this episode of ATARI BYTES, we're playing the 1982 Coleco game SMURFS: RESCUE IN GARGAMEL'S CASTLE. The game features those super annoying beloved blue cartoon characters the SMURFS! And we're terribly sorry about that. Can you ever smurf us? Hey! watch the smurfin' language! There are smurfettes prese…
 
Our Olympic fever shows no sign of breaking. The mercury has shot out the top of the thermometer, splattering all over this week's episode. In 286 of ATARI BYTES, we're playing VIDEO OLYMPICS, one of Atari's 1977 "original nine" games. There's very little actual Olympic content. But that's okay because I have very little actual Olympic skill. This …
 
In today's episode Michael and special guest Sean review 'Colossal' released in 2016 This film stars Anne Hathaway as a toxic party girl with newfound powers that must solve the mystery when new kaiju monsters appear in Korea. She is joined by Jason Sudeikis in a film role that definitely strays into unknown territory for the actor/comedian Support…
 
We take a look at the strange ,dark,disturbing and mostly brilliant comedy special from Bo Burnham. Completely shot, edited and performed by Bo himself in a small confined space during lockdown. This special was thought provoking and an incredible insight into one of the most creative comedians currently working today Support the show (https://www.…
 
Intellivision Month 2021 concludes this month in ATARI BYTES episode 283. We're playing TRON DEADLY DISCS, inspired by the "cult classic" movie. It's a collision of cult classic movie and cult classic podcast! (I might be delusional.) This week's short story: DEADLY DISCS - A STEVE STETSON, 1980s SUPERSPY, ADVENTURE Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incomp…
 
INTELLIVISION MONTH 2021 barrels forward on ATARI BYTES 282. Much as we do with the twisty maze that is life, we're winding our way through the twisty maze of Mattel's 1982 Intellivision offering NIGHT STALKER, a/k/a the 2600 game "Dark Cavern". (spoiler!) But...are you stalking the bats/spiders/robots. Or...are they stalking YOU? More importantly,…
 
You're gliding along peacefully, when suddenly your periscope shoots upward. Through the murky depths you are shocked to see rocketing toward you... ATARI BYTES episode 281! Intellivision Month continues this week with Mattel's 1982 nautical adventure SUB HUNT. Is it a thrilling submarine simulator or a soul-crushingly boring, slow-paced game bogge…
 
INTELLIVISION MONTH 2021 has arrived in episode 280 of ATARI BYTES! *Deafening cheers erupt* **Also an angry stampede out the door by some Atari purists** We kick things off with Mattel's 1981 title STAR STRIKE, which may or may not be inspired by Star Wars; which is true of much of life really. That's why I dress as an Ewok much of the time. Can a…
 
What happens when you finally let a creative director do whatever the f#ck he wants?? you get 'Army Of The Dead' Zack Snyder lets his slo-mo run wild in this heist movie meets the zombie apocalypse Michael is joined by special guest Angela Zhou as we break down the latest Netflix release that sees Dave Batista lead a ragtag crew of mercenaries into…
 
Nicholas Cage becomes UNCAGED as a silent assassin that beats the crap out of a crew of man-eating animatronics possessed by serial killers in 'Willy's Wonderland' Michael and Denise discover what happens when you combine Five nights at Freddy's with an unhinged Nicholas Cage. SPOILER ALERT Support the show (https://www.facebook.com/TheOzCulturePod…
 
Doing something a little different this week in ATARI BYTES episode 279. Setting aside the games (Wait! Come back!) to share some thoughts I had while working a booth at a recent convention to promote the show and my books. In short, I noticed Atari did not have a huge presence, nor indeed did very much from before the 1980s. What gives? Could it b…
 
Take a deep breath. Smell that? That's episode 278's equine-filled game. On this week's ATARI BYTES, we're playing the 1980 horse-racing game, STEEPLECHASE. Jockey your way to this episode and mount your steed. This week's short story: STEEPLECAUGHT Thanks to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for creative commons use of his songs "Take a Chance", "Re…
 
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