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Atari 2600 overlaysAtari 2600 overlays

Most people don't think of overlays when it comes to the 2600, but there are actually several for the system, mainly for use with the various keypad controllers Atari released over the system's life span. The first overlays for the 2600 were packaged with Basic Programming, which made use of two keypad controllers and a unique overlay for each. Atari later released a keypad packaged with Star Raiders, and it too used an overlay (no other games ever took advantage of this controller). Atari also released a much larger keypad for use with their Children's games (Alpha Beam with Ernie, Big Bird's Egg Catch, Cookie Monster Crunch and Oscar's Trash Race). This controller was actually blessed with several colorful overlays.

Only two third-party companies produced overlays for the 2600, and neither of them is conventional. Activision created two overlays for Space Shuttle; one sits over the base of the unit and the other fits over the switches on the 2600. The other third-party overlay was created by Sega for use with Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulation. This overlay sits over the standard Atari 2600 joystick, but in practice was clumsy and not particularly useful.

 
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Title CompanyProfile
Alpha Beam with ErnieAtari
Basic ProgrammingAtari
Big Bird's Egg CatchAtari
Cookie Monster MunchAtari
Holey MoleySelf-Published
Oscar's Trash RaceAtari
Space ShuttleActivision
Star RaidersAtari
Star RaidersSears
Star Trek: Strategic Operations SimulatorSega
SynthcartSelf-Published