Geek Trivia

The Magnavox Odyssey Came With What To Enhance Early Video Game Play?

TV Screen Overlays
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Answer: TV Screen Overlays

When the Magnavox Odyssey came out in 1972, the first-generation console included something that borders on the unbelievable to a modern consumer: plastic sheets you were expected to stick on the screen of your television.

The 1970s game system might have been a milestone in the history of video game consoles and certainly impressive for its day, but it didn’t output color nor could it output anything even remotely resembling advanced graphics. Given the monochrome and simplistic output, Magnavox shipped the systems with a set of screen overlays intended to jazz up the game experience.

The screen overlays portrayed a haunted house, tennis court, American football field, shooting gallery, casino, and more where the games took place. The system was also packaged with board-game-like accessories including dice, play money, score sheets, and poker chips, all in a bid to add color, flair, and interest to the games that the primitive hardware just couldn’t deliver.

Image courtesy of Evan Amos.