These overlays (sometimes known as bezels) display art on top of the game you're playing. To use them, you need a PC or Raspberry Pi (or other compatible system) running some version of MAME and the associated game software, as well as a widescreen (16x9) monitor mounted vertically. To display the overlay while playing a game, download the artwork file for that game overlay (it must have the same filename as the game), place it in the Artwork folder within your MAME directory and launch the game. (For instance, the software for the game Magic Sword is called msword.zip, so it requires a file in the Artwork directory also called msword.zip.)
If you are using RetroArch, find the RetroArch folder in the pack download, or click the RETRO buttons below. Watch this video to learn how to install the overlays.
All overlays are 4K resolution (2160 x 3840), and listed dimensions are for the game screen, relative to a 4K vertical monitor. The actual game screen size will depend on the resolution of your monitor.
Most of the overlays include multiple presets that let you choose the size of the game screen, access a "dark" version designed to look more like a dark arcade, and sometimes other options. To choose a preset, press Tab while running the game to bring up the MAME menu, select Video Options, and select a preset from the list. The presets only work on the MAME version, not the RetroArch version.
Some overlays include Curved presets designed with a curved screen port, to better simulate the look of a CRT monitor. These presets work best if you are using a geometry shader that adds a curved look to the game screen. For an optimal experience, you may need to adjust your shaders to match the curvature of the screen shape in the overlay. If you are not using a geometry shader, you are using a shader that adds a curved bezel, or if you prefer a rectangular screen port, choose a Straight preset where applicable.
Smash TV reimagines the dual-stick chaos of Robotron: 2084 as a hyperviolent, tongue-in-cheek dystopian future game show reminiscent of The Running Man, with a dash of the R-rated humor of RoboCop. Though it wears its many reference on its, um, sleeveless protagonists, Smash TV adds a lot of new elements to the mix, including numerous weapon powerups, boss fights and two-player cooperative play. Designed by Robotron designer Eugene Jarvis, Smash TV is still considered a classic of "Big money! Big prizes!" and "Total Carnage!" Speaking of which...
Smash TV creators Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell returned with this spinoff, bringing the gameplay elements of their previous hit into a present-day political quasi-satire. Total Carnage sends its two shirtless heroes into the fictional Kookistan to defeat dictator General Achboob (we didn't say it was highbrow satire) and his mutant army, with even more over-the-top enemies and level design more akin to run-and-gun games like Ikari Warriors and Heavy Barrel. Can you make it to the Pleasure Domes (without cheating)?
Before Eugene Jarvis brought us those two chaotic shooters, he designed the first big game of the newly reformed Williams Electronics, the controversial NARC. Picking up on the drug hysteria and pop culture excesses of the 80s, NARC sends two heavily-armed officers (wearing brightly-colored motorcycle outfits, for some reason) to take down Mr. Big and his K.R.A.K. drug syndicate. You can arrest the hordes of pushers and thugs the game sends at you, but why bother when you have a rocket launcher? Known for its high-res digitized graphics (and flying body parts), NARC updated the run-and-gun formula with a style and flair that helped define the arcades of the late 80s and beyond.
Over a decade after their original Rampage wreaked havoc all over the world, designers Brian Colin and Jeff Nauman brought their mutated scientist-monsters back to arcades. Rampage World Tour still features George, Lizzie and Ralph, along with updated graphics, new gameplay elements and new locales to reduce to rubble as they work together to destroy Scum Labs, their creators. The game was more a dose of nostalgia than an innovative new title, as its graphics and concept were far from groundbreaking, but it updates the formula nicely for those days when you just want to smash something.
An often (and criminally) overlooked reimagining of the Defender concept, Strike Force updates the side-scrolling gameplay of its predecessor with vastly improved graphics and surprisingly deep gameplay. As humanity's last hope against the incursion of the lizard-like Saurians, Strike Force sends one or two pilots to rescue colonists and exterminate aliens on a series of planets, upgrading their weapons and deploying helpful space marines along the way. This overlay features numerous options, including two cabinet styles (as the game was released under both the Williams and Midway labels with very different styling) and options with and without a control panel, including new bezel designs in the spirit of the original cabinet. If you haven't tried it, you're missing out!