Atari 2600 BASIC is intended as a beginner’s platform so that one may become accustomed to the intricacies of the system. Although Atari 2600 BASIC is a viable development platform on its own, its real purpose is as a stepping stone toward 2600 programming using assembly language. Atari 2600 BASIC “lowers the bar” so that others with limited programming experience can write games that can run on a real Atari 2600 or an emulator. Link.
batari BASIC – compiler for creating Atari 2600 games