The year 2000 brought Mac users many things: new games, newer computers, and better graphics cards. It also brought Beach Head 2000, a game of explosions, tanks, guns, more explosions, and general warfare mayhem. Beach Head 2000 is published for the Macintosh by
MacSoft, whose offerings include recent releases like Links LS 2000, Monopoly, and Rogue Spear.
In Beach Head 2000, it’s the player against everyone and everything else. From a protective bunker on a beach, one must repel an enemy invasion from air and from sea. Game play is simplistic — the goal is to shoot everything that comes toward the bunker, without allowing the bunker to be destroyed. Obstacles include aircraft, barges filled with soldiers, and tanks, all of which are armed to take on the player’s bunker. Not to fear though, the bunker is armed for the job. Included is an antiaircraft gun, effective against planes and incoming troops, an antitank gun, effective against incoming barges and tanks, and surface-to-air missiles, which are guided and attack any aircraft in the vicinity. There’s also a handgun, in case all the other ammunition runs out.
As the game progresses, levels become more and more difficult, adding different combinations of opponents and situations. Difficulty comes from learning and using strategy in later levels and conservation of ammunition, which can quickly become short in supply. Variables such as ammunition and enemy counts do change but all levels are similar, almost repetitious.
With the exception of choppy, crude-looking player weapons, Beach Head 2000 is visually realistic. Explosions are fiery, enemy planes blow apart in a hail of debris, and soldiers go flying into the air when hit with the appropriate weapon. One nagging fault, however, is that an undamaged enemy plane can mistakenly fly straight into the beach and re-emerge at another point, still undamaged. Also, onscreen text labels flicker continuously — a nuisance, though we got used to this after a few levels.
Beach Head 2000 is not very demanding with regard to system specs. The game requires at least a PowerPC operating at 225 MHz or faster, Mac OS 8.1, a mere 32 MB of RAM, and a CD-ROM drive. QuickTime is also a requirement, but version 4.0 is included on the CD. Any iMac is sufficient play this game. Stability was not an issue during the review and we experienced no crashes.
While Beach Head 2000 is a little more fun than its outward appearance suggests, boredom with the game is quite possible. Sixty levels improve the chance of the game’s longevity, but the simple and repetitious nature of the game may leave some gamers dropping it after a few days in search of something more.
Gamers who would like arcade-style gaming combined with the graphics and technology of modern games will enjoy Beach Head 2000. The price of twenty dollars is a fair amount to ask for Beach Head 2000 but serious gamers would be better off buying something more complex.