Beach Head 2002, by MacSoft
Posted: 29-Oct-2002

3 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: MacSoft Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: GAMES

Beach Head 2002 is an arcade-like action game. You are stationed on a bunkered hill, and must hold off the enemy forces. You are attacked by foot soldiers shooting and tossing grenades, as well as tanks, choppers and fighter jets. Most of the soldiers are brought in with trucks, but later in the game a bunch come in on helicopters and descend from ropes. Single-handedly you repel the onslaught and pummel your attackers.

Game Play
This is a very simplistic, yet very addictive game. You are stationery from level to level, so your focus is not on where you will go next, but what is coming at you next. Each level brings on a different attack, varying from a few ground attacks in the beginning, to "all hell breaks loose" in the deeper levels. Each attack pulls you in more, building your desire to protect the hill.

You have a limited supply of missiles that can be fired, but most of the time you are operating a heavy machine gun. Left, right, up, down, swinging around 360 degrees. You need to stay alert, as while you are focusing on troop of soldiers, there could be another troop attacking you from behind (and you know it soon enough when you hear that grenade going off in your bunker).

I found the key to the game was firing the missiles strategically at the trucks before the troops unload, and at the tanks. If you hit a full truck, the troops are tossed out in a flurry of burning bodies (the gore factor is very low, no blood or guts, so it's safe for your teens). Hopefully you've hit all the trucks and tanks when you run out of missiles, but you usually don't. The tanks are tough, so at least get those first, then you're just left with troopers. That's when you take control of the machine gun and zip around, back and forth, making sure you hit the soldiers that are approaching the closest. In a sense, it's kind of like a 3D Space Invadors, but instead of going for the first 2D row, you are swinging around 360 degrees trying to head off that front line.

The attach helicopters were not as easy to target, and the fighter jets were even tougher (to the point of being downright frustrating at times). When you reach the levels where troopers descend from the helicopters, you can actually shoot them while they are descending; thereby, never having to face their gunfire. That was kind of fun.

The graphics and sounds were pretty good. The graphics were decent, but not of the detailed quality found in newer action games. You have a lot of scenery of rollings hills and trees, etc., and there's never any doubt what any attack object is. In fact, the graphic detail level was probably just right in terms of not showing the gruesome brutality of warfare (no limbs flying or blood splattering). Some of the levels were in the day, and others were at night. That was a nice effect. The sounds effects were average - almost reminded me of the old Wolfenstein first person shooter. Nothing to right home about.

For the most part, Beach Head 2002 was pretty stable, but during the last few days of reviewing it, I began having frequent crashing problems. I discovered these problems in both the OS 9 and OS X environments.

Summary
If you are looking for the latest and greatest of technology in a game, you won't really find that in Beach Head 2002. The graphics were pretty good, and the sound effects were average - suitable for the type of game that this is. Beach Head 2002, however, can be quite addictive, and is great for challenge and entertainment when you don't feel like something too complex. For a simple arcade-style action game, Beach Head 2002 fits the bill quite well.


System Requirements

  • G3 400 Mhz or better
  • Mac OS 8.5 or later (supports OS X)
  • Rage 128 or better video card with at least 8 MB video RAM
  • 128 MB RAM (192 MB for OS X)
  • 100 MB hard disk space
  • OpenGL and Quicktime

Review Machine: G4/867, 640MB RAM, OS 9.2.2 and OS 10.2

Pros

  • Runs under OS 9 and OS X
  • Inexpensive (retails for $19.99)
  • Simple, yet addictive game play
  • Day time and night time battles


Cons

  • Sound effects not too thrilling
  • Some stability problems experienced
  • Stationery position may bore some gamers


Overall Rating:

3 out of 5 Mice