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December 2000


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Review: Beach Head 2000

by Gregory Tetrault,


Developer: Digital Fusion, Inc.


Price: $20

Requirements: 225 MHz 603 processor, Mac OS 8.1

Recommended: G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM

Trial: None


Beach Head 2000 brings panoramic 3D graphical effects to a shoot-’em-up arcade-style game. You protect a beach head by fighting from a bunker armed with a dual-barrel anti-aircraft gun, an anti-tank gun, and missiles. Your enemies include landing barges filled with troops, tanks, or armored personnel carriers; attack helicopters, jet fighters, and bombers; and troop choppers. Your only ally is a supply plane that drops extra anti-aircraft gun ammunition and shielding for your bunker. The enemy lands troops, tanks, and APCs that move toward your bunker and attack. Fighters, bombers, and attack choppers strafe, bomb, or launch rockets at you.

Destroying all enemy elements (except bombers, which don’t have to be destroyed) completes the level. Everything you destroy earns points that vary with the potential destructiveness of the item. The sixty levels get progressively harder. You can replay levels without experiencing the exact same attack, but the enemy constituents and general assault pattern are fixed for each level.


A CD contains the Beach Head 2000 installer. Installation places the 38 MB “Beach Head 2000” folder on the drive you designate. QuickTime 4 will be installed if necessary. The application itself is small, at only 172KB in size. Three other folders contain Photoshop files, A/V and program code files, and preferences. The CD is not needed after installation.

Look, Feel, and Sound

BH 2000 opens with a scene that looks like the inside of a high-tech bunker looking out on a beach. The areas above and below the beach view contain buttons. This view does not carry over into the game. In the game itself, you see the ends of your weapons and then the beach, sea, and sky (Figure 1). The imagery looks fairly realistic when using the high resolution option.


Figure 1

You pan up and down and circularly by moving the mouse. Your upper and lower fields of view are limited, just as if you were looking out a firing slit from a rotating turret. Rapid rotation of your weapon causes pixellation and blurring. Pixellation also occurs when you look all the way down (Figure 2). I mastered mouse control of my weapon after about 15 minutes of game play. My attempt to use a joystick controller, however, failed spectacularly; I could not find a combination of joystick and game sensitivities that would allow rapid panning and fine control.


Figure 2: Pixellation

The sound effects—bombs, guns, rockets, missiles, tanks, jets, etc.—are high-quality and realistic, except for the dying soldiers’ grunts and yells. The game does not make use of stereo panning or Doppler effects (see “Bugs and Omissions” below).

Game Play

When you launch the BH 2000 application you get a screen with two top menus, File and Quit, and five on the bottom: Credits, Options, Play, Help, and Scores. Your options include three screen resolutions (trading off better resolution for speed) and an “Invert Mouse” option that reverses mouse control of up and down aiming. Clicking Play starts the game at Level 1. To launch a saved game, select Load Game from the File menu.

The initial levels send only a few barges and aircraft against you. This gives you an opportunity to master the controls, learn your aiming points, and memorize the sound cues (each aircraft and land vehicle has a distinct sound). Be sure to learn what your resupply aircraft sounds like. It drops extra ammunition for your anti-aircraft gun (a crate with a yellow “X”) or extra shielding for your bunker (Figure 3). Shoot the crates before they touch the ground to be awarded their contents.


Figure 3

I found BH 2000 tips on numerous Web sites. Many of those game playing tips would steer you the wrong way. I completed 53 levels in less than ten hours of play, so I feel qualified to give the following tips:

  • It is best to shoot the barges with the anti-tank (AT) gun before they reach the beach. The larger barges carry either tanks or armored personnel carriers (APCs).
  • Use your anti-aircraft (AA) gun on troops as they are leaving barges or APCs. The troops are tightly clustered and easy to kill with relatively few rounds.
  • Unless you are under direct attack by tanks or attack choppers, don’t waste a missile on a jet making a strafing run. Use your AA gun to take it out.
  • Don’t waste missiles on troop choppers. Instead, let them fly behind you and shoot them with your AT gun just as they land.
  • In the lower levels, don’t worry about the bombers. They aren’t very accurate and don’t do much damage. You can complete a level without destroying them.
  • At higher levels the bombers are devastating. Try to take them out with missiles before their first bombing run. This will be difficult, because they typically attack along with jets and choppers which may divert your heat-seeking missiles. It’s best to send a missile when the bomber is at a 30-45 degree angle above the horizon (Figure 4).

    Figure 4

  • Keep listening for the resupply plane. It alternately drops shielding and AA ammunition. Watch for the parachute and then shoot the crate. However, if you don’t need the crate, ignore it and shoot enemies.
  • Attack chopper rockets can heavily damage your bunker, so deal with them quickly. Use missiles from a distance if you have enough of them. The AA gun can destroy the attack choppers, but they are hard to hit from a distance.
  • Don’t bother shooting at the distant ships. The game doesn’t recognize attacks on them.
  • The empty bunkers on either side of you are not solid. You can shoot through them to hit APCs or soldiers.
  • Don’t let your AA ammo drop below 20 rounds. You will need those rounds to hit resupply crates. Your pistol can also shoot the crates, but it has little accuracy.
  • If you are low on AA ammo, use the pistol to shoot soldiers close to your bunker; soldiers close enough to throw grenades can do significant damage.

    Figure 5

  • When you face many simultaneous attacks at higher levels, don’t focus on just one group of attackers. Go for the highest threat, then look at other attackers.
  • Your AT gun must pause between rounds. Use the lag time to fire a missile at an enemy aircraft, then go for the next ground target.
  • Your AT gun can take out a nearby hovering attack chopper with one round.

Levels 52 and above are incredibly difficult: you have few missiles and AT rounds but many enemies that fire accurately. I was unable to get beyond level 53 without cheating. (I’d like to hear from anyone who gets above level 54 without cheating.) How do you cheat in BH 2000? You can edit the level files located in the Beachhead 2000 folder. These files are named “Level_##” and can be opened in any text editor or word processor. There are four ways to cheat: give yourself more ammo, lower the “aggression” of the enemy units, add an artillery strike, or change the frequency of supply drops.

The second line of each level file looks like this: “Ammo 200 10 8.” The numbers are for AA rounds, AT rounds, and missiles. You can change this to something like “Ammo 999 99 99". The enemy aggression numbers are on the fifth line (e.g., “Aggression 9 9 9 9”). You can decrease any or all of the four numbers to lower the aggressiveness (and accuracy) of tanks, jets, and attack choppers. The sixth line indicates whether the level allows you to call for artillery support. You can change the number from 0 to 1 to add artillery. Finally, the end of the level’s text file has specifications related to your resupply plane. You can shorten the delay number under the “/*** C130 ***/” heading to decrease the wait time between supply drops.

Instructions and Help

BH 2000 comes with a small instruction booklet that provides an adequate amount of information on system requirements, installation, game controls, game play, scoring, enemy unit characteristics, and how to get technical support. The Tips section provides only minimal tactical guidance.

Clicking the BH 2000 Help button reveals a three-item menu: Game Controls, Game Interface, and Game Overview. The first choice shows you the keyboard controls. The second describes the game screen elements such as shield strength and enemy force bar graphs. The third shows a brief overview of your weapons and how to get resupplied. All this information is found in the instruction booklet.

Technical support consists of 24-hour voice response, “Faxback” systems, and Monday through Friday live support from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM Pacific Standard Time. Support requests can also be submitted by fax or snail mail. Like many other software companies, MacSoft provides no e-mail or Web form support, even for reporting bugs.

Bugs and Omissions

One major bug occurs when BH 2000 changes your monitor’s resolution on launch. A Finder error message appears shortly after launching. When you quit the game your desktop becomes a disaster. Desktop icons on the left are shifted towards the center of the screen. Tabbed folders at the bottom of your desktop become opened folders stacked on top of each other in the middle of the screen. The only way to avoid this bug is to set your monitor’s resolution to 640 x 480 before launching BH 2000.

A second bug is the inability to get through level 56. Even after destroying all enemies, the game believes that at least one enemy remains. Levels 57-60 cannot be accessed without completing level 56.

Minor bugs include the appearance that your gun has cut through your bunker when you pan all the way down (Figure 2) and the lack of solidity of adjacent bunkers (you can shoot through them).

The biggest omission is the lack of aiming reticles for the AA and AT guns. Even WWII era weapons had gun sights. Some users resort to placing transparent tape on their monitor and drawing-in crosshairs! Also, the pistol simply replaces the right barrel of the AA gun. It should be centered at eye level for easier aiming.

BH 2000 does not support InputSprockets or GameSprockets. This may account for the poor joystick control I experienced. You cannot change the keyboard controls. There is no support for using just the keyboard to play. PowerBook users without a mouse cannot play.

Finally, BH 2000 does not use directional sound cues or Doppler effects. This makes it hard to tell from where a plane or vehicle is coming or in what direction it is moving.


BH 2000 joins the long list of games that miss out on greatness because they were ported from Windows. In spite of BH 2000’s problems, I enjoyed playing the game. BH 2000 becomes addicting because it’s fun to blast lots of enemies and to see if you can reach the next level. The ability to save levels decreases the frustration factor: you can reload a level and try different tactics. This game would receive a Very Nice rating if all the bugs and omissions described above were fixed.

Reader Comments (40)

Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · December 5, 2000 - 01:01 EST #1
Since I wrote the review, Infogrames created a Web-based e-mail technical support form.
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · December 15, 2000 - 01:01 EST #2
An alert reader noted that pressing the "x" key keeps your ammunition supplies locked at the present level. Pressing "x" again turns off this cheat.
Viper · February 9, 2001 - 01:01 EST #3
I'm recently on Level 60. I don't believe I had any trouble with level 56 and the "missing enemy". There was one level (I can't remember which) but there were no more enemies left, but I do believe there was a tank/carrier "stuck" inside one of the boats. Personally, this game was cake, right up to level 52 and then it got hard, FAST! L56 and 58 weren't much fun either and 60...well, I just got to it last night, and I'm saving that battle for this weekend. :)
Shane St. Clair · March 9, 2001 - 01:01 EST #4
How do you get the missiles to fire faster than two at a time?
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · March 10, 2001 - 01:01 EST #5
Only two missiles can be flying at one time in Beach Head 2000. As soon as a missile strikes a craft, you can fire another. If your missile misses, you have to wait until it "burns out" before you can launch another. It's an unrealistic limitation, but that's how the game is programmed.
greg · April 20, 2001 - 23:04 EST #6
I'm having a problem with level 56 also. Must be same for PC they a patch. Is there a patch for Mac or has anyone made MacSoft aware?
greg · April 20, 2001 - 23:22 EST #7
I found the update at Gregory's support address.
Pradip · July 15, 2001 - 03:18 EST #8
I used to play Beachhead 2000 on a 233Mhz computer and it handled fairly. I tried the game on a 550Mhz computer and the game moves too swiftly (even on Highest Resolution) for me even think of winning a Level above 55 (i.e., the enemy hardware-machines and troops move in extremely quickly, like playing a video tape at double/triple speed). Is there a way I can slow the game down so I can play it on the faster computer? There doesn't seem to be a way to do it through the "Options" or other menu items. Probably need to change the programming code somehow (like you mentioned about the 'cheat' tips)--I just don't know how or what to do. Please email me a solution! Pradip
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · July 15, 2001 - 09:55 EST #9
Pradip: Editing the level files won't help unless you simply add lots more objects. The level would become too difficult, and you would probably run out of ammunition. You might try the following:
  1. Select the Beach Head applications, choose Get Info from the file menu (or type command-i), select memory from the "Show:" pull down memo, and set the preferred memory to the same value as the minimum memory. By giving Beach Head so little memory, it might slow the game.
  2. If that doesn't work (or if it creates more problems than it solves), you might try running some QuickTime movies in the background. Open one or more movies, then choose "Loop" from the Movie menu. It is possible that running movies in the background will slow down Beach Head.
  3. You can try the freeware Slo-Mo application from RJ Cooper & Associates. This control panel lets you select applications that will be slowed. A slider lets you control the amount of slowing.
Daniel Shepherd · September 6, 2001 - 19:21 EST #10
I played this game 15 years ago on my Amstrad CPC 464, complete with 8MHz processor and 64 KB of RAM. My, how times have changed!
Crystal · January 28, 2002 - 16:41 EST #11
I just started playing this game around Christmas 2001. I am currently on level 60 without any cheats. Is it possible to beat this level and is this the last level? I've been trying for 3 days and haven't been able to get through it. Thanks.
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · January 28, 2002 - 21:10 EST #12
Crystal: It is possible to complete Level 60 without cheating. You need to take out the bombers with missiles as soon as they appear, otherwise they will pound you with each pass. You will need to snag EVERY shield and ammo air drop. Conserve your cannon rounds for the LSTs with tanks. Don't let the troops get within grenade range. Even if you do all those things, you will still need a bit of luck to win. I think it took me seven successive tries before I completed the level (and I was really "on" that day). I also believe that I had the game set for largest screen size and best resolution. This slows the game down a bit and gives you a chance to think. (Of course, it also slows down your firing.) And 60 is the final level.
Greg Wells · June 5, 2002 - 16:47 EST #13
Here you guys are talking about Levels 56 and 60, etc. I am having trouble with Level 12. You only get two missiles and there are a lot of aircraft and attack choppers. Any help would be appreciated.

Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · June 5, 2002 - 23:12 EST #14
Greg: Reserve your missiles for the jets. You can destroy low-flying aircraft (jets and copters) with standard machine gun fire. You can also hit hovering attack helicopters with your cannon. They blow apart spectacularly.
Paul · December 7, 2002 - 08:33 EST #15
Hi all!

Great arcade game. I completed level 60. I cheated, and thought it was the last level, but level 61 popped up. Has anyone gotten to level 61?
Gregory Tetrault (ATPM Staff) · December 7, 2002 - 14:04 EST #16
Paul: Beach Head 2000 only has 60 unique levels. If you complete level 60, you just get to play it over and over again.
Chuck · December 12, 2002 - 21:26 EST #17
I'm stuck on level 69 and there is just way too much stuff to shoot. I can't get past this level. Does anyone know what's next? Someone said that there are at least 120 levels. Does anyone know if this is true?
DP · December 18, 2002 - 12:49 EST #18
I have just finished level 60 also and I thought that was it, but level 61 popped up and that level is not in the directory. I must admit I cheated on level 58 thru 60, but how would I change the settings on level 61?
James Hall · November 3, 2003 - 02:32 EST #19
I think this isn't a bad game. Have fun playing it. Does anyone know all the cheats?
Daniel Rivas · December 17, 2003 - 14:56 EST #20
I think that this is one of the best games I have ever played in my life.
Jennifer · February 13, 2004 - 00:56 EST #21
I have reached level 125 and have still found no end. After you get to level 100, when you save it and go back, it takes you to level 10. So, I have saved it at level 99 and every time I play, I have to start back at level 99. When does this game end? Can anyone tell me?
TYLER O. · March 16, 2004 - 22:12 EST #22
i have made it to level 60 without cheats. i am computer illiterate, and when i open level 60, with notepad, all i see is a bunch of symbols and numbers. how the heck do you decode these things so you can read them??if anyone can tell me what the best text editor for editing game files is,and how do you do it,i would appreciate it. thanks.
keith plants · August 13, 2005 - 05:04 EST #23
hnmmm. wondered did any one find the poems on the product disk hidden i guess by this guy
-Ken Elhardt Programmer: hidden deep on the disk in the file............................................
.................Beachhead.3D ..................... look slow and find the white thing........ The Red Thing...The Pink Thing....Stacking Dust....Measuring Beaks.....Big Fat Ladies....Facts About Tupperware....-Kenneth B. Elhardt... and eamil me when you find this then i'll tell you wear' to find much more hidden things i have
Labas Zlatko · August 14, 2005 - 05:17 EST #24
this game is yhe best.
Norm zbeam · September 20, 2005 - 08:57 EST #25
Good day my frieds. My problem is my shield goes down to nothing, and I still have bullets but tey go to waste.
Thanks for any help. PS my sheild last about a minuet.

jorge guerra · January 23, 2006 - 23:32 EST #26
Guys I reached level 69 and that is it I'll give it a rest.... I love the game but 69 is to hard and I'm talking about the game... You cannot cheat on the note pad above 60 so there must be a patch ,,
jorge guerra · January 30, 2006 - 17:28 EST #27
Hi again, well pacience is a virtud, it payed up, right now I've reached level 92....
I taught Jennifer back in Feb 2004 was pulling our leg when had mentioned that she has reached level 125, but not anymore, once I've reach level 70 the others were not as tough as 56 and 69, well I se if I can go further..
Tom Ross · February 12, 2006 - 14:30 EST #28
Jorge, I read your comment and I have cheated past 60 even though its not listed in the directory. You have to edit level 6 for 60, level 7 for 70 level 8 for 80 and so on. Atleast it worked for me. The only thing I hate is that if you save a game after 99 such as 100 it takes you back to level 10 the next time you load it up. But if you can keep playing without stopping past 99 it will keep going. I have reached 101/ Does anybody know a way to save a game past 99 and not be returned to level 10.
Jorge Guerra · February 16, 2006 - 19:19 EST #29
Hi Tom
Tks for replying, well I also I reached up to level 105, good thing I saved 99, because after you exit, all saved after 100 will take you to level 10, craps ! are right,mmmm.

I got to find a day off from work, be all alone at home and start playing from 99 until my shooting finger numbs ja ja and see how far I get...

Keep in toucch
Jorge Guerra · February 20, 2006 - 18:51 EST #30
Hi Tom

Last night I made it to level 127 starting from 99 in about 4 straigth hours..I think that's it, all is about the same, gets hard to win sometimes and easy others...
Keep on playing..
Good Luck, anything new happening let me know..
Jorge Guerra · February 21, 2006 - 17:53 EST #31

I reached level 127 pretty much the same, got tired, sO, I'll give it a rest. Remember to save level 99.

Which level have you reached lately?

cj smith · September 24, 2006 - 01:18 EST #32
anyone can tell how to cheat beach head2000.i'm already reach level 60 without cheating but i can't go farther.i want to cheat using the procedure involving text editor but how to edit files and how to make or use a text editor.what are the steps to use a text editor.anybody used this cheats and i really appreciated if you can help.thanks
ABDOUL-KARIM · December 8, 2006 - 06:45 EST #33
mark · June 17, 2007 - 22:51 EST #34
I have played this thing on and off for a couple of years and once you get to level 60 you will need a small miracle to beat it since it takes away to much of your ammo to survive without cheating, I think you could beat it but it would take a perfect game on a perfect day with alot of luck and the stars aligning.
anti · September 14, 2007 - 12:27 EST #35
i got to lvl 10 and i got pwned there...i can imagine lvl 56...
CJ Spencer · April 5, 2008 - 01:58 EST #36
Your article helped me plenty. How do I open a file to change the number of missiles and rounds. I am a novice.

Anthony Hansen · April 8, 2008 - 15:28 EST #37
how do you get passed leavel 13. There are more planes then misels. I NEED HELP
harley Wong · September 3, 2010 - 01:04 EST #38
Is there new version of Beachhead? I really like it.
ATPM Staff · September 3, 2010 - 07:46 EST #39
Harley - the 2002 version is the last one that appeared in my searching.
jack · June 17, 2015 - 05:25 EST #40
2015 and still stuck at mission 52 :) i refuse to use cheats. Oh and i wish someone would remake this great game. Maybe using Unreal Engine 4. Such a great game!

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