Assault Android Cactus is a manic twin stick arena shooter with screens full of enemies, buckets of bullets and high scoring combo chains! Take on the role of Cactus, an enthusiastic police android, who responds to a stranded space freighter only to discover it under siege by its malfunctioning robot workers. Cut off from the outside and in over her head, Cactus and the androids she recruits along the way battle through the crippled Genki Star to reach the brain of the ship and put things right before it’s too late.
- Multiple playable androids with unique weapon set and play styles.
- Dynamic stages change conditions and rearrange themselves during play.
- Heart pounding soundtrack that dynamically shifts based on your performance.
- Giant robot bosses that unleash bullet hell and stage covering special attacks.
- Up to four player local co-op.
On one of my visits to Twitter I came across the launch trailer for Assault Android Cactus and gave the link a click, after I had finished watching I immediately reached out to Witch Beam PR, the three person team based in Brisbane, Australia were good enough to provide a review code.
Before I started doing reviews I had very little exposure to twin stick shooters and in the last year I have had the pleasure (mostly) of taking a few out for a spin. Assault Android Cactus is the best one I have played so far and I’ll tell you why in the next few paragraphs.
You start the game by viewing a little cut-scene that has you in the role of the titular android called Cactus, you are responding to a call from the crippled space freighter Genki Star which is under siege from it’s army of robot workers. You crash land onto the ship and begin your quest to vanquish the mutinous robots. The tutorial mission begins here and you are walked through your capabilities. Cactus has a primary weapon which can be upgrade by collecting things dropped by enemies you defeat and also a secondary more powerful weapon which has to be used sparingly or will soon run out.
Also explained in this first mission is the fact that the only way you can die is if your battery runs out. If you sustain damage and go down you can rapidly tap the fire button to carry on but if your battery runs out then it’s back to the start of the level you go. At certain points on each level an enemy that you defeat will drop a battery and you must pick it up to recharge. There are also power-ups to pick up that will give you much needed assistance in progressing to the end of each level. Top tip……….look out for the red ones as this is the weapon power up and it’s a HUGE help especially in the later levels.
As you work your way through the game there are different Androids to unlock that you can choose and each one has different weapons at their disposal. In my time so far I have found that certain Androids are better for some levels than others and I like the fact that it makes you chop and change to suit the situation. In the campaign there are 5 zones that each have a Boss at the end of them. So far I have only made it to the Boss on zone 4 and I am struggling with him a little bit, not to the point of giving up (NEVER SURRENDER!!!) but I’m trying to use different Androids and strategies until I find out the best one to be victorious.
As well as the main campaign there are a couple of other modes to try out, these being Infinity Drive —which you defeat wave after wave of enemies in the pursuit of reaching as far as you can go (not sure how many levels there are as I’ve not put much time into this mode yet). There is also a Boss Rush mode which unlocks after you finish the campaign and this is just taking on each boss and trying to defeat them in the quickest time you can.
Online scoreboards are present which is always a massive plus for me as it’s gives replayabilty as you pursue the ever elusive top spot among your friends or if you’re ambitious….the top spot in the world. There is a scoreboard for each level and I assume (as I haven’t played it yet) there is one for the Boss Rush Mode.
Multiplayer wise, you can have 4 people joining up but sadly it’s only local multiplayer. I had a friend round the other day and we had a good session that was hugely enjoyable, lots of things going on on the screen but there was no slowdown or jerkiness at all, smooth graphics at all times.
There are options available to unlock using credits that you earn as you play and there is also an art gallery and a codex, so there is a lot of detail and work that has gone into the making of Assault Android Cactus and I applaud the developers for their effort. The colours and graphical look of the game are very sharp and colourful and the soundtrack fits very well with the pace, upbeat and futuristic.
As I said earlier, replayability is high for this title and I will be playing this gem for many months trying to milk that score for higher position on the leaderboards. It’s a game that can either be played for short bursts if you only have half an hour to kill or if you do want a longer session then, for me at least, the game is so much fun to play that you won’t get bored.
So, in summary Assault Android Cactus is a stunning looking game that has fast frenetic gameplay that is challenging and fun. I highly recommend checking it out.
Code for review was provided by Witch Beam and we thank you for it.