Title: Assault Android Cactus
Available on: Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4. Xbox One
Version Tested: Xbox One
Developer: Witch Beam
Publisher: Witch Beam
Genre: Shoot’em Up
Official Site: http://www.assaultandroidcactus.com/p/landing.html
Release Date: November 7th (Xbox One)
Where to Buy it: Xbox Store, Humble Store, Steam, PSN
Assault Android Cactus is a twin stick shooter that surprised the hell out of me. It’s a top-down shooter that can be played solo or locally with friends. Players will find themselves fighting off waves of enemies as they take control of one of nine android robots. Each android has their own unique weapon and special ability but they will start off with “Cactus.” In addition to a campaign, a number of additional modes are available to keep the fun level high. For me, this was one of those titles where a huge amount of unexpected joy came in playing. Assault Android Cactus brought forth an intense, control gripping experience as I blasted my way through level after level. It’s a title that is absolutely worth your time and money.
I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Assault Android Cactus before the game came up on our list of review titles. When I looked at my schedule and saw some free time, I expressed interest in helping out. As I began to look at the screenshots I became intrigued. I like top-down shooters and I’ve played several in the past. The most recent one I played and did a review for was Neon Chrome. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun but… frustrating. I expected a similar experience with Assault Cactus Android. It turned out that while frustration was present, the general fun far outweighed any frustrations.
What I really enjoyed about Assault Cactus Android was the amazing balance the game achieved by being both fun and challenging. Your average gamer is going to be able to play through this title while having fun and experiencing a challenge. The difficulty of the challenge relies almost solely on the gamer. One stage I completed with relative ease, however, was ranked #200 on the leaderboard. I could still move on, but if I wanted to rate higher I would have to play that stage again. I would have to play it… better. This is one of the elements that Assault Android Cactus provides and makes it worthwhile.
In Assault Cactus Android, you don’t die when you go down. The level doesn’t reset and you don’t have to return to the main menu. Instead, all you need to do is tap the fire button to get back up. Once you do, you’re right back to blasting away at enemies. What will kill you, however, is the depletion of your battery. As you progress through each stage to kill more enemies, they will drop batteries. These batteries will allow your Android to be powered for longer thus allowing you to continue to fight. Your score streak will also disappear if you go down. This is how that perfect combination forms. A player can complete a stage while enjoying themselves and not have to worry about points. If they want a challenge, however, they’ll have to go through it again and maintain their scorestreak.
Assault Android Cactus also provides some amazing level design. The initial levels are generally very simple. A wide area with stationary cover to move about and around while you fight the enemy. As you progress, the levels have much more depth. Cover areas will change and move. Floors will drop out forcing you to advance to new areas. Enemies will create laser beams which cut off certain areas until destroyed. The androids remind me a little bit of Cyborg from Justice League. Hear our thoughts on why the DCEU needs to focus on Flash moving forward here.
The game also offers plenty of extra goodies to have some fun with. These are all unlocked with earned in-game credits. One of my personal favorites was the first person mode. Switching to first-person mode offers a whole new unique challenge to playing. You no longer have the advantage of seeing the area all around your character which makes dodging incoming fire much more difficult.
Have you played Assault Cactus Android? If so, what did you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and also be sure to check out our article on the Monster World Beta which just released.
Verdict: Assault Cactus Android is a wickedly fun fast paced shooter. With the unique level design coupled with a variety of androids to choose from, you’ll find plenty to keep yourself busy. Whether you play to achieve max points or just for some run and gun fun, this title is well worth the buy.
- Level Design
- Fun for competitive and casual gamer
- Later levels frustrating
--Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever