Assault Android Cactus is a twin-stick shooter in which you play as Cactus, an Interplanetary Police Department Junior Constable, who crashes her ship into a freighter named Genki Star while responding to a distress call. When you crash into the Genki Star you find out that the ship has been overtaken by robots and you must fight your way through hordes of them to regain control of the ship. You can play in either single player or in local co-op with up to four players. The game has four modes: a story campaign, infinity drive, daily drive and boss rush. While playing the campaign you will unlock eight other playable characters, each of which has a different primary and secondary weapon. Android Assault Cactus was developed and published by Which Beam and was originally released in 2015 for PC and 2016 for PS4. It was finally released on November 7th, 2017 on Xbox One and will retail for $14.99.
The game is a pretty standard twin-stick shooter with a few fun additions, like being able to temporarily switch to your secondary weapon which will do more damage than your primary can. Switching to your secondary weapon will also cause you to dodge incoming attacks. You can also pick up power-ups which will have different temporary effects depending on what color the power-up is when you pick it up. If it’s red you will get two companions that will shoot wherever you shoot, if it’s yellow it will give you a speed buff and if it’s blue it will shut down all the robots that are on the stage. You can also level your weapons up by picking up white orbs that are dropped after you defeat an enemy. Your weapons can level up three times before being maxed out. With every level up your weapon does more damage and will fire faster, but if you die you weapon get reset and you will have to collect more orbs to level them up again. The only effects that dying will have on you are that your weapons get reset, you lose any power-up you had and you will lose some points. The only way you fail a stage is if your battery runs out. Your battery will constantly deplete and the only way to recharge it is to pick up the batteries that enemies will drop occasionally.
The campaign consists of twenty-five stages split up into five zones. The last level in every zone is a boss fight while every other level is a horde survival. The normal levels are fun but some of the later levels seemed like they would drag on forever. The boss fights are fun but the last few bosses turn into a bullet hell. I got stuck with the fourth boss for quite a while and honestly didn’t know if I would be able to beat it. I eventually got through it and then hit the next wall on my journey to finish the campaign which was the level before the final boss fight. In this level, you have to fight hordes and hordes of enemies until a mini-boss spawns and then you have to fight the boss and hordes of enemies. To defeat the mini-boss you have to survive till her battery runs out while trying to keep your battery topped off. The problem that I was having was that every time a battery would drop it would be right near her and she would pick it up before I could get to it. I eventually had to just repeatedly kill myself in order to keep the batteries from her. The last boss is extremely easy compared to the level before it.
Assault Android Cactus is a fun twin-stick shooter that actually runs great unlike some of the other games I have reviewed. The only negative thing that I can think of to say about the game is that there is a pretty big difficulty spike later on in the game. I enjoyed playing through the normal levels because I knew that there was a boss fight at the end of the stage. The boss fights are fun and you have to approach each boss differently. The characters that you unlock have a good variety of weapons although I mainly used Lemon because she has an insanely good primary and a secondary that can one hit the big guys that usually take forever to kill with the primary. Holly is also a great character. I had to use Holly to beat the level before the final boss because her gun has seeker bullets and her secondary is a cannonball that will hit multiple enemies in a row. Overall, I think that Assault Android Cactus is a fun game that is worth picking up.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of the review
Final Score: 8/10
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