Assault android cactus


Assault Android Cactus Review - IGN

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Assault on the senses. By Cam Shea

The enemies swarm in from all sides, leaving me frantically back-pedalling, staying just ahead of the pack as I blast them in the face, whirling to pick off enemies that pop up behind. When a big brute appears or the knot of robots grows too thick, I switch to my flamethrower to quickly drop anything in its path. The enemies are coming faster and faster, but thankfully my machine gun is ramping up too, soon helped along by a power-up that positions twin drones on either side of me. Bring it on! I think, sending a thick stream of pulsing gunfire blazing across the screen.

Assault Android Cactus (AAC) is a slick twin-stick shooter that knows how much fun it is to wield spectacular firepower. It’s also a game that understands that depth and difficulty are not necessarily the same thing. AAC is immediately accessible and thoroughly conquerable for an average player, but with extended play it also reveals a challenging end-game for high score chasers.

There's always a LOT happening.

The spice of life

Initially though, you’ll likely be so enamoured by the intensity of the action and the variety in the level design to care too much about your score. In one level the floor might reconfigure itself under your feet, in another a series of conveyor belts conspire to tug you towards mobs of robots.

Enemy composition grows ever more complicated too, steadily introducing new foes – Buster Titans that leap at you, Fetcher Fidos that can tether you to the spot, Reaper Spectres that teleport in en masse and charge up powerful laser attacks – which must be prioritised and dispatched accordingly. The bigger guys are bullet sponges too, so unless your primary attack is powered all the way up – by collecting energy orbs that felled enemies drop – you’ll need to use your secondary weapon, which (mostly) operates on a cool-down system.

Changing the very ground beneath your feet.

Each of the nine playable characters has a unique loadout, encouraging you to play to her strengths. Holly, for instance, has homing bullets, which aren’t all that powerful but help her maintain kill combos more easily than some characters, while her secondary is an energy cannonball that slowly travels across the screen but does a lot of damage. Starch, on the other hand, has a laser beam primary that does more damage the closer you are to an enemy, but requires more precision. She can unleash a barrage of rockets with her secondary fire.

Experimenting with the many characters – and seeing how familiar levels play out with a different android – is a big part of the appeal here. It also helps ensure AAC doesn’t get too frustrating. One sub-boss I was having trouble with, for instance, is able to dash to your position and knock you down in an instant, but once I realised that Starch’s secondary fire could shoot around the thick columns in the level, I realised I could keep a column between us and take the boss down from a distance.

Each android has her own play style.

If you’re looking for something a little different Assault Android Cactus has you covered, too. Peanut, for instance, shoots molten metal as her primary (leaving the ground burning for a short while), but also has a drill attack that sees her fly across the screen, driving the first enemy in her path back and into a wall. This can be a great way to get out of trouble or collect a distant battery that’s about to expire.

Aubergine is even more distinct. Instead of wielding a gun, players guide a robot drone, which is controlled independently, while she can also drop mini black holes for crowd control. Coral also allows for some cool strategies, with a wide shotgun spread main attack and a plasma field that does damage and repels enemy projectiles for her secondary.

When – and how – you use each character’s secondary attack is a vital part of AAC’s learning curve. Not only are they necessary for quickly dispatching bigger enemies – and groups of enemies - but you also do a dodge when switching from main to secondary, so using your secondary can keep you alive when timed well, as can picking up the right power-up.

High score chasing

Developer Witch Beam has done a superb job ensuring that Assault Android Cactus will be a blast for players of almost any skill level. Unlike the bullet hell shooter genre that it clearly takes inspiration from, you don’t have to possess a savant-like ability to weave through gunfire to survive. Get hit a handful of times and you’ll be knocked down, but you can quickly recharge your android and be back on your feet with no significant penalty other than some lost time. You’ll only fail a level if you run out of power, in fact, so nabbing battery top-ups when they drop is crucial for beginners.

Once you have the basics down, you can start trying to improve your score and rank for each level, which is very much AAC’s end-game, and the difference between A, S and S+ is enormous. Getting an S rank, for instance, means beating a level without a single knock-down. S+ equals no knock-downs and killing every enemy in one unbroken chain. That means you can’t have a gap of more than two seconds between kills… so even switching between your primary and secondary weapon at the wrong time can actually end your kill streak for some characters, turning that powerful alternate weapon into a potential liability.

And then there’s maximising your score on top of an S+ rank, which is a whole other thing. Suffice to say, the skill and knowledge cap on Assault Android Cactus is very high for those that want to max out what’s possible.

The bullet hell inspiration is clear to see in the boss battles.

Even if you’re not interested in advanced play and battling for contention on the leaderboards, there’s plenty to keep you coming back, even after you’ve beaten the final boss. Co-op for up to four players is every bit as intense as you’d expect, while the additional modes are great. Boss Rush chains all the boss encounters together, Infinity Drive pits you against never-ending waves of enemies and Daily Drive offers up a unique challenge each day that can only be attempted once.

There also a number of bonuses that can be purchased with game credits, such as a first person mode, a cool isometric viewpoint, a variety of visual filters, alternative secondary weapons based on each character’s primary and – in a nod to the days when games had cheats – the ability to “subject the androids to the indignity of regular human proportions,” aka Normal Sized Head Mode.

AAC feels quite different with the isometric viewpoint mode enabled.

Assault Android Cactus

Assault Android Cactus is a high intensity twin stick shooter in a science fiction setting

The Verdict

Assault Android Cactus is an energising shooter experience. Each level, character and enemy brings something fresh to the game, and the end result is chaotic, polished, packed with variety and effortlessly charming. I had a huge amount of fun just trying to top my own high scores and experimenting with the different protagonists, let alone making an impact on the global leaderboards, so it really does feel like there's something for everyone.

Editors' Choice

www.ign.com

Review: Assault Android Cactus | Hardcore Gamer

Cactus is a straightforward assault android.  It’s all there in her title — Assault Android Cactus.  She’s an android, her name is Cactus, and her primary function is assault.  Put a problem in front of her and odds are fair to excellent that something is going to go boom.  The thing that’s gone wrong this time is a space freighter that’s let out a distress call, but when she arrives the supposedly-unarmed ship lets loose with a barrage of laser fire.  Once she’s broken into the ship Cactus learns the central AI has gone strange in the head and attacked everything, leaving only a few autonomous assault androids standing.  On the one hand there’s a three kilometer long ship filled with thousands worker bots re-purposed into killing machines and overseen by five massive region bosses.  On the other hand, however, Cactus has backup and it’s a lovely day to go for a stroll with new friends and their unique weaponry.

Assault Android Cactus is a twin-stick shooter about mowing down countless waves of robotic aggressors while keeping the kill-combo high and trying not to get knocked down.  Androids don’t have health but they do have a battery, so you can take as many hits as you’d like as long as your power supply doesn’t run out.  Run, gun, and break out the heavy weaponry as often as possible and you’ll get to the end of the level, but pulling in a good grade will take an extra layer of skill.  Survival may not be easy but it’s well within the realm of possibility, but attaining an S rank requires choosing the right android for the job and knowing the level inside and out.

At game start there are five characters to choose from, all female-shaped androids but without a single gratuitous T&A design.  These characters are built to gun down massive enemy hordes, and they’ve got the armor to show they mean business despite the cuteness in their facial design.  Each character has a unique weapon style, ranging from Cactus’ machine gun, Holly’s seekers, Lemon’s spread gun, and Coral’s shotgun, to trickier armaments like Shiitake’s rail gun and Aubergine’s flying slicer-drone.  Additionally, everyone comes with a second weapon that’s more limited in use but can still be fired off every few seconds, with abilities ranging from flame thrower to a few types of missile to a lunging drill attack.  The loadout is specific to each character, no mixing and matching, and they’re balanced well enough that even if you have a specific favorite it’s not too hard to be proficient with a couple of backup characters as the situation demands.

Coral, for example, has a shotgun, which has a great spread and does plenty of damage but simply isn’t suited for the long-range tactics you’ll want to use on most bosses.  Starch’s laser, on the other hand, combines with her homing missile barrage to be highly effective not only against bosses but also in the more open arenas.  Get a few walls popping up and a spinning floor activated and Peanut’s magma gun is the way to go, packing a lot of power in its limited (but still generous) range, making it great for dodging in and out of corridors that hadn’t been part of the floor plan a second ago.  The main enemy may be the robots but the level isn’t your friend either.

Nice as guns are, the second most important thing in any shooter is mobility, and Assault Android Cactus becomes every bit as much about movement as shooting.  Walls pop up and levels rearrange themselves, floors drop out and reconfigure the terrain, and sometimes both floors and walls start rotating.  It’s not just a constant attack of enemies and firepower but also restrictions on movement, all of which you have to react to on the fly.  Probably my least favorite enemy in the game, however, is the little blue rover-bots, who do no damage at all but tether you in place with an electric arc.  When a dozen spiderbots, a walking tank, and a few flies are all homing in, the last thing you want is to think you’re maneuvering away only to find yourself rooted to the floor.  It’s honestly unpleasant when it happens.

Once you’ve blasted through the story mode, there are still a number of other options open to play with.  Each beaten level earns currency you can use to unlock features ranging from FPS mode, lens flare graphics for that Star Trek look, and even a normal head model.  Personally I turned that one on the second I got it, because the freaky-large heads are just a little on the side of Wrong, while the normal ones actually look quite nice.  There’s also a large art gallery showing off character art, production designs, and guest artist pictures.  On the gameplay side of things, though, there’s Infinite Drive, which is a neverending level, plus Daily Drive, which is a set challenge score-run.  There’s a lot of shooting in Assault Android Cactus, and every level and mode is its own unique challenge.

Because of this, each level and mode also has its own unique scoreboard to go with it, and here’s where things start getting competitive.  You can go through the whole game just to see the story, which has a fun intro and ending movie, but the replayability comes from bettering the score ranking and leaderboard position.  Each time you take a hit you lose score, and it doesn’t take more than one or two knockdowns to see a potential S rank slip to a C.  Assault Android Cactus is an unforgiving taskmaster, and it while it won’t punish your progress too much it will destroy your ranking without a second thought.  The best rank of S+ is a beast to earn, and in one particular replay I beat the spider-boss without taking a single hit and still only earned a D rank.  A careful replay showed some chaining opportunities that would amp the score enough to at least get it out of the basement, but at that point perfecting the fight and maxing every possible bit of scoring became work rather than play.  Thankfully, most S ranks simply require killing a whole lot of enemies really fast while avoiding damage, which feels like a much more worthwhile goal.

Closing Comments:

Assault Android Cactus is a solid twin-stick shooter with a focus on unique characters and level designs.  Each level has its own individual challenges, ranging from arenas with pop-up walls to corridors that drop the floor away as you travel.    The robots come with a good variety of attack patterns, and if there are a lot of popcorn enemies on screen it’s usually to mask the more powerful ones causing you real trouble.  The game can get a little technical in a few places, and not all of its experiments in limiting player movement work out as being fun, but it plays with level design in so many ways through its length that there were bound to be one or two that didn’t work out.  Assault Android Cactus is a big, bright, blast of twin-stick shooting action, filled with personality and clever design.

www.hardcoregamer.com

Assault Android Cactus | Game Review

The first few minutes of Assault Android Cactus are a deliciously evil bait and switch. A chibi-style android cop named Cactus wisecracks her way onto a massive space freighter whose artificial intelligence has gone rogue, learning that the ship’s humanoid android custodians—all with food- and plant-related names—are the only ones that can stop it. The cartoonish menagerie that makes up the main cast brims with good-natured humor and personality, but beneath the cutesy, Nickelodeon-TV exterior lies an industrial beast of a game, a twin-stick shooter that adds complexity and depth to a genre that typically has no use for either. Where most games of its ilk test the player’s ability to dodge and weave and little else, Assault Android Cactus asks more of the player’s intelligence than one would ever expect from a game where there’s a robot who picks her nose after droning “Everything’s dead.”

The core of the game is fairly standard for its genre, where the left stick is used for moving, the right stick for aiming, and one shoulder button fires while the other allows one to switch to a secondary weapon while performing a dodge. But the experience is closer in feel to Contra than, say, Geometry Wars. You start out with a choice of three androids, each with different primary and secondary weapons, though more unlock during gameplay, and the range of combinations is impressively wide. Cactus herself starts with a standard machine gun and a short-range-damaging flamethrower, but the weapons for the other droids differ wildly in creativity, from a gun that fires seeking projectiles to a remote-control helicopter that shreds through enemies. Secondary weapons range between simple exploding rockets to a handheld drill that’s meant to plow through and nail multiple enemies to the opposite side of a stage. Enemies will later drop power-ups to add turrets to your arsenal, freeze enemies in place, or temporarily improve player speed.

This is a twin-stick shooter that adds complexity and depth to a genre that typically has no use for either.

The stages are equally varied, and with time evolve into grand-scale chaos. The first two throw your tiny android into enclosed rooms, and later ones expand to include winding paths where enemies can hide and fast-moving elevators where enemies consistently drop into from the ceiling. In one of the more insane latter stages, the floor gives way every few minutes and drops the player and enemy alike into new obstacles—and in another, the tiles of the floor shift to create a brand new room around the player every few seconds. All the while, you must fend off legions of cannon fodder. Not keeping your android moving on a constant basis will likely mean getting easily overwhelmed, and it’s a testament to how technically sound Assault Android Cactus is that hundreds of enemies can be on screen at once. Indeed, it isn’t until the particularly hectic final stages that the typical shoot-’em-up problem of stuttering framerates rears its head.

Fortunately, the player has infinite lives, but therein lies the catch, and Assault Android Cactus’s big gimmick: Every android has a battery life that consistently drains during the course of a stage. Killing certain enemies and picking up a specific power-up will recharge the battery, but it’s “game over” if the battery runs out. It sounds like a fairly simple proposition on paper: Just keep killing until a dead enemy drops a battery. In practice, though, as the enemies get smarter, more oppressive, with maybe a dozen of non-duplicated enemy attacks happening all at once, finding the battery, and hoping you don’t have to waste time blasting your way clear across a room to collect it before it disappears, becomes a blood-pressure-raising proposition, especially during the game’s riotous bullet hell-inspired boss fights.

Assault Android Cactus requires the player to consistently manage their time, to tackle each stage like a perpetual ballet dedicated to the sole purpose of making robots go “boom.” When you die, which will happen often, you’re sung to your next try by a fun little bass-dropping ballad about little androids with low batteries. No matter how hard it gets, the game never stops reminding you to have fun. In all of the five hours it took to beat it, that reminder never felt necessary; the game does a stellar job of that on its own.

www.slantmagazine.com

Assault Android Cactus | Рецензии

Уже который раз я натыкаюсь на инди-проект, который отбивает у меня всякое желание в него играть одним только своим видом. Было немало странных, нелепых идей и глупых названий, но Assault Android Cactus переплёвывает многих. Впрочем, первое впечатление было обманчиво: несмотря на дурашливое название, эта игра переплюнет многих по части качества исполнения, и её можно и вовсе назвать одной из лучших в жанре twin-stick шутеров.

Начинается всё очень мило: небольшое забавное интро знакомит нас с миром Assault Android Cactus, а затем начинается экшен. Игра не уделяет много времени истории, что и правильно. В центре всего – геймплей, и к нему сложно придраться. Это классический twin-stick шутер, сделанный на совесть.

История вертится вокруг галактического полицейского по имени Кактус. Ему посчастливилось попасть на гигантский космический корабль под управлением захватчиков. После того, как Кактус спас трёх членов экипажа, они вместе решили освободить корабль.

Для независимого проекта Assault Android Cactus выглядит весьма внушительно. Не беря в расчёт повествование (актёры озвучки справляются с задачей, но не более), игра впечатляет. Визуальный стиль идеально подходит к жанру, каждый персонаж уникален, и отличия эти очень заметны. Звуковые эффекты не отстают, как и бодрый саундтрек, идеально дополняющий игровой процесс.

Assault Android Cactus удалось многое, но главным достижением я считаю разнообразие мира. Несмотря на то, что Кактус и компания оказались заперты на космическом корабле, каждая новая зона радует чем-то оригинальным, и игра совсем не кажется однообразной. Это разнообразие и элемент постоянного исследования дополняются постоянными новыми элементами геймплея; игра будто постоянно экспериментирует и меняется. Те, кто её уже опробовал, прекрасно поймут, о чём я говорю.

У каждого героя есть уникальное основное оружие, у которого есть дополнительный режим стрельбы. По сути, это классические для жанра пушки вроде дробовика, но это не плохо. Больше всего мне понравилась Баклажан, которая может управлять дроидом и стрелять сингулярной пушкой.

Несмотря на жанр, Assault Android Cactus успешно делает то, что не удаётся конкурентам: он разбавляет приевшийся жанр новыми элементами. Так, в основе всего лежит идея того, что все игроки делят батарею, которая постоянно разряжается. Перезарядиться можно, конечно, постоянно убивая врагов.

Assault Android Cactus – не длинная игра, и у вас не уйдёт много времени на прохождение. У неё, однако, есть один несомненный козырь – кооперативный мультиплеер. Пройти один раз можно и одному, но перепрохождение с друзьями принесёт совсем другие эмоции. Всего тут пять миров и 25 уровней. Каждый уровень займёт у вас минут десять.

Отдельно следует отметить битвы с боссами. Очень часто боссов добавляют для галочки, но тут каждый из них сделан с любовью и вниманием, так что эти битвы вы забудете не скоро. Баланс тоже отличный: вы будете постоянно испытывать то раздражение, то азарт – в общем, классика.

По мере прохождения вам будут открываться новые персонажи, и это уже достаточный стимул для того, чтобы сыграть до конца.

Что касается стандартных врагов, то они достаточно разнообразны, но не ожидайте чего-то сверхъестественного.  В основном вы будете сражаться с ползующими гадами, гигантами, стреляющими файерболлами, и дронами, предпочитающими обстреливать с расстояния. К сожалению, некоторыми классами врагов злоупотребляют, и в итоге они могут поднадоесть. Так или иначе, просто не придётся: для того, чтобы выжить, вам нужно постоянно двигаться, уклоняясь при этом от ударов (кнопка уклонения также используется для второй атаки). Не забывайте использовать каждый бонус, который вываливается из повергнутого врага – иначе будет совсем сложно.

Чем больше вы играете, тем лучше будут становиться ваши пушки. Умрёте – и весь прогресс обнулится. Среди бонусов – ускорение, турели и автоматическое вырубание всех роботов на экране. В Assault Android Cactus есть и внутриигровая валюта – кредиты – которые помогут вам разнообразить геймплей и облегчить игру. Так, можно приобрести партнёров-ботов, режим игры от первого лица и даже старый добрый концепт-арт. Все эти бонусы добавляют причин выжать из игры по максимуму.

Assault Android Cactus – игра, сделанная с любовью и энтузиазмом. Чувствуется, что разработчики не стремились скопировать успешную формулу и заработать на популярном жанре – они хотели сделать что-то оригинальное, что-то своё, и у них получилось. Это симпатичная, короткая и увлекательная игра подойдёт как для одиночного прохождения, так и для совместных сессий.

Автор: Денис Кошелев aka ladoscai

Рубрики: Рецензии, PC, PlayStation 4

Дата публикации: 06.06.2016 14:08

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Assault Android Cactus Review

Assault Android Cactus marries two things: the bullet hell hectics of a twin-stick shooter, and the charm of a budget Dreamcast title. That second aspect may strike a damning impression, but I mean it with high esteem. Assault Android Cactus feels, looks, and sounds like an action game torn from console libraries of the early 2000s, not to mention its humble price tag. I could watch others dismantle rampant robots in a maelstrom of flames, lasers, shotguns, and singularities for hours. I needed to, actually, to review the patterns of the game’s bosses. The pandemonium of managing the abysmal HUD and fighting mechanical spiders, giants, bees, and reapers is too much to acclimate to at once.

The HUD contains too many elements that the minds at Witch Beam expects players to track. Glancing at my android’s health bar, battery level, secondary weapon cooldown, or main gun’s upgrades routinely cost me. How the hell do I monitor the seconds until my flamethrower recharges while I am dodging bombs that fall from the sky? When will I have time to check my remaining health when killing one enemy causes a dozen to take its place? In most cases, too much damage leaves your android in a down-but-not-out state. Drain her battery meter entirely, however, and you fail a stage.

The chunky, colorful androids demand a steady supply of electricity, which enemies drop as a power-up. Players that keep the battery meter above the red can keep fighting, and your little droid will even revive itself if incapacitated, if it has some juice remaining. Honestly, I like the battery concept. In most dual-stick shooters, a minor slipup or two culminates in a restart. With Assault Android Cactus, I relaxed the white-knuckle grip on my controller, unfazed by every bullet and bomb hurled my way. I charged headlong into a hail of gunfire on occasion, knowing I could restore my android to tip-top shape.

When obliterated robots offer an excess of batteries, I had time to admire the amount of bullets and robo-fodder that clog the screen. Sometimes, however, those power cells do not drop when needed. Neither the menus, nor the tutorial say what causes batteries to appear. They tend to spawn when your android comes dangerously close to shutting down, though batteries spring from any foe, big or small. Must I scrap an unnamed total of the damn machines? Do I wipe out the previous wave of hostiles first ? I failed stages because I had no idea who to decimate, who presented the greatest chance for me to re-energize my character. More robots just meant my anger growing in turn.

Doing anything, even nothing, consumes an android’s energy. A self-revive also eats a chunk of her leftover charge. Some enemies detract a couple blocks of health. Bullets and melee attacks will do that, but explosives rob players of an health entire bar. I wish Witch Beam settled for one (the battery mechanic) or the other (a health system). Assault Android Cactus affords zero free time to peek at a health meter – relegated to the upper left corner of the screen, no less – while avoiding lasers, bombs, and missiles. Make incoming attacks a one-hit KO instead, and adjust weaker bots to act more passive. The team could also mitigate the damage dealt by explosives.

Bullets flood each stage, from the androids and their aggressors, matching the volume of robots shot for shot. Assault Android Cactus could stand to reduce these numbers. I perished time after time because I could not see a bullseye painted on the floor, denoting a missile strike. Assault Android Cactus is no shoot ‘em up, where players scrape by while watching out for the nearest projectiles. Players must move about the game’s unstable environments. Zone 4 introduces platforms that fall into nothingness, for example. Witch Beam prevents players from walking to their deaths, thankfully, but the fluctuating floors sealed off all retreat from bombs that literally rained down on top of me, downing my character instantly.

Although I hate to be down on Assault Android Cactus, it occupies a genre alongside Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Renegade Ops. Settling for second best is not an option. For what it is worth, Witch Beam handles the actual gunplay well (again, just not the mechanics related to the HUD), and its debut release carries charisma. A lone police android named Cactus breaches a space freighter held hostage by four rogue AIs, and because the androids possess independent cores – ones not controlled by the ship – Cactus and the survivors intend to blast through three kilometers of frigate and one hundred thousand robots to reclaim the barge.

Assault Android Cactus showcases one of my favorite title cards in recent memory, thanks to its setup. The voice actress for Cactus portrays her can-do attitude wonderfully, downplaying the gravity of a situation. The eight remaining androids and their spunky or oblivious personalities grabbed my attention, too. None of the dialogue betrays Assault Android Cactus as the work of a novice studio. No garbled lines or audio hiccups mar the conversations, and while pre-boss fight banter simply includes text, that text changes depending on what character you choose.

Three friends could jump into bullet bedlam alongside you, yet I suggest you limit the fun to two players at most. Assault Android Cactus should afford hours of replay value for a few people to tackle in tandem; it never does. The weapons fire from four androids (and the enemy numbers that increase to balance yours out) further obscures your view of the action. The camera cannot support several friends and the game’s run-and-gun play style. The isometric angle pans in and out as it attempts to keep everyone the center of attention, though I lost my android amid the confusion at least every other second. I just hoped my shots contributed to the collective effort.

The campaign will tide players over for an afternoon. Of course, you might get more days out of Assault Android Cactus if you enjoy seeing your name at the top of public leaderboards, or obtaining S ranks on every level. I ditched the tedious score-chase grind, however, since stages carry on too long for my tastes. They don’t provide enough currency, either. Finishing stages awards credits that unlock a smorgasbord of extras. New perspectives, graphics filters, and AI bots that accompany you fundamentally alter how Assault Android Cactus plays, and no more than a few goodies feel like an afterthought (i.e., the codex entries). On the downside, buying all the bonuses requires tens of playthroughs before you earn the prerequisite funds.

The nauseating first-person mode, while thrilling at first, prevents players from seeing what lurks behind them. If the pristine white walls of Zone 5 seem too plain, you can enable the so-called psychedelic visual filter, too. In truth, the filter looks something akin to an oil spill staining your driveway – fun over function, apparently. Whereas I applaud Witch Beam for programming AI androids for fans that want to witness the chaos that co-op boils down to, they repeatedly stole power-ups. That means allies pick up new batteries right away, but they drain energy shared between the party when they become incapacitated. The AI stymies progress when enabled, getting hung up on the geometry or standing next to insta-death environmental hazards.

Some stages you will want to go it alone, since the nine androids provide a counter to certain situations. Starch’s laser served me well during boss encounters. The long-range beam and her heat-seeking missile swarm helped me chip away their health from afar. In normal skirmishes, I preferred Lemon. Her spreadshot injures multiple foes at once, as does her devastating rocket launcher. Picking up a power-up to temporarily freeze robots or boost my weapon’s firepower then allowed me to control the discord of Assault Android Cactus that I loathe and adore.

While a couple campaign playthroughs sated my twin-stick shooter hunger, the more ravenous players will lose themselves to the additional modes. The Boss Rush mode sounds and does exactly what you assume. You battle the ship’s guardians again, one after another, as they alter their forms. You also face these metal monsters in the Daily Drive mode, where competitors vie for leaderboard positions with one chance to do so. Putting up a terrible score on your first and only run lets the disappointment linger for 24 hours before you can try again. Infinity Drive is an excellent opportunity to hone your skills, then, since enemy waves won’t stop until your battery level reads zero.

Assault Android Cactus throws players into a den of chaos they cannot escape. Witch Beam pushes the robot anarchy to a new extreme, but I already lost the motivation for attaining high scores years ago. Nowadays, the less time spent nursing a health bar, battery meter, and other cooldowns in a lawless dual-stick shooter, the better. While the gunplay exhibits a polish people seldom expect of a small indie team, superb controls and a fondness for making robots explode cannot save Assault Android Cactus from its other flaws.

This review is based on the PC version of the game, which we were provided.

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