Assault Android Cactus
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: OSX Linux
Indie games are starting to become so mainstream, they all start to run together. They’re all different and they each have their own quirks. This one is the name, Assault Android Cactus, which is a name you only really get when you start playing. The little dialogue there is though, is relatively funny. It’s a fun little shoot-em up, but it definitely needs more content.
Assault Android Cactus is about an adorable android, Cactus, who is damn good at assaulting baddies. She’s only a junior Constable in the Interplanetary Police, but she’s got the confidence of a Captain. She comes across a ship that seems to be in distress, so she makes a brilliant entrance to save the day. Turns out the machines on board have taken over and they’re after all androids with a vengeance. The plain old machines are linked and hive-minded, but the androids have their own batteries and brains, making them immune to the hostile takeover—instead they become targets. A few androids have survived and join Cactus to take back the ship.
Assault Android Cactus is all combat, all the time as you survive wave after wave of machines out to snuff you out. It’s arcade style shooting using one stick to move and one to aim—which seems simple until there are 25 spidery looking robots on top of you and they knock your ass down. There’s a few different “health bars” you need to keep an eye on—battery life and hit meter. The former slowly goes down as you fight at a predetermined rate while the latter is pretty self-explanatory—after a few hits you “faint” for a short time, but you can get back up. If your battery runs completely dry, it’s game over, so enemies drop batteries every other wave or so.
You start with four different androids—Holly, Lemon, Coral and Cactus—each equipped with a pair of weapons to take out the multitudes of machines. Your weapon gets more power from the small orbs that baddies drop after you junk them—busting those bastards up is much easier when you get that weapon fully powered up. My most frequently played was Holly and her Seeker weapon. I could hide behind walls and still manage to shoot the shit out of the hordes of machines headed my way. It’s paired with an awesome cannonball shooter to clear out a whole line of machines.
Coral had my next favorite—who doesn’t love a shotgun in a shooting game? It’s Insta-kill when you’re close enough and always satisfying to use. It’s paired with a plasma field, perfect for when you’re surrounded. Lemon has a spreader shot, paired with some missiles—she’s great in the open levels. Our heroine, Cactus, has a single line assault weapon—it does more damage if you’re lucky enough to have good aim. Her secondary weapon is my favorite though, it’s a badass flamethrower—I just wish machines could catch on fire, but it’s hella satisfying to use any way.
As you work your way through the ship you meet some nice new android buddies, and you run into some challenging bosses. They’re the head honcho machines of their sectors, and they are mean. The first one took me several tries to beat down. It’s very doable though, but once you’re done with the campaign there’s not much to do. There’s the standard survival mode, a level that changes daily, and hanging out with your buddies.
I had a ton of fun assaulting all the machines with my cute little android friends. The only sadness I had about this game is that it’s only 25 levels, and not much else. The androids are adorable, and when they do talk, they’re funny. I’d wait for a sale on Steam, but I would download the demo right now. Assault Android Cactus is definitely worth your time.