I tend to play games with deep narrative, hidden puzzles, branching quest lines, moral choices, or deeper societal messages to be drawn from the story.
But sometimes I just wanna blow stuff up.
Android Assault Cactus scratches that itch, with a colorful bullet hell twin stick shooter that manages to be charming, challenging, and dare I say cute, all at once.
In Assault Android Cactus you 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.
Android Assault Cactus supports up to four players, with 8 characters to choose from. Each character has a very unique look and design, and as a dad who plans to play this with a young daughter, I’m thrilled that they look badass and cute without being over-sexualized. Each android has her own unique main weapon, and special weapon that requires cool-down time. I had a lot of fun as Peanut with her homing shot main weapon, and incredibly powerful drill dash attack. There’s nothing quite like the anxiety of waiting for the drill to recharge on a boss fight after missing the timing and drilling off to the left into a wall!
The campaign, playable single player or multiplayer with more enemies, is split into 25 stages or arenas. Cactus and her team fight through 5 areas of the ship, with 4 stages followed by a boss battle for each area. The environments will often change, like the falling floor tiles as seen above, or the room going dark. There’s always a lot going on besides everything shooting at you!
I’m excited to shoot some more killer robots when the game releases on Windows on September 23. Console owners will get a chance to play soon as well on PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and Wii U. You can hear more of my thoughts and impressions of this game on episode 58 of the Plug and Play podcast.