An amazing blend of high-octane action and colorful cartoon aesthetics results in an arcade shooter that can’t be missed.

When a distress signal is sent out into the depths of space, a plucky band of heroes answers the call. What dangers lurk within the walls of the spaceship? What dangerous mechanical monstrosities await for those brave, but unknowing heroes? A cavalcade of sound, light, and action is one step away and only the fiercest, the fastest, and the slickest will come out on top. If this sounds like an adventure for you then Assault Android Cactus is the game you need to play next.

Released in 2015 by Witch Beam, Assault Android Cactus is a twin-stick arcade shooter that puts players in the roles of courageous androids. What makes twin-stick shooters unique amongst other arcade action titles is the usage of two joysticks (hence the name) for gameplay. With one stick that moves the player and the other that allows them to swivel around 360 degrees, twin stick shooters are famous for their frenetic and explosive gameplay, often requiring zen-like levels of focus to complete.

Assault Android Cactus Reignites Classic Arcade Action

Assault Android Cactus gameplay

Assault Android Cactus has a simple, yet effective premise. Junior Constable Cactus becomes stuck on a wayward space freighter and must fight her way through its own malfunctioning robot crew. With the help of her allies, Cactus must fight through 25 different stages spanning various locations across the ship in order to set things right. An arcade game through and through, Assault Android Cactus doesn’t bog itself down with an overly complicated narrative. Players good, robots bad. Hold down the fire button and clean up shop.

While blasting away at rampaging robots that swarm all about is exhilarating enough, Assault Android Cactus offers more than just a simple campaign mode. In addition to its regular arcade campaign mode there is:

  • Campaign+ that features altered stages for extra replay value
  • The Infinity Drive for players who wish to test their mettle
  • Daily Drive for those seeking challenges from the community itself
  • Extra game mods and unlockables as rewards for players that go all in

With nine playable characters, each with their own weapons, strategies, and personalities, Assault Android Cactus is more than just an arcade title that can be completed in two hours and then forgotten.

Assault Android Cactus is a Cartoon Come to Explosive Life

Assault Android Cactus gameplay

For all of its style and content there is one singular aspect to Assault Android Cactus that makes it worth the price of admission: it plays well. It plays very well. Controls are tight and responsive, weapons fire in satisfying and unique ways, and the game looks and sounds fantastic. All the best extra modes and colorful characters won’t mean a thing if the core gameplay experience is lacking. Assault Android Cactus marries the fun and excitement of a Saturday morning cartoon with the split-second twitch-shooting of classic arcade games. It’s a fine line to walk, but Assault Android Cactus performs it with ease.

Indie arcade shooter are a dime a dozen. It’s easy to understand why so many are made when the basic premise of the game consists of Aim Character Then Shoot. As simple and rewarding as that premise is it can deceptively difficult to strike the right formula. Assault Android Cactus checks off every box. Fast and responsive controls? Check. Fun and varied gameplay? Check. Unique and exciting characters? Checkity check. Fans of classic arcade shooters would do well to join up alongside Junior Constable Cactus and blast away at some misbehaving robots.

Assault Android Cactus is available on Steam, Playstation, Xbox, and Switch.

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