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MEGATech Reviews: Assault Android Cactus for PC
Assault Android Cactus is charming, fun, and tough as nails, sometimes frustratingly so.
Pros
  • Crazy amounts of fun
  • Charming presentation
  • Budget priced
Cons
  • Difficulty can be frustrating
  • Android character models could use work
  • No online play
8Overall Score

I made the inexcusable error of judging a book by its cover and by cover I mean title and by book I mean Assault Android Cactus.

When I got the email with a review code graciously provided by Witch Beam, something about the name just didnt sit well with me, maybe because Im just a pessimistic old curmudgeon. However, Im also (barely) a professional, so I sucked it up and soldiered on. Then I had fun. Then I got sucked in by the games charm. Then I had even more fun.

Load Out, Charge Up, Get Down

Assault Android Cactus is a top-down twin-stick bullet hell shooter with a side-scrolling shoot-em-up upgrade system. Did you get all that? Well go back and re-read it because Im not typing it again.

The game lets you play as nine different androids (though theyre not all unlocked at first), each with a different pair of weapons. You have your primary weapon, which youll be doing the vast amount of your shooting with, and then you have your big, bad secondary weapon, which is limited by a cooldown timer, but its a pretty generous timer.

MEGATech Reviews: Assault Android Cactus for PC

Theres another timer you have to worry about and this one is a lot more important. As an android, you have a battery, and its continuously running out. You have health too, and if that gets depleted youll fall to the ground, lose all of your powerups, and have to jam on the controls to get back into the fight, but its your battery you have to worry about. You can keep it charged by collecting batteries dropped by defeated enemies, but if your battery drops to zero, youre a goner.

Into the Heat of Battle

MEGATech Reviews: Assault Android Cactus for PC

Youll shoot a lot of robots, and I mean a lot.

A civilian space freighter is under attack by its own robot workforce and its your job as space cop Cactus to lead the androids in a battle to defeat the robots and find out whats gone wrong. It isnt a complex plot in the slightest, but theres a certain charm in its simplicity.

Theres also a lot of charm in its characters and dialogue. Basically theres charm all over this game. Its charming and a hell of a lot of fun.

Thats a Lot of Robots

Then you progress further, the difficulty ramps up, and everything descends into chaos. This genres called bullet hell for a reason. And the last time I checked, hell isnt supposed to be particularly fun.

The latter half of Assault Android Cactus is a merciless nightmare, but heres the thing: some crazy gamers are actually into that sort of thing. The team at Witch Beam took their sub-genre seriously and delivered a grueling experience, so if thats what you look for in these sorts of things, you get a big enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

MEGATech Reviews: Assault Android Cactus for PC

There were few sections of the game where the fun stopped for me, and one of them included a rotating level that flung me straight into the horde. No thanks. I was dying enough when I was in control.

The Real Struggle of Assault Android Cactus

MEGATech Reviews: Assault Android Cactus for PC

Getting knocked down has no real consequence outside of losing your power-ups, which are re-gained fairly quickly, so I do think that the devs at Witch Beam maybe played a little fast and loose with what’s considered “fair” or not. Obviously they wouldn’t conjure up anything so insurmountable as to be game-breaking, but I went through quite a few scenarios where it seemed close enough to impossible to avoid any damage and keep my goodies.

MEGATech Reviews: Assault Android Cactus for PC

Of course, you could just read the above paragraph as me whining about how tough the game is, and perhaps I am, but even when I find myself getting frustrated at a game’s difficulty, I can almost always pinpoint what I did wrong. There were too many times in Assault Android Cactus where my reaction was more or less “how do I avoid THAT?” and I’m simply entertaining the possibility that escaping unscathed wasnt always an option. In those cases, I simply took the hit and kept going, but that doesnt mean I wasnt irritated.

Take a Deep Breath and Continue the Fight

As frustrated as I got with Assault Android Cactus at times, I always found myself going back to it. This is a game that plays better in short bursts. Itll feel like less of a grind, and youll stretch out the campaign, which is pretty short but perfectly fair for the price theyre asking. Then theres Infinity Drive and Daily Drive, two additional modes to give you more bang for your buck.


Dont let the cute graphics and bubbly dialogue fool you. Assault Android Cactus isnt messing around. If youre looking for a twin-stick challenge, youve found it. Get in through Steam now for $14.99.

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