Assault Android Cactus is a new game released by the game development team, Witch Beam. You and up to three friends control androids unaffected by the robot malfunction happening on the Genki Star. The goal of the game is to shoot your way through the ship and destroy the four section overloads. The game is playable on both Steam and the PlayStation 4. It’s to be released on PlayStation Vita and Wii U at a later date.
The gameplay is pretty basic. You use the analog stick to move, hold down the R2 button to shoot, and press L2 to change your weapon. Simply put, you must blast your way through a ton of enemies. As you kill enemies, they’ll drop one of three things: A power-up (agility which makes your character move faster, fire power which gives you two drones that shoot alongside you, or power down which shuts down the enemies’ circuitry for a few seconds). You will also collect power orbs (which power up and give more ammo to your secondary weapon. These weapons range from flamethrowers to singularity fields). Finally, batteries, which will prolong the level by recharging the stage. If you run out of battery before you can kill all of the enemies, the level will end. You can stack power-ups by grabbing multiple. These will either enhance the power or duration of the skill. These skills are instantly activated when you grab the power up and are one time use only. A feature of this game that I absolutely love is the lives system. If your character dies, the game doesn’t end. (It will only end if you run out of battery). You simply press any button a few times and your character will be revived. There is no limit to the amount of times that you may do this. The only penalties are that you’ll lose some of your total score and any power-ups that you had grabbed.
There are four androids unlocked in the beginning of the game. Each has their own unique look, voice, primary gun, and secondary gun. You cannot change the combination of guns that each character uses, but there are some unique characters unlocked along the way. There’s no doubt that you’ll find a character that is a good fit for you. I think the game’s strongest feature is its local multiplayer. Single player and multiplayer gameplay is the same, but multiplayer has more enemies to compensate for more players. All players are on the screen (which means no split screen), which can sometimes get confusing if you have a lot of enemies on the stage. Other than that, I think local multiplayer is really fun. Especially if you haven’t bought the unlockable that allows you to have computers on your team. It’s much easier to beat the game with a balanced team!
There are several different game modes that include both campaign and survival modes. Even if you beat the story mode, you can continue to play. Insanity drive is a survival mode that tests how long you can stay alive, while the daily drive allows you to see how your score holds up against the community’s. There is also a store which allows you to purchase “EX Options” with credits you earn in game. These options add different aspects to the game, such as computer partners, powered up weapons, characters with human proportions and even first person mode. Because of this, there is immense replayability to this game. The only cons I really I have with the gameplay is that it can get frustrating when you’re so close to beating a boss and the battery runs out and that after a few stages the game does start to feel repetitive.
Assault Android Cactus boasts cartoonish 3D graphics. The androids have big heads and short bodies. For the arcade style of gameplay, I think the graphics work. The stages are all pretty zoomed out so you’re never really close-up to your character’s appearance. Each android is unique in their looks and their assigned color is simple enough that the player doesn’t get confused in game. I especially love the stage selection screen in campaign mode. The futuristic look amplifies the atmosphere of the game.
Any game that utilizes the speaker on the PS4 controller is a winner in my book. The sound is clear and loud through the controller’s speakers. Each character has their own catch phrases. It’s interesting to hear the different dialogue through the controllers when a character grabs a power up or kills an enemy. The in-game music is simple and flows through the game quite nicely.
To summarize the pros and cons into bullet points:
- 9 unique playable characters
- Local multiplayer with up to four players
- 25 stages and 5 boss battles in campaign mode.
- Several unique artworks, codex entries, and ex options to unlock.
- Three unique game modes.
- High replayability even after you beat the main story.
- Repetitive gameplay
- Unvoiced campaign story
- The character weapons cannot be customized.
- Easy to lose your character on the screen if there are a lot of enemies present.
Assault Android Cactus is incredibly fun. It’s a casual arcade style shooter. If you’re looking for a heavy plot based game with realistic graphics, this game definitely isn’t for you. Though, if you’re looking for a fun co-op shooter to play with your friends on the weekend, I’d highly recommend this game!