Assault Android Cactus for Nintendo Switch Review: Assault, Android and…Cactus?

Assault Android Cactus for the Nintendo Switch

Do you like twin stick shooters? Do you like bullet hell games?
Do you like androids? Do you also like weird ideas that turn out to be good?
Then we have the game for you!
Assault Android Cactus + is a twin stick bullet hell shooter mix unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The game starts with Cactus, an android police officer, investigating unusual behaviour by a cargo ship.

A TRUE INDIE GEM…

Despite the fact that the game is named after her, there are nine (NINE!) different characters. You only have 4  at the start but you’ll unlock the rest of the cast quickly. And the best part is that each of them is different: they all have their own unique design and different game styles.
You see, while Cactus is the more “standard” character, with an assault rifle as her primary weapon and a flamethrower and her secondary, Aubergine has a droid called Halo which can be controlled remotely and a singularity gun that can shoot BLACK HOLES. You hear that? BLACK HOLES!

Dying in this game is…different. Being shot numerous times will knock you out, but you won’t die: you can only die when your battery runs out.
Wait, battery?
In order to get battery charges, you need to kill tons of enemies. The same goes for boosters. The more enemies you kill, the higher is the chance to get boosters that will help you through the game or battery charges to help you stay alive until the end of the level.

At first, you might think all the robots look the same. Trust me, they don’t. They vary both in design and gameplay. Some may just shoot bullets, other may shoot bullets or rockets, and some other will just try to hit you with their bodies. There’s also bosses, which are related to the plot, that spice up the game.

Assault Android Cactus didn’t meet my expectations, it sure as hell surpassed them by a long shot. I didn’t expect a game that could be so fun, diverse and fun by an indie team. Witch Beam did an awesome job on creating such a fun indie gem, as there are lots of little details everywhere: each android seems to have a different personality from the others, they have different dialogues with the bosses and not one of their weapons seems similar with the others.

…WITH SOMETHING TO WORK ON

From my point of view, the game suffers from some elements that may turn some people off. The game is VERY short if you are playing just for the story. It’s about 3 hours for the first playthrough and the story doesn’t really matter, there’s only two cutscenes in the whole game, an introductory one and one after the final boss. Really, you wouldn’t miss anything. Also, the game can be played by 4 players either on the same screen or locally, but there’s no online multiplayer.

Even if Assault Android Cactus isn’t that long, it’s meant to be played MANY times. You can play the whole game with just one character, try to “ace” every level or just play with the unlockables. In fact, there are so many of them. Some are purely cosmetic, such as screen filters, but other can change the game. You can play the game in first person or with an isometric perspective. You can even unlock various new modes such as Boss Rush and Infinity Drive, in which you play until you die.

FINAL VERDICT

Is it worth the price? Hell yes. I had a blast playing alone AND playing with friends. I recommend this game to anyone who wants some mindless fun or to people who want to experience something new.
Fans of the genre will also have a blast, since AAC is one of the most interesting concepts I’ve ever seen in gaming.

Highly Recommended

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Reviewed by Senpavo on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Witch Beam.