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  • Chad Myers

Game Review #256: Assault Android Cactus+ (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Witch Beam Games

Publisher: Witch Beam Games

Category: Arcade, Action

Release Date: 3.8.2019

Price (at time of review): $19.99

Buy Assault Android Cactus+ from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Robots Have A Cactus Problem

With the eShop being such a juggernaut of content as it grows week by week, the genre of twin-stick shooter has a lot of company here, with the next “arguably one of the best” always looming near the top of the charts. So, when a new twin-stick shooter comes out, I know the deck is already stacked against them with high levels of competition.

This challenge doesn’t seem to bother the Aussie developers over at Witch Beam Games, as they are coming out with both barrels blazing to make a mark in the crowded space with Assault Android Cactus+, where you play as Junior Constable Cactus—or 8 other playable androids. He is responding to a distress call and ends up stranded on a crippled space freighter under attack by its own robot workers. So let’s jump in and see how it stacks up.

Twin Stick Fun For Everyone

Right away I noticed that the controls were made so anyone could pick up, play, and get right into the action. You move with the left stick and aim with the right. The right bumper is your primary weapon, and left bumper is the secondary more powerful weapon. When you choose the secondary, it will overheat and automatically switch back to the primary weapon, and you can switch back once it cools off. Rather than the normal life bar, you have a battery that you must maintain by picking up tiny batteries that fallen enemies will drop randomly when you destroy them. If you let the battery drain completely, you die. While battling, in addition to the battery meter, you also have a knocked down meter that allows you throw caution to the wind a bit and be reckless, as you can get hit a few times before you’re knocked down and stripped of any power ups or upgrades. The meter will also reset after a while of just battling and avoiding shots.

As I stated before, there are 9 playable characters, but you will have to unlock a few of them through playing the campaign that stretches over 25 stages. Depending on which you use, it can drastically change your gameplay approach; and this is where the die-hard gamers will love this game, and will fight to max rank level with all characters.

During the campaign it starts off rather nice and steady, but before you know it, it’s pure chaos all over the screen as you begin battling waves and waves of robots that are hell bent on killing you. You constantly have the move-and-blast enemies; they drop little white balls of energy that upgrade your primary weapon to be more powerful. Also, there are power-ups that drop: yellow gives you momentary speed boost with yellow wings, red give you momentary double drones to help boost your fire power, and blue will momentarily freeze the enemies on screen. I personally preferred the red and yellow the most, in that order as well.

The gameplay and controls overall are a dream with how well the game handles and with the mechanics involved. The stage design is also done very well, and adds another layer of challenge, as the levels will literally shift and change in front of your eyes. This was very innovative and made it so interesting. You will be comfortable fighting after you get the lay of the land, and then everything starts shifting. The bosses are epic and big. I couldn’t stop playing, it was so much fun!

I was surprised with not just how easy it is to pick up and play, but also with how the game can be for either twin-stick experts or newcomers. Also, this game has a deep replayability factor, which makes the value skyrocket, along with rankings and online leaderboards that are going to make you battle harder and harder to reach the top. Each time you finish a level they will give you a grade, ranking from lowest to highest: D, C, B, A, S, S+. But getting that S+ isn’t going to be easy. Not at all! You have to chain attacks and kills together over and over without messing up once and not being knocked down.

There are also modes you can access, like Boss Rush and Infinity Drive, which are like survival and then daily drive, respectively. You also get to play with up to 4 players in couch/local co-op, and this multiplayer is damn good—you will think the screen is going to explode with chaos, but that’s okay. Once you beat the game, you also unlock the game + mode, which has remixed stages. There is also a plethora of options in the menu that allows you to look at the cut scenes, character models and more, including checking out the music.

Audio & Visuals

The graphics can be seen as maybe a generation or so behind, but that doesn’t matter, as the game still looks great and runs phenomenally in both handheld and docked. The level designs, as stated before, are done well, and the characters are super cute, with the enemies being equally interesting in design. The music fits throughout and is paced perfectly. The voiceover work is right on the mark, with sound effects standing out.

It’s A Wrap!!!

Jumping right in with the value, this game is beyond fun. Playing a twin-stick shooter that is fun and playable by gamers both pro and novice alike is a huge selling point, but this game being deep with rankings and online leaderboards make it a must own for your collection.

Score: 9/10

Buy Assault Android Cactus+ from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Assault Android Cactus+


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*Review Code Provided by Stride PR

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