Assault Android Cactus+ (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Arcade
Publisher: Witch Beam Games
Developer: Witch Beam Games
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Tested on: Nintendo Switch

Assault Android Cactus+ (Switch) – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Animated environment, Different playstyles available, Catchy soundtrack, Flawless controller responsiveness
Bad: Controls cannot be remapped
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

If you cannot get enough of the hundreds of twin-stick shooters that are available, we have another title for you, one that you can play on the go. This bullet hell title is chaotic, vibrant and playable with up to three other friends and it includes space cops. And high scores of course. The action-packed arcade-styled twin-stick shoot ‘em up we’re looking at is Assault Android Cactus+, a game you might have played before on PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, that has gotten a new release on Nintendo Switch.   

Story

It has been three days ago since a garbled message was received from aboard the Genki Star, a huge freighter floating in space. The space police have intercepted the message and decided to send one of their agents but as soon as space cop Cactus comes near the freighter, she finds herself in a tricky situation. What was once the asteroid defense system of the ship is now a deadly maze of lasers. Although she is instructed to abort the mission as it is too dangerous, Cactus refuses the direct order and crashes into the ship. Accidentally Cactus has saved androids Holly, Lemon, and Coral by crashing into the robots that were planning to destroy them. Luckily for her, the trio knows what’s going on.

A few days earlier aboard the freighter, the Nexus Core had stopped responding and the androids went to investigate. They weren’t quick enough to come up with a solution and the Section Lords, who are supposed to be protecting them, went haywire. With the Section Lords going berserk, the smaller robots have gone into warfare against humanoids and androids. The three androids barely escaped the madness unscathed, but Agent Cactus wants to travel three kilometers of ship brimming with hundred thousand homicidal robots to the Core and turn it back online in the hopes that the Core can regain control of the Section Lords and their robots. It will be a difficult venture, one that requires an overabundance of fire power but space cop Cactus has all confidence that they can make it.

Graphics

The visuals are vibrant as they should be, with a plethora of multi-colored patterns, tons of blasts and intriguing robots of all sizes. All-in-all, the graphic style can be considered as a cartoonish anime-sort of style, even though the characters are quite defined and lack the thick black borders around the objects. Every zone has different areas and color schemes but still fitting for a large space freighter.

Animation wise the game is rather smooth, despite being packed with bullets, explosions and a ton of movement. Certain stages have animated platforms, each platform transitioning smoothly into the next. It is quite refreshing to see a tight environment being used to its full potential by the means of animated platforms that can drop, rotate, or simply change entirely. The camera angle in most areas is almost top-down but there are areas where the camera angles changes to a more side-view of things.

Sound

The soundtrack is rather memorable with catchy techno-like tracks that fit the arcade-side of the twin-stick shooter game. It’s fast and techy, just like the game itself. Whilst the characters do have some sentences, there isn’t real voice-acting or narration but luckily the dialogues are short and rare which is perfectly balanced with the lack of voice-acting.

Gameplay

Assault Android Cactus+ is a twin stick shoot ‘em up originally released for PC in 2015 and later became available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Whilst the latest release is for Nintendo Switch consoles, the controls are very responsive and kept as simple as possible. With the left stick the player can move the character whilst the right stick is used to aim. Shooting the main weapon is done with the R and ZR buttons so you can choose which button you’d be most comfortable with. The secondary weapons can be used with the L and ZL buttons. All in all, the controls are very simple, but they are not enjoyable in handheld mode due to the lower placement of the right stick. Using the joycon controller, or even a regular Switch controller gives a much smoother experience.

There are three game modes available: campaign mode, infinity drive mode and daily drive mode. The campaign mode is self-explanatory as it’s the storyline mode taking place in several levels of the ship. Each zone has four stages to play in, and a Section Lord to defeat. What is most fun about the campaign mode is that the stage selection is a tiny game on its own as you walk towards the stages. It also features the high score per stage. The second game, the infinity drive mode is a wave mode in which you need to survive as many waves as possible. Whilst the daily drive is roughly the same as infinity mode, it can be played only once per day. All game modes can be played solo or with up to four players. Each game type and number of players have their own leaderboards, which is perfect for when you want to become the very best space cop.

At the start of the campaign, you’ll have four character’s available: Cactus, Holly, Lemon, and Coral. Each have different primary and secondary weapons and have different playstyles so finding one that suits you should be no issue. Going through the game will award you with more characters that have even different playstyles. Something that is true for all characters, is the fact that you must pick up batteries throughout the fights as all androids cannot fight without battery life. A drained battery results in failure. While it is easy to maintain battery life in the levels, it can be much harder to do so during boss fights as they only drop Battery Recharge at certain stages.

Aside from characters that can be unlocked, the game offers a huge chunk of other unlockables although these won’t change your playstyles. There’s a codex which includes character information that gets unlocked as you find them, a bestiary with information that also unlocks as you go and an auxiliary about planets and other things in space. The latter can be unlocked with credits. Other items that can be unlocked by spending credits are items in the art gallery. There’s also a movie gallery and a jukebox with unlockables.

The replayability in Assault Android Cactus+ is high only thanks to the leaderboards and access to local multiplayer with up to three other friends, making it a great game to play with friends on the go or simply from your couch.

Conclusion

Assault Android Cactus+ is an enjoyable fast-paced shoot ‘em up game with a good range of different playstyles as each character has unique primary and secondary weapons. It is entertaining for the most part, both in solo and co-op modes, but it can also be challenging when taking into account high scores and battery depletion. The graphics are vibrant with smooth animations, the controls are very responsive, and the soundtrack is catchy. All the check-boxes for a great twin-stick shoot ‘em up have been ticked off, so it’s safe to assume we can recommend this game as long as you care about becoming the most legendary space cop.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Assault Android Cactus+ (Switch) - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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