Genre: 2 Stick Shooter
ESRB: E for everyone
Assault Android Cactus (AAC) is an arcade two-stick-shooter in the the vein of Robotron or Geometry Wars. Choose your Android and shoot your way through chaotic levels against robot villains that come out of every corner of the screen.
There is violence in the shooting of robot enemies but overall, the game is kid friendly.
There is no shortage of chaos while playing through AAC. You will be tried and tested in your skills and abilities on many occasions. There are moments when you can feel the chaos slowing down in the game just to be slapped in the face with more enemies than you feel you can handle. It reminded me of the the first time I played Smash TV in the arcades (sans bloody carnage).
Team up with a buddy or play solo as you make your way through very unique levels at various difficulties. The premise of the game is simple: left stick moves your character, right stick aims your weapon and right trigger fires your weapon. You have two weapon types; one is your standard shooting weapon and another is a more powerful but limited special weapon. Each playable character or android has a unique personality and set of weapons so your experience is different as you choose a different character to play.
As you are making your way through the levels, your enemies will drop various powerups that will allow for speed, additional firepower, or to shut down the enemy robots for a short time. You are also limited to a battery supply which needs to be replenished by picking up a dropped battery. If your battery power runs too low, you will deplete and essentially die, having to start the level from the most recent checkpoint.
Each level would end with a boss battle and they are true boss battles, being much tougher than any of your previous encounters through the levels. In true arcade fashion, you must learn your bosses’ patterns in order to successfully complete the battle.
AAC is graphically stunning. The levels themselves are as unique as the characters you unlock. The most memorable level was one that best resembled a bee hive and had robotic bees that would swarm and attack. Even in the chaos of the levels the frame rate stayed solid without any hiccups and there is a lot going on in some of the most intense moments.
Assault Android Cactus reminds of my love for arcade shooters. Bringing me back to the days of playing Smash TV in my hometown arcade and somehow on my Super NES. The two-stick method is perfect for this type of game and the ability to join with a friend for a challenge or help is welcoming.
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