‘Assault Android Cactus’ Early Access Impressions

Upon starting the campaign of Assault Android Cactus, the debut title from the independent Australian studio Witch Beam, you’ll get a quick introduction to Cactus, a Junior Constable with the Interplanetary Police. She is sent to investigate a space freighter that is under attack by its own worker robots.

Assault Android Cactus is an intense PC twin-stick shooter that is as awesome as it is relentless. Whether you play alone or utilize the local co-op, you will be facing wave after wave of very cranky robots intent on neutralizing anything in their path. The Early Access build offers 25 campaign stages that can be played alone or with up to three other players as well as an Infinity Drive mode where you must stay alive as long as you can. After the tutorial, you’re free to play as one of four android heroines (my favorites are Holly and Coral) with unique abilities. Four other heroines can be unlocked as you play through the game.

You have unlimited lives but finite battery power, which you must refill by collecting batteries from defeated foes. Though you can be knocked temporarily out of commission, you will not technically “die” until your batter power is fully depleted. The robots also drop power-up items that make the near constant onslaught of enemies relatively manageable. The game forces players to stay on the move, dodging shots and maneuvering levels that shift, change, and otherwise attempt to hinder your progress.

Assault Android Cactus flawlessly combines an exciting soundtrack, a chance to team up with your friends and take out all of the bad guys, and a cast of eight synthetic heroines ready to kick some serious robot butt. If unforgiving arcade games with an excellent atmosphere are your thing, you should definitely look into the Early Access game on Steam, because it will definitely be a game to watch.