Assault Android Cactus+ (Switch) Review – At the Pointy End
Assault Android Cactus coming to Switch is like mixing Peanut Butter and Chocolate. It’s a perfect pairing and it’s crazy that nobody has done it before. Originally released for PC in 2015, PS4 in 2016 and Xbox One in 2017, Assault Android Cactus has finally been released on Switch.
Which is where it should have been all along.
A twin stick SHMUP, Assault Android Cactus belongs on Switch and played in handheld mode is a joyfully good arcade action experience.
Assault Android Cactus Review
Starting out, players step into the intergalactic police boots of Cactus. A junior constable, Cactus is sent to a space freighter and crash lands. Inside she discovers hordes and hordes of killer robots that she needs to defeat in order to take the freighter back and rescue those trapped aboard.
In addition to Cactus, there are eight other androids, each with their own combinations of main and offhand weapons. You gradually unlock costumes for each of the androids as you play through the game’s 25 stages.
On Switch, Assault Android Cactus has been revamped and the 25 levels have new and different enemy waves, tougher boss fights, aim assist so you can play with single Joy-Cons and it all runs at 60fps.
As an android, Cactus — and her friends — needs to keep her batteries charged. This is done by collecting battery icons dropped by enemies. If your battery depletes, it’s game over.
Where’s the Charger?
In addition to your battery, you have a health bar. When you take damage from enemies, your health bar drains. If it is fully depleted, your android will collapse. However, you can get back up by mashing the A button.
Doing so drains some battery, so you’ll need to make sure you keep your batteries charged throughout.
While playing, you can also pick up power-ups. These include a speed boost, bonus firepower, an EMP that disables all robots for a short time and more. These power-ups are on a timer and once it runs down, the power-up goes away.
However, if you pick up an additional power-up of the same type, you’ll extend the time. If you pick up a different power-up, it replaces the currently active one.
As is to be expected from a twin-stick SHMUP, Assault Android Cactus is hectic. The screen is usually swarming with enemies and laser fire. It’s hard to avoid being hit, but that’s kind of the point. You’re constantly picking up health drops from defeated enemies and as you fight and get stronger, you deal more damage and beat more enemies.
Boss fights are especially ridiculous and were the only time I saw a game over screen. You’ll need to stay on the move constantly, dodge, swap weapons and always try to keep yourself out of harm’s way. You’ll fail, but barely surviving is what it’s all about.
Aside from the 25 levels included in the campaign, the Switch version of Assault Android Cactus includes Daily Drive and Boss Rush. Daily Drive gives you a new, randomly generated level and you attempt to set the highest score in the world.
We all know what Boss Rush is right? Well, good luck getting through it. In Assault Android Cactus, it’s super tough.
You can also test out Infinity Drive if you’re feeling insane.
While Assault Android Cactus was and is a great game on other platforms, it’s real home is on Switch. If you own a Switch, you need to play this game. It’s the best fun you’ll have with androids and killer robots on a handheld.
Assault Android Cactus was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the developer.
Game title: Assault Android Cactus+
Fast-paced, hectic action - 9.3/10
Insane numbers of enemies and combat - 8.5/10
Fun characters - 7.1/10
Lots of content - 9.4/10