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Assault Android Cactus is a game that first came to my attention in early 2015. What I saw of it was interesting and I felt that the game could have a lot of potential. Now that it is out, I got a chance to see if my initial thoughts were right or wrong.

 

AAC is a twin stick shooter staring a cast of androids, each with unique weapons and abilities. The androids, including Cactus, all have brilliantly fleshed out personalities and have real character which really made the game stand out more to me. The characters faces really convey emotion well in cut scenes, which brings me to another point. AAC actually has a decent story, which isn’t something you usually see in a twin stick shooter like this, and in my mind this makes it more unique.

The gameplay involves defeating waves of enemies to complete a level and levels are accessed on a world map. You can move around freely on the world map as well which was a neat touch.  There are numerous powerups to get such as speed increases and extra weapons which can really help you out. However there are some downsides to this system. The androids need to recharge their batteries and to do so you must get them as a powerup. In some cases this is far easier said than done, especially if there are too many enemies in the way, enemies which can cause you to lose power faster. The low battery signal also gives off a very loud and annoying sound that can cause you to become distracted and even dies several times. Its a mechanic of the game that I found really takes away a lot of enjoyability, especially in the later levels, and while I understand that it was put there to add a challenge, I don’t feel it was implemented well.

That said, apart from the battery issues, the game is immensely fun. The different characters’ weapons are all a blast to try out and the secondary weapons really pack a punch, even if you have to be mindful that you can only use them for a brief time. The bosses are big and challenging and really well designed.

The visuals in this game are nothing short of amazing. The game ran at a stable 60 frames per second and there was no screen tearing. The levels were just as detailed as the characters and it just made the game look better than many AAA games out there.

If you like Twin Stick Shooters and want one that really adds to the genre, then I must recommend this game to you.