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Assault Android Cactus (Xbox)

Developed by Witch Beam, Assault Android Cactus was previously released on PC back (currently £10.99) in 2015, on PS4 (currently £11.59) in 2016 and is finally available now on Xbox One for £11.99!

Assault Android Cactus is an action-packed twin-stick shooter where you need to keep one eye on the enemies trying to kill you and the other one on your battery! Once your battery depletes, you’re dead and you'll have to start again.

A wonderfully vibrant game which is Xbox One X enhanced, the gameplay is beautifully smooth even when surrounded by hundreds of enemies, bullets and your own gunfire! The controls are incredibly simple as with most twin-stick shooters, with Assault Android Cactus you move with LS, aim with RS and fire with RT (LT is a secondary, heavy weapon).

The sounds are incredibly well implemented in Assault Android Cactus and I like how each of the guns sounds different depending on the type of gunfire they have, it all adds to the engagement of the game! I am a big fan of the music in Assault Android Cactus, especially when your battery runs out completely and a certain song begins… (see the game clip below for a brief listen). In all honesty, I wish I could have that song as my ringtone, it’s brilliant.

You are Cactus, a Junior Constable stranded on a space freighter currently under attack by its own robots and you’re going to do whatever it takes to get back control of the ship. You are given a quick tutorial and are then allowed to progress through the missions as you please, with an initial choice of 4 characters to choose from each with their own gun type and secondary so you’ll be sure to find one more suited to your preferred playstyle. There are an additional 4 characters available to unlock as you progress through and defeat the bosses.

There are a total of 25 stages as part of the campaign with five absolutely savage bosses to try and defeat along the way so there is definitely plenty of action to keep you busy. There is also “Infinity Drive” mode which is essentially an endless horde mode where you need to defeat as many layers as possible within a constantly evolving arena.

Once you have completed a stage you will be graded depending on your performance with the top grade being S+! I love the fact that there are leaderboards to show you how well (or poorly) you compare to other people and it definitely adds an element of competitiveness when you spot a familiar name just above your own! Although you can see the leaderboards in more detail from the main menu, I do wish there was the ability to scroll through the names on the screen just after each stage.

I mentioned briefly before about a depleting battery, over time your battery will lose charge, taking damage will also lead to you losing charge as well as having to revive yourself! The only way to avoid running out of battery completely is to collect the green drops which will recharge your battery. On killing enemies you will pick up little white energy orbs which will power up your weapon (getting knocked down will, unfortunately, power you right back down again!) and then there are also powerup drops which can give you a weapon boost, speed boost or shutdown enemies so that they can’t move!

You can play local co-op with up to 3 other players if you have some spare controllers which is great but I do wish that there was some form of online co-op, too! Although I appreciate costs involved would probably render that idea redundant. You can still play with AI though, which I thought was a brilliant addition to the game and really did help me out of a few sticky situations.

As you play through the stages you will earn credits which you can spend on EX Options, here you can purchase the ability to play with up to 3 other AI players, change the camera, change visuals and a few other extras. It was an unexpected bonus to be able to earn and spend credits this way and certainly provides a reason to replay stages.

Overall, I absolutely adore Assault Android Cactus and I’ve had so much fun playing it. It’s the kind of game which you don’t expect much from in the grand scheme of things but then once you start playing, you get sucked in and suddenly hours have passed. If I had to give it a score it would be 9/10. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more stages and bosses but ultimately, I can’t recommend this game enough, you won’t be disappointed.

Assault Android Cactus has 29 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A wonderfully varied achievement list is one that I love the most and I have not been disappointed with this one! There are achievements for specialist moves, for reaching X amount of levels in infinity mode as well as the downright brutal “Assault Android Awesome” achievement which is unlocked by getting S+ on ALL campaign levels! I have a feeling that one will be incredibly arduous. If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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