Assault Android Cactus | Video Game of the Month: March 2019

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An indie darling finally makes its way to the Nintendo Switch

Lost among the giant releases on Steam, PS4 and Xbox every day are the small indie games that often get put out without much fanfare. The developers usually don’t have much marketing budget and hope to rely on word-of-mouth to spread the news of their game’s release and garner some goodwill from players around the world. Sometimes this works, but often these little gems go undiscovered by most people. In the spirit of bringing those under-loved titles to light, this month’s video game spotlight goes to a game made by a tiny team in Australia.

Developed entirely by only three people, Assault Android Cactus is a twin stick shooter in the vein of Robotron and Smash TV. If you don’t know what those are, think big rooms full of enemies you must kill while dodging their own attacks. Gameplay is frantic and intense and can sometimes feel a little bit unforgiving. But, where its arcade inspirations punished poor play by forcing a game over, Assault Android Cactus takes a much softer approach.

One of the unique aspects of this game is that it has no life system. If your health gets depleted by enemy attacks, you simply fall to the ground and must mash buttons to get back up again. There is no traditional “game over” screen to punish you for getting hit. Instead, the game relies on a battery gauge at the top of the screen, which slowly deteriorates over time. The only way to keep that bar full is to kill enemies and collect the batteries they drop. This gentler aspect gives you a chance to learn and get better without feeling the pressure of managing a set number of lives.

With five zones, 25 levels and five bosses (along with one mini boss) you will need to get better in order to reach the end of the game. Luckily, you won’t have to do it alone, as the game also offers four player co-op. It’s a bright, fun, light-hearted game that is available whether you’re on Xbox, PC or PS4. Plus, on March 8, the game is receiving a release on Nintendo Switch with all new game modes, character costumes and gameplay tweaks. If you are looking for something unique that’s worth taking a chance on, this might just be it.

To find out more about the game you can visit its website here and its Twitter page here. The community even has a discord channel that can be found through various avenues such as Steam. So if you give it a try and find you like it, don’t be afraid to drop in and say hi to fellow players and even the developers themselves!

 

Caleb Edwards is a junior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. When he isn’t working or writing you can find him tending his fish, taking care of his cats or trying to find free time that he can waste (there never is any). You can follow him on Twitter @CEdwardsSam  

Tags: assault android cactus, game of the month, indie, Steam