Assault Android Cactus is an intense skill based arcade styled shooter - pick from one of eight synthetic heroines and blast your way through overwhelming robot hordes in an attempt to save the ship from its own robot workforce. Supports up to 4 player local co-op.
User reviews: Very Positive (124 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 28, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We think the best way to develop a game is to get it playable early and keep it that way. We're confident that Assault Android Cactus is fun to play and worthy of peoples time right now, and will only improve. We're thankful to everyone who has wanted to play our game and for those who are sharing their feedback with us to help make it even better!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to release the game in the first part of 2015.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We have one more campaign stage and the fifth and final Boss fight to add. Worlds 4 and 5 will be getting art dressing, there will be an opening cutscene, art gallery, EX options, greater animation variety, better input and graphic options, Steam Achievements, Steam Trading Cards and visual polish across the game.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Our current build contains
  • 8 playable characters (4 unlocked through gameplay progression) and four player local co-op
  • Tutorial
  • 23 stages of our 25 stage Campaign, including 13 finished stages, 4 bosses (one lacking final art) and 6 more in whitebox (lacking art treatment)
  • Infinity Drive (a large, complex stage similar to an 'endless' mode)
  • Boss Rush (containing the first 3 bosses)
  • Online Leaderboards

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We are not planning to change the price, although there is a possibility it may go up based on where we are at launch. If this happens we'll give as much warning as we can!”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We (the developers) are easily reachable on the Steam forums and love hearing feedback. We have strong plans for the game but have regularly implemented improvements based on what our players have told us and hope to keep doing this going forwards!”
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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2014 - Far too much fun for its own good, and great looking as well, AAC is a devlishly difficult twin stick shooter."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (20)

December 16

Early Access Update 10.5

We're still hard at work on the main content of the campaign, this update adds various audio and visual improvements and tuning changes.

Important! We've reenabled SSAO on Highest visual quality. It is an expensive effect and if the game is performing worse after this update, please check out the Video Settings menu.

  • Transit has received an art pass, Zone 3 no longer has whitebox stages!
  • Venom has spoken dialogue during his battle
  • Infinity Drive has had a tuning pass to improve consistency around boss fights and in multiplayer.
  • Infinity Drive high scores are now driven by Layer Reached, with the score itself only used as a tie breaker. Due to these changes the Infinity Drive leaderboards have been reset.
  • Coral now has a Stage Clear animation
  • Shiitake's mines have received a small damage reduction
  • Lemon's rockets have received a small damage increase
  • Holly's seeker has received a small damage increase at higher levels
  • Video Settings menu has been expanded to allow finer control. Effects like bloom, reflections and image processing can now be toggled on and off directly.
  • SSAO re-added with three levels of quality
  • Colour correction added
  • FXAA anti-aliasing added (off by default)

  • Reworked spawn system - dissolving robots should no longer pop out of existence during heavy action
  • Wasps apply damage correctly - previously they were slightly inconsistent
  • Vespula now summons wasps in a pretty, non-arbitrary pattern
  • Fixed Shiitake's railgun not hitting Venom's arms when you were super close

Known Issues
  • When starting the game with "-popupwindow" in order to play in full screen windowed mode (in Windows) you will not be able to set the game to fullscreen mode, but the options menu does not reflect this
  • Native Dual Shock 3 support in OSX is busted. It is possible to work around it using a control remapper that makes the DS3 to emulate an xbox pad or similar, and we are working on a proper fix
  • Shadows are missing on certain integrated videocards under Linux
  • Native Steam Controller support still coming soon
  • Aubergine's singularity effect looks different on Linux. Functionality is fine, it's just distorting the screen in the wrong direction. Been tricky to figure out...

4 comments Read more

November 22

Early Access Update 10.1

minor update to fix bugs

  • Justice - fixed an issue that occasionally allowed Justice to get stuck 'unkillable' when certain weapons took the last hitpoint while shutdown
  • Justice - fixed the Head Throw state so he can be defeated during his throw and so all weapons will attack properly
  • Fixed a case where S+ auto restart could trigger after a successful S+ stage clear
  • playing Infinity Drive or Boss Rush won't reset your last position on the Stage Select anymore
  • updated the application icon :)

  • Justice - the point his lightning attack is measured from is more consistent now
  • Boss minions are visible as outlines through the bosses themselves
  • S+ auto-restart triggers immediately on Battery Depletion
  • minor adjustment to the way Propeller Mines measure their distance between themselves and their target

5 comments Read more
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“Assault Android Cactus is a brilliantly conceived, masterfully designed bullet hell joy pit of fun.”
The Penny Arcade Report

“I played the hell out of the first five levels. It’s like a dancefloor laser massacre, and you’re Lady Gaga.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Assault Android Cactus is a freakishly relentless twin-stick shooter that’s as finely tuned as Usain Bolt’s calf muscles.”

Steam Box Ready

About This Game

Assault Android Cactus is a manic twin stick shooter for one to four players combining arcade style action with hordes of enemies and transforming stages.

Junior Constable Cactus is outside her pay grade when she responds to a distress call only to be left stranded on a crippled space freighter under attack by its own robot workers. But using her wits, unlimited ammunition and the fellow androids she is able to conscript along the way, she will save the ship or run down her battery trying!

  • Multiple Playable Characters - Each android has a unique weapon set and play style, experiment to find which android suits you best.
  • Dynamic Levels - From lights out to shifting walls to giant flamethrowers, there are surprises on board the Genki Star that will keep you on your toes.
  • Overwhelming Odds - Push back against hordes of robots with quick reactions and clever weapon tactics.
  • Giant Robot Bosses - Challenge the guardian of each deck as they unleash bullet hell and stage covering special attacks.
  • Local Co-Op Play - Join in with two, three or four players and experience escalating chaos. Supports Keyboard/Mouse and Gamepad configurations.

Assault Android Cactus is not a finished game but it's still a lot of fun to play! Here's what's in the game right now and what's left to come :

current Early Access build

  • 8 Playable characters (4 unlocked across the campaign) and game-wide local co-op
  • 16 Finished stages including the first 3 Boss stages
  • 7 Whitebox levels including the 4th Boss stage (functional gameplay, unfinished graphics)
  • 20 enemy types not counting Bosses, covering a vast range of behaviour
  • Infinity Drive survive as long as you can against escalating waves in an adapting environment
  • Boss Rush currently contains our first three bosses, fight them back to back
  • Online Leaderboards for all stages and modes


Development Roadmap

  • Full Campaign - A 25 level Campaign including 5 bosses and intro/outro cutscenes
  • Rewards System & Bonus Content - Earn rewards points for clearing levels and unlock concept art and EX Options like Retro Camera mode and see the game in a whole new way!
  • Steam Integration - support for achievements and trading cards
  • Custom Controls - remapping for control pads & Keyboard/Mouse, Steam Controller support
  • Polish - more animations, finished stage art, finished enemy textures and improved effects

You can help us improve and shape these features by reporting any bugs you see or sharing your feedback, so please post your experiences and impressions on the forums!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD6850
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Lion
    • Processor: Intel Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Mountain Lion
    • Processor: Intel Quad Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5870
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or Equivalent
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • Processor: Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 460
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Early Access Review
A bullet storm top down shooter with excellent gameplay, music, level design, boss fights and unique player characters each with their own weapon loadout and personality. Very fun to play, and game had had constant updates throughout its Early Access stage.

I can't wait for the full version of the game, and uh, more playable characters. :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Early Access Review
Absolutely awesome game. It is a must-have for anyone that loves playing high-quality local coop games, and for anyone else that just likes mowing down endless waves of robots. The game runs silky smooth and the controls are tight. Love the game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Early Access Review
Worth the buy just to see how Early Access can be done right, full stop. But it helps that the game is fantastic, I guess.

Great music, graphics that look like a great PS2 game with perfect IQ, frenetic but highly fluid action that runs well even on a fairly poor PC. One of the best twin stick shooters I've played; controller recommended but mouse works fine. Note the game is pretty hard, and score MATTERS; your "life" is a battery that constantly drains (not by taking damage, by time), and you get battery pickups by scoring. You will have to be good to beat this game.

As for the Early Access, this is how it's done. From the very start it was clear what was done, what was being worked on. The place holder graphics were clearly not final but polished in their own way that it's not quite so jarring to play an unfinished level. More than enough good music to make it feel like a final release, and gameplay is extremely tight.

Overall it feels like you're playing a curated selection of a finished game rather than unfinished chunks of randomness that the creators will polish later. Everything you experience feels polished enough to let real people play, even if it's not finalized it's still playable and not too hard on the eyes, ears or fingers.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
Early Access Review
An excellent twinstick shooter with smart design, great music and regular updates for the past year. What more can you ask from an early access game?
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Early Access Review
A very colorful, fast paced twin stick shooter that is coming along nicely, can't recommend you buy this enough.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Early Access Review
Was a good game, i beat all the levels in the demos. Some of the characters are better at certain levels then others, the third boss i could only beat with the boomerang girl.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Early Access Review
Outstanding twin stick shooter.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Early Access Review
Accelerating and radical!
Assault Android Cactus while having one of the weirder titles i've come across, this is by far one of the best Isometric shooters i've seen in years.

Let me start by saying that i adore the cute design they gave these ''Androids'' by giving them different weapons and strategies to have new ways to approach each given level.

The soundtrack is upbeat and really makes things intense as thousands of enemies just drop by out of nowhere.
Oh and the artstyle/design is quite creative and never feels quite repetitive.

Despite being in early access, this game is still alot of fun and is best played with more than one player.

I recomend you to try this game with your friends, toss them a controller and have a blast!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
Early Access Review
This game is awesome. It's quick, it's fun and you're going to replay levels to try to beat your best score. It's in early access, yes, but if the final product is anything like this, it's totally worth the price. I would like to see the graphics improved slightly (there doesn't seem to be any anti aliasing) and support for more widescreen and HD resolutions (like 1366x768) but it is an awesome game.

The price is a steal and the developers are onto something here. They understand gaming doesn't always have to be serious and we are in this to have fun. This game is fun, colourful and you unlock more characters as you go along. Each character comes with a standard and alternative weapon, but they're all different, which makes for interesting combinations in multiplayer. If you're unsure, there is a demo available, though I do believe you're getting more value than what they're asking for it.

As for the technical stuff, it is a top down shooter, which supports keyboard and mouse, or a gamepad. It has local co-op too so that's a plus if you have friends over. As I mentioned before, the graphics could do with a few tweaks, but it is by no means unattractive. The gameplay is fluid and you will be moving around the arena a lot while gunning down hordes of machines. There are powerups available, which also encourage you to keep moving. The music is upbeat and adds to the fast-paced atmosphere.

I'd give it a solid 8/10, with the hope that the final product will be as fun, or even more so.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2013
Early Access Review
Super fun game and if you have other friends playing the game aswell it can get VERY competitive. Gets addicting and is very rewarding after you S+ that one level that takes ages (I'm looking at you Furnace). Would reccomend to everyone that is a fan of twin stick shooters with elements of bullet hell. Incredibly addicting.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2013
Early Access Review
Assault Android Cactus really shines in local coöp!
On Friday evening, we slapped two PS3 pads and two Xbox pads onto a Linux machine, connected a projector, and had a 5-hour marathon session, with maybe 20 people rotating in and out at various times.
There was lots of shouting at the screen and at each other ("Battery! Battery!" "Kill the toasters!"), as well as a fair amount of trashtalking over the statistics on round completion.

AAC was one of my first exposures to Steam Early Access, and it's a shining example of how the system was meant to work. When I first began playing, they had implemented one game mode, the four main characters, a handful of levels, and one boss. Since that time, WitchBeam has continually blasted out new characters, levels, bosses, and game modes, while continuing to revise, rebalance, and polish existing content.

At the time of this edit, AAC is still in early access (update 8.5), but I'm already extremely happy with my purchase, and I can't recommend this game enough. Additionally, future WitchBeam titles will be unquestioned day-0 purchases for me.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
38.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Early Access Review
Tight controls, well-designed stages, characters that completely change up how you play, kickass music, addictive score-attack gameplay, fantastic kinaesthetic, there are virtually no bad things I could say about this game. Just go buy it. It's good, and the devs are awesome and interact with the community so much.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
Early Access Review
Although, at the time of writing this, the game still is in Early Access, I've already had a blast with it.
Fast paced, hectic arena shooter gameplay. A diverse selection of characters to choose from all with a different playstyle.

Large variety of levels and hard bosses that all offer dynamic gameplay.
The replayability of this game is perfect.

Pretty nice music, gorgeous graphics oozing character and color.
A recommended game, if you just want to shoot stuff.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
62.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 6
Early Access Review
Very fun score attack game made by some of the nicest people you will ever meet. It is very faced paced and the battery mechanic that slowly drains the entirety of the maps that requires a recharge to stay alive adds on a fun mechanic and a bit of stress to the game since you simply cannot just take your time and sneak through the levels easy. Get ready to go down a ton, but with a bunch of practice you can start S+'ing levels like crazy and find yourself becoming quickly addicted. Awesome characters to select from, each character has a unique weapon set to make the game a different experience each time you play through it with someone else. This game rocks.. you'll be glad when you play it.. and tell your friends about it too!
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 13, 2013
Early Access Review
If you love twin-stick shooters this it a must have.
I love the Dreamcast feeling it gives me!

The game is still in development but don't let that scare you away from this gem!
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
Early Access Review
Fast paced and hectic gameplay with amazing art and a great soundtrack. Challenging arcade styled play with good replay value. Definitely recommend to anyone.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
Early Access Review
Disclaimer : Early Access review - Subject to change as new content is added.

Right. So. The title. It makes about as much sense as the game does. But hell, whatever. There's been more crazy names thrown around in the Steam universe. Let's roll with it. What are we looking at?

Assault Android Cactus, and from this point on I shall merely refer to it as Cactus, is an arena score shooter. Where you pick from a stable of androids, each with their own weapon loadouts and personalities and looks, and then select a level from an ever expanding list and have at it, dealing with wave upon wave of horribleness in the time honoured tradition of Arena Shooters everywhere. With obscene firepower.

On my rig, it runs beautifully, after the first run on a level which for some strange reason it needs a bit of time to shake out the cobwebs it will invariably run at 1920x1080 with all the shiny set to max, and with nary a judder. The movement is slick and the animation is crisp. The effects are bright and the game moves along at a rapid clip, controls are ridiculously simple, you have four keys for movement, you use your mouse to aim, one button to fire, the other to switch between primary and "power" weapons.

And that's it. Kill everything that isn't you.

Thank god, because this is all about instinct, you pretty much are on the move from start to finish, dodging bullets and badguys in a near incessant firestorm of incomming pain and rage in the form of various mechanical and I -think- biomechanical baddies, I didn't get time to admire the scenery too much. Kinda hard when everything is trying to kill you.

The graphics are excellent and the story, what there is at this point is witty and well presented, in the style of some sort of adult teen anime, there seems to have been some kind of robot mutiny, and the androids you control are tasked with restoring order. Each of the androids has a very specific personality, which shows through quite nicely in the boss fights, their expressions and their playstyles. Music and sound effects are also uniformly excellent, with each "area" having a thumping soundtrack that keeps a high tempo and keeps you pretty much immersed in what's going on.

And this is an early alpha.

This review will evolve but bluntly - short of the developers being visited by aliens and having their brains replaced with cottage cheese and pineapple chunks - this should be an easy recommendation, and a big thumbs up from me.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
Early Access Review
Very good crimsonland-style game. Fun gameplay, cute graphics, what else you need from game of that type? Just buy it!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
34.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2013
Early Access Review
Fantastic TwinStick/SHMUP/BulletHell/Action/AWESOME title! If you enjoy any or all of the genres I just mentioned you must play this game. So well done, and an excellent level of detail/polish for an Early Access Game.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
Early Access Review
Assault Android Cactus is a great game made by a great and super nice dev team worth every penny
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