Assault Android Cactus is an intense arcade style twin stick shooter - pick from one of nine unique synthetic heroines and blast your way through overwhelming robots hordes to save the ship from its own workforce. Supports single player and local co-op game modes.
User reviews:
Very Positive (25 reviews) - 88% of the 25 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (704 reviews) - 96% of the 704 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 23, 2015

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Buy Assault Android Cactus - Soundtrack Edition

Includes the soundtrack DLC


Recent updates View all (49)

May 31

Coral t-shirt available for a limited time!

this shirt is only available to order for the next two weeks

In the same style as the Holly t-shirt, this one has Coral on the front and the AAC logo on the back and is available on blue or dark grey.

Get a look at all the colour and t-shirt options here

There's a range of shirt types, suitable for men and women. I was really happy with how well the Holly t-shirt came out so I feel pretty good about this one! Last time people seemed sad to have missed out, so if you know any Coral fans, do them a favour and let them know!

5 comments Read more

May 25

25.05.16 Update

  • fixed a visual glitch where a players Chain meter could fade out even though non-player kills had revived the Chain in time
  • controller disconnect menu can no longer appear once a stage has ended
  • Centrifuge (zone 5 - 1) animates more smoothly at higher framerates
  • Helo spins down better on Stage Clear / Battery Depleted
  • Aubergine's Press Fire text is no longer reflected by the floor in Zone 3

Also added a few new Avatars, including Liquorice and icon versions for characters that didn't have them!

You can find them under Assault Android Cactus in the list of Official Game Avatars

2 comments Read more


“Chaotic, polished, packed with variety and effortlessly charming”
8.8 / 10 – IGN

“Please play Assault Android Cactus”
11 / 10 – Midnight Resistance

“The most remarkable twin-stick shooter of all time”
10 / 10 – Save Continue

About This Game

When you're running on battery, make every second count!

Assault Android Cactus is an arcade style twin stick shooter set in a vivid sci fi universe. Junior Constable Cactus is outside her pay grade when she responds to a distress call and ends up stranded on a crippled space freighter under attack by its own robot workers.

Utilising a draining battery mechanic in place of lives, Assault Android Cactus challenges you to think fast and keep the bullets flying, blending the gameplay of western styled arena shooters with aspects of Japanese style bullet hell as you charge head first through transforming stages, massive boss battles and an eclectic cast of characters on the way to saving the day.

Key Features
  • 9 playable androids, each with a distinct play style and personality
  • 25 stage campaign spread across five areas of the ship, face down giant bosses, earn characters and uncover the story of the Genki Star
  • Dive into the Infinity Drive to test your skill and endurance or challenge the Daily Drive to pit your wits against the community
  • Supports keyboard or joypad and 1 to 4 players with local co-op
  • Unlock game modifying EX options, Codex entries, artwork and more for wrecking robots

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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Lion
    • Processor: Intel Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Mountain Lion
    • Processor: Intel Quad Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5870
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or Equivalent
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Processor: Core i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 460
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (25 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (704 reviews)
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575 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Recently Posted
[KäPy] Pim - Team Macbook
6.7 hrs
Posted: September 17
one of the best isometric top down shooters I have played in a long time with a great soundtrack well worth the price and its much better than hatred because this includes co-op 10/10
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6.6 hrs
Posted: September 10
What a great, charming game!

Even if you aren't a fan of bullet hell games, the game still allows you to get through without too many problems. However for the more hardcore, there is a good challenge in trying to S+ rank every level. I haven't even had chance to play the infinite/daily game modes yet as I've been having so much fun trying to perfect the campaign!

The controls are tight, which is really needed in a twin-stick shooter. There is an interesting dodge mechanic in that switching between your character's primary and secondary weapons renders you temporarilty invulnerable. This works really well and encourages you to use both of your characters' weapons to the full.

The characters are varied and interesting. There will be a lot of replayability in terms of learning the best strategies for each android, and seeing which suits you best.

The game is slightly lacking in the visual department in places, however the fast action usually distracts you from some of the shortcomings. The stages chopping and changing around you is a really nice touch however, and keeps the arena shooting style without being bland.

I took a bit of a punt picking up AAC, but I'm glad I did!
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8.7 hrs
Posted: September 10
If you enjoy twin-stick shooters, you owe it to yourself to play this game. Very solid in every aspect.
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12.8 hrs
Posted: September 9
Oh goodness. This little bundle of chaos was a treat for the eyes, ears and the thirst for mayhem. If you push through, you may finish the game in a few hours. However, there is a wide variety of playable characters, each with their own colourful personality and playstyle that might tempt you to give things another go, if not face the bosses over and over just to see the differing exchanges of dialgoue.

There's lot of polish and charm in what is a fairly solid game.
The game is local multiplayer too, so if you have a mate or three, don't miss the chance to have a blast.
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23.9 hrs
Posted: September 7
This is a very simple game, and it's really fun. I found it by chance and bought it ona whim... Before I knew it, I had over 20 hours of gameplay. The character design is cute and the action is fast-paced and exciting.

It's mindless fun with a good replay value due to having multiple different characters.

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6.1 hrs
Posted: September 6
Very fluent gameplay, cool style, i like it!
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2.4 hrs
Posted: September 5
Take note, indie developers. Hell, even some AAA developers. This is how you polish a game!

You can clearly tell that the developers of Assault Android Cactus loved what they were creating, they shared a creative passion and wanted to bring it to life, to share it with the gaming community. And did they ever! Every single part of this game was polished until chrome, from the characters (each character has a different animation for being selected, cancelling character selection, entering a level, and completing a level, along with different primary and secondary weapons, some of which use completely different mechanics than any other character) to the boss battles (each boss is completely different, with pre-fight dialogue that's different for every character, and after defeating them you unlock new characters) to the arcade style interfaces, complete with credits and drop-ins.

Probably should mention the gameplay, because it's nothing like anything I've ever played. A top-down bullet-hell style game where getting hit doesn't matter, because what's really important is your battery. Taking damage simply stuns you, but when you're on limited battery, you really have to make sure you make every second count. I'm pretty sure that's the game's exact motto. When a battery drops, you (and your friends if you're playing coop) make a beeline for it, because that's your health. You miss a battery, you're as good as dead.

There's even special game modifiers you can buy with your credits, such as AI teammates, or even a fully fledged FIRST PERSON MODE. The developers of this game put effort into something that was completely optional, something I didn't even notice until I already beat the game. That's awesome. That should be the industry standard, like it used to be, where games boasted dozens of cheat codes that let you play it any way you wanted, because they wanted you to ENJOY WHAT THEY CREATED, not so you could line their pockets with cash.

My complaints? The game's pretty short, as the strong point of the game is definitely the boss fights.

I wish I had friends to play it with.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
19.8 hrs
Posted: September 5
One of the most refined and fun shumps I've ever had the pleasure of playing. The graphical style is very pleasing to the eye and unique and the animations are solid. It even has a short, yet charmingly quirky story to it and one of the few I've bothered to read through in this genre. The gameplay though is what really shines. There are several modes to choose from, high scores, daily challenges, options to tweak the game, and nine characters in all. If you had one money to buy only one shoot em up game, this would be the game I'd recommend. I only hope they come out with a sequel or dlc!
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
45.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Will Frustrate you
Great set of characters
Great boss fights
Many levels and unlockables
Controller recommended
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
Product received for free
A solidly made twin-stick shooter that can get quite difficult later on, but is overall a friendly experience to those new to the genre and has a very diverse lineup of weapons, characters and levels to choose from to keep things fresh.

Being a score-attack game, this isn't really the longest title out there (from a fresh save with no prior experience, my time until story completion was around 3.5 hours). But there's a nice variety of bonus unlockable features/modes that I wager would keep certain breeds of completionists coming back for a little while longer.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
Assault Android Cactus is a great game! It's got a lot of style and clearly had a lot of love put into its development. The game has a large focus on the wide cast of characters, and there's a strong emphasis on the high score chase. If you're on the fence, there is a demo, give it a shot!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Make no mistake: there will be times when you hate this game. And it will hate you right back, relishing in your every misstep and failure.

That said, this is also a beautiful, smooth-running, addictive twin-stick shooter made for the hardcore arcade enthusiast. For some, it will be enough to work through the campaign for a few white knuckled hours and call it good. For others, the allure of beating your old scores and slowly creeping up the leaderboards could provide dozens of hours of replay value.

The premise is simple: pick a character with a unique attack style, and then jump in to a small arena and destroy swarms upon swarms of robots, keeping an eye out for battery powerups. You can die and resurrect an infinite number of times, but once the battery is depleted, you die for real.

The makers of this game get a standing ovation for providing a free demo to try, something that is criminally rare these days. While the demo - which features a few levels from the first zone - is deceptively easy compared to the full game, it allows you to get a good feel of the game mechanics. By all means, check it out.

At the time I'm writing this, I've only put 2.6 hours on the game. I usually play 30 minute sessions, and most of them so far have ended abruptly with me spewing hateful words at my monitor and slamming my controller down. But I always seem to come back.

(Edit: I should add that progressing through the campaign itself isn't particularly difficult; getting high grades on the individual levels is where the real difficulty is to be found.)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
Local coop is superb. Graphics are great. Sound is cool. Gameplay in local coop is a fun rush! I am really enjoying this game with my girl. If you enjoy twin stick shooters this is a must have.

I'm just a little android....
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 4
I've been a fan of Robotron-like games since I was a little kid, and this game really hits the spot for me. If you're a fun of dual joystick shooters, I can't reccomend this highly enough.
Though I warn you. It is frustrating at times. For me, most of the game was easy to somewhat challenging, until the final boss which took the diffiulty though the roof. Though overcoming it was very satisfying.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
84 of 87 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2015
Geometry Wars has company. Assault Android Cactus is quite the score based twin stick arena shooter. The game also supports mouse and keyboard. I've tried both controller and keyboard and each method of control is more than precise enough for this genre.

Multiple characters are available, four initially and five unlock-able, each with different load outs and each requiring their own strategy for you to perfect, and I do mean perfect. Every little detail in Assault Android Cactus has been methodically thought out and implemented by the veteran developers and it is up to the player to not only play but observe and learn the characters and arenas in order to maximize scores. The Austrailian developer team's lineage has roots in Midway, Electronic Arts, Sega and Professional Gaming Leagues.

The ranking system is of the D to S / S+ variety. In AAC, to maximize scores, it is not only about dispatching enemies as quickly as possible but how you dispatch them. Maintaining chains is paramount. Strategy is important and seeing players with 100+ hours in the game speaks volumes of depth and replay-ability.

AAC features a battery mechanic, essentially an energy charging pickup that prevents death. In simple terms, your battery runs out and it's the scrap heap for you. Hits alone will not explicitly kill you but will make your demise imminent if you accrue too many. The player character has a limited number of recharging hit points of which a count of zero will render the player incapacitated requiring resuscitation by mashing the fire button. When rendered incapacitated you will lose some of the energy pellets you've been accumulating to power level your weapons resulting in a powered down weapon and ruining any chance for leader board supremacy.

The game spawns not only batteries but a power-up, one of three types. Speed, companion orbs to accelerate weapon discharge and stasis. Not all types are optimal for every situation or every character in every arena. The three types will rotate in place until the type you desire is picked up.

AAC features a twenty five stage campaign encompassing five themed levels made of five arenas with difficulty increasing with progression. AAC is high intensity, very challenging and will require a degree of dedication in order to maximize efficiency. Arenas may contain environmental obstacles and will on occasion morph. Each of the themed levels is capped with a very challenging boss battle. Boss battles are typically multi layered and require advanced pattern recognition. In addition to the campaign, there are additional modes such as survival, daily and local coop with up to four players. Coop games are also recorded on the leader-boards. Locally, game pads and mouse / keyboard combinations may be mixed on the same computer.

I mentioned Geometry Wars. The spawns in the AAC, both battery and power-ups are designed to encourage aggressive game-play. Having played my share of Geometry Wars, obsessively battling for score dominance with a lovely friend of mine, I'm reminded of a similar design. Baiting the player to take risks to maximize scores but yet encourage mastery by rewarding success with ascension up the leader boards. From experience in both games you might think that you've achieved your score goal only to stare in disbelief at the final total. One more time ......... and so it goes.
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87 of 92 people (95%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
My first playthrough of the game was with my 7 year old daughter and from start to finish, we had a great time. At first, it felt brutal and maybe too hard for a 7 year old but it felt rewarding with every attempt as we both got better at the game with every try. About 15 minutes in, we knew how to play and started dying less and making more progress. We faced our first boss together and it took a few tries but we beat him and it was satisfyingly hard.

I'm rating this up because not only is the game style cute and over the top action packed for my taste but my 7 year old enjoys it and it got us some pretty good time together. We're taking a break because we have company coming over but we both look forward to playing more Assault Android Cactus either with them or alone after they leave. It's hard to find a game both parents and children can enjoy together and this might be one of them.

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73 of 83 people (88%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2015
If this game had online co op then I'd play nothing else but this.
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54 of 71 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 23, 2015
Nearly two years ago, my then-managing editor Jaz Rignall pointed me in the direction of an intriguing-looking Early Access game on Steam called Assault Android Cactus. After taking a peek at the pre-alpha build, I began corresponding with Mr Sanatana Mishra from developer Witch Beam Games, and it transpired that the game would be on show at the then-new Eurogamer Expo (now known as EGX). Since I was heading to EGX anyway, I made an appointment to meet with Mishra and have a chat about the game, and in the meantime I familiarised myself a little more with the early build.

When I first heard about Assault Android Cactus, I wasn’t sure what to think. On paper, it sounds like any number of games that bloat Steam’s marketplace daily — it’s an arcade-style twin-stick shooter inspired by retro classics — but it quickly became apparent from playing through the limited number of levels in the early build that there was actually something quite special taking shape here. This feeling was further compounded when I eventually made it to the Eurogamer Expo and had a thoroughly enjoyable chat with Mishra about the game and the team’s plans for it in the long-term — to cut a long story short, it was apparent that Witch Beam was a small team who were absolutely dedicated to making Cactus the best experience it could possibly be, and to creating a truly authentic Dreamcast-style experience heavily inspired by the masters of Japanese shoot ’em ups like Treasure, Cave and their ilk.

Since I first gave Cactus its glowing write-up on USgamer, I’ve checked in on the Early Access build numerous times as it’s developed, and regularly talked about how much I like it. I’ve also kept in touch with Mishra and the rest of the team at Witch Beam via Twitter, and it’s been a genuine pleasure to witness the passion they’ve been pouring into their project. It’s been a long and slow road to release for the game, but it's finally here.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Mishra containing a beta code for the full review build of Assault Android Cactus’ full version as a “thank you” for the support I’ve shown them over the last couple of years. Touched by this thoroughly nice gesture of appreciation, I made a point of immediately downloading the new build and playing it for a good few hours. And it seems my early impressions were very much correct: Assault Android Cactus is something very special indeed, and if it doesn’t end up taking its rightful place of honour alongside modern arcade classics like Ikaruga, DoDonPachi, Geometry Wars and their ilk, something is very, very wrong.

For the unfamiliar, Assault Android Cactus is, as previously mentioned, a twin-stick shooter. There’s a few twists on the usual formula, though: the right stick just aims rather than shoots, for one, so you have to actually pull the trigger to fire, while the left trigger swaps between your chosen character’s main and secondary weapon. Main weapons have unlimited ammunition; secondary weapons have a cooldown before they can be used again, but tend to be considerably more powerful.

Another major twist on the formula is the fact that there’s no lives system, with the challenge factor instead coming from a time limit represented by the characters’ declining battery charge. Blowing up a wave of enemies allows you to collect a recharge item, while getting knocked down wastes time and battery charge as well as costing you some points, so avoiding getting hit is a very important part of going for high scores. The battery system proved to be a controversial addition to the game when it was first put in place, but it’s now such an integral part of the game structure that it’s difficult to imagine Assault Android Cactus without it. It ensures the game strikes a good balance between accessibility for casual players and rewarding skilful play from the people who know what “1CC” stands for.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of Cactus’ gameplay is its selectable characters, who are gradually unlocked as you progress through the main series of levels. Far from just being different skins, each of the playable android characters handles uniquely, with very different main and secondary weapons allowing you to play in different ways. Title character Cactus is the most straightforward, boasting a simple machine gun and short-range flamethrower combination, while Aubergine is one of the more peculiar offerings due to her main weapon being an independently controlled helicopter drone and her secondary weapon being the ability to summon a quantum singularity and suck everything into it. The way the different characters play is one area where Witch Beam has clearly taken inspiration from classic Japanese shoot ’em ups, since many of these have selectable ships with different weapon setups. There’s a huge amount of creativity in the way the characters play, though, and it’s a real pleasure to get a handle on how some of the more outlandish characters work. (I still have no idea how to use Aubergine effectively, mind.)

Another interesting aspect is in the level design. Cactus could have easily been a straightforward arena shooter, but instead the levels show a great deal of variety in their structure. While they all have the same goal — destroy all the enemies — some of them take place in a confined space; some of them unfold in an arena that changes shape over time; some of them are in levels that force you to move from one place to another. One particularly memorable one scrolls infinitely in every direction, with checkerboard floor tiles flipping up and down according to which direction you’re going; the backdrops are always interesting and exciting to look at as much as the main action is.

Cactus’ long-term appeal comes from the same place as other arcade-style shooters: score attack. Completing a level immediately shows you a leaderboard as well as a letter grade, with the elusive “S+” rank being reserved for those who chained all of the enemies in a level into a single combo, didn’t die and were generally a bit of a superstar. After attaining an S+ rank, you unlock “Pro Mode”, which puts an on-screen indicator on your HUD showing whether or not it’s still possible to attain an S+ on the level you’re playing; you can also quickly restart a level if you make a mistake along the way somewhere.

The ranking system has been well thought out. Levels are designed so that you can “learn” them, much like a bullet hell shooter, and attaining the best ranks is dependent on you figuring out these enemy patterns, how to avoid their attacks and how to ensure that you’re always on the offensive to keep your combo active. Bosses are similar, unfolding across several learnable phases, with the boss’ health bar clearly showing where there’s a phase transition so you can ensure you’re in an advantageous position ahead of time.

If you’re not in the mood for score attack, though, some Sega-inspired “EX options” allow you to play the game in various different ways. You can try the game in first-person, for example, or from a fixed isometric perspective rather than the dynamic camera angles of the regular game — though both of these options disable the leaderboards. There are also several graphical filter options — including an entertaining “JJ Mode”, which spooges lens flare and bloom all over the screen for an incredibly colourful experience — as well as options for having AI players alongside you or taking on co-op enemy waves with just a single player.

In short, if you’re a fan of arcade-style shooters and you’re looking for something entertaining to feed your virtual quarters into, Assault Android Cactus is pretty much an essential purchase.
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