A reader recommends two hidden gems that you may never have heard of, with Assault Android Cactus and Risk Of Rain.
With the next generation already on the horizon I thought I would write in and share two of my favourite games of this generation, games that many people may not have played or even heard of. They are both shooters but are very different types of shooter. They were downloaded through PSN, so Im unsure if they appear on other consoles or PC. [Assault Android Cactus is available on everything except Switch, Risk Of Rain is on everything except Xbox One – GC]
Assault Android Cactus
Twin-stick shooters are ten a penny on PSN, so Im not surprised this has been overlooked. What I think sets it apart from the rest are the bright, bold colourful graphics mixed with quite large, cute anime style comic book character models. Its not just lovely to look at but the gameplay is smooth, quick, simple and most of all a lot of fun.
The main story mode is divided into levels which are basically little arenas where waves upon waves of enemies come at you, where it can very quickly turn into a bullet hell environment. Each level also has their own gimmick, like a level in the dark with only torchlight, which helps avoid repetition setting in. The boss fights are also enjoyable, very large robots with several stages of attacks. There is also an infinite drive mode which is an everlasting mode which gets gradually harder for those wishing to test themselves.
The modes may be a little simplistic, the main mode is a little short too, but there are lots of differences between each android; each comes with their own weapons, personalities, and even little backstories. Overall, the charm of the game (little touches like how each boss will talk differently depending on which android youre playing as) makes it an easy and fun game to recommend.
Risk Of Rain
Screenshots of this game do not paint a pretty picture. But underneath is a game fraught with tension, due to its risk and reward mechanic coming from the stackable power-ups.
This game is about a crashed spaceship carrying criminals. You play as the guard as you try to escape the hostile planet. Its a 2D game, quite zoomed out with little character sprites and multi-layered platforms. You can go either left or right as you hunt for the boss which will unlock the exit to the next level. There are multiple characters to unlock and each has a unique attack mapped to each shoulder button, with a short cool down on each attack. This creates varied characters, from a robotic chef that can set enemies on fire to an armoured powerhouse guard with a very useful block move.
The risk and reward mechanic I mentioned is that there is a timer at the top of the screen, where the game gets more difficult the longer you take. So you can rush and kill each boss as soon as you find them for an easy ride, but then you would miss out on the many and varied power-ups which are scattered around each level. These can range from self-firing mortars to a ring of barbed wire that surrounds your character, or even the ability to fly. As power-ups are stackable it does mean you can become a walking all-powerful killing machine but the game does get very hard if you take too long, so it is a fun balancing act.
On top of this the soundtrack is just excellent, quite haunting at times, it just fits the whole situation of the game perfectly.
These games couldnt be more different. One a cutesy, colourful quick pick up and play type game and the other an atmospheric, slow, ugly game. But I highly recommend both. They are both usually found on PSN sales too, so if you see them for a few quid snap them up.
By reader Liam
The readers feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.