Lauded as the king of the twin-stick genre, Assault Android Cactus pits a host of chibi androids against a rising tide of a full-scale robot insurrection.
Nearly every detail is fashioned after its arcade predecessors: massive waves of enemies (with more than a singe wave per screen) random powerup drops, bullet hell boss battles, infinite ammo, and co-op play.
In lieu of random weapon drops, each android has access to a primary weapon and a secondary heavy weapon that must cool down after a certain amount of use. As such, Assault Android Cactus relies more on the individual strengths of each character and synergy between the character choices of all players (up to four local).
The gameplay is fast-paced and chaotic, and though off-putting at first, the art style is easy to appreciate. Environments range from sterile machine rooms, hazardous engine rooms, to self-generating tile floors in an infinite void. This brings great variety to the admittedly low number of basic enemies in the game.
Even the characters, whose weapons range from assault rifles to remote-controlled rotor blades to even drill-lances make sure that there are many ways for the game to be played.
It may not have the deepest story or even the most interesting gameplay mechanics, but if nothing else, Assault Android Cactus is more loyal to its genre's origins than any other title out there (of this quality and caliber at least).
So these were our picks for the best five twin stick shooters available.
Did we get the best ones for our list? Care to disagree? If you have some suggestions, let us known in the comments below.