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Cannon Fodder

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Released: 1993

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: sensible software

Developer: virgin

Submitted by: James Evans

I had played it previous on my brothers amiga and instantly fell in love with the game – sensi soccer with guns!

After the hub screen of 'boot hill' – still bare of the hundreds of tombstones that will soon adorn it – ends and the game kicks in, the soundtrack blares as an attack chopper drops you off to do your thing.

The mission premise were always simple – kill everything, blow up all the buildings and generally don't get killed. Easily said than done because as with old gen games – the difficulty after it lulled you into a false sense of security was insane. It literally was one bullet one kill, for your troops and theirs.

You grew an affinity to your original three guys – Jops, Jools and Stoo, it truely is a sad moment when one of them gets popped off by a stray tank or you don't notice that trip wire. It really makes you want to play Candle in the Wind when you get back to Boot Hill and have a little funeral for them.

Another quality feature for the snes version – full mouse support! Yep that rather pointless device actually had the dust blown off it. The only let down for the version was the opening title song that was missing from the amiga version – war 'literally' has never been so much fun.

Cannon Fodder

5,515 views 0 comments

Released: 1993

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: Virgin Interactive

Developer: Sensible Software

Submitted by: David McMahon

You take charge of a squad of soldiers between 1 and 8 then split them into 3 groups. Each soldier has unlimited amount of bullets for their machine gun and limited grenades. You can't kill your own team with the machine gun but the grenades and rockets you pick up in the game can cause "friendly fire".

Each mission will involves 1 of 3 types of objectives from killing enemies, destroy certain buildings or rescue hostages. Some missions require the player to use pre-planning and strategy.

The game itself got some media attention as it used a Poppy on the title screen but the Royal British Region reacted strongly against it. Also it was banned from sale to minors in Germany due to the excessive violence it contained.

I can understand why it got a bad reaction at the time but it's mild compared with some of todays games that contain more detail. 

The Amiga version was first and still the best but the SNES had it's moment to be honest. Possibly slower with cursor but wasn't a liability and was still an enjoyable game. I remember reading a review for the Game Boy Color but was never to be seen in the shops.

Cannon Fodder

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Released: 1994

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Publisher: Virgin Interactive

Developer: Codemasters

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

If theres one thing makes me happy, its when games that were released on computers are ported to consoles with a good end result.  And Cannon Fodder is a prime example.

Firstly, I know this isnt a patch on the Amiga version and as a result will always play second fiddle to the original.  And upon seeing this in action on the Megadrive, an Amiga owning friend of mine scoffed at what he saw before him, and argued that successful computer games should not be released on consoles. 

But what people fail to realise is that for people like me who grew up with much more time for consoles than home computers, ports like this let us experience the games that would otherwise be unaccessible.  And this also goes for other classics like Theme Park and Sensible Soccer.

Yes its not a flowing to play with a joypad, and with the sega mouse being poor quality you just had to grin and bare it.  And the sound is not up to the same standards as the computer versions, but this still offers a fantastic experience, the dark humour is present and the gameplay is far from flawed.  And the level variety is entertaining, with some levels being large and require a little exploration, where some fit onto one screen and are a short and intense blast-fest.

For people with an open mind, the Megadrive port of Cannon Fodder proves that home computer games can reach console gamers, and as for my friend, I went round once after school to find him playing Mortal Kombat on his Amiga.  Using the keyboard.  Oh how I scoffed.

Cannon Fodder

5,525 views 0 comments

Released: 1994

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: PC - DOS

Publisher: Virgin Interactive

Developer: Sensible Software

Submitted by: Mike Bevan

Ahhh.. mouse driven games. In the early nineties there was a proliferation of the things. The Lemmings series, arguably one of the most popular, never really satisfied me played in the manner intended by DMA. Playing nanny to hundreds of annoyingly cute sprites was far less entertaining than the intense gratification produced by drowning, setting fire to or dropping them from a great height. The Settlers, one of the first 'god-games' alongside Sensible's own Megalomania, was a personal favourite, but it kind of just played itself. Where was the conflict, the sense of danger, the adrenaline rush of the "fight-or-flight"? Bullfrog's classic Syndicate came close.. an isometric mouse-driven action-strategy game featuring heavily-armed warring cyborg agents, but it was sometimes too tactical for my twitch-gaming tastes. What I really desired was a hands-on mousie game to satisfy my sprite-icidal tendencies once and for all. Sensible Software gave me that game. It was called Cannon Fodder.

From my first glimpse of the iconic 'poppy-graphic' title screen featuring Jon Hare's ironic song 'War has Never Been So Much Fun', I knew it would be special. Sensible's wonderfully honed, pixel-perfect mouse control system worked a treat as I led my tiny troop into action on the game's first few 'jungle' levels', wasting scores of the equally diminutive enemy to the accompaniment of digitized 'Aaarghs!' and humorously gory animated death rolls. Soon I watched in helpless horror as my first casualties of war, poor Jools and Jops (the crazy, crazy fools) bought it in an heroic but misguided attempt to take out an enemy bunker. I swore in frustration as an entire platoon were obliterated through friendly-fire from a mistimed grenade throw. And I slumped my head with shame as the game's fiendish difficulty curve soon ruthlessly took its toll on my personal army, with the likes of Stoo, Tadger, Softy, Pervy and Peewee joining the list of their fallen comrades at the mass-cemetery that made up the game's level intermission screen.

War had indeed never been so much fun… at least not on my trusty PC. Or, it would seem, as difficult. Cannon Fodder is a war game and an anti-war game rolled into one. It's a game where a lot of people die a lot of the time. And a lot of them are yours.

I persisted with the game, and after several exhilarating weeks of play, finally beat all 24 missions – 72 masterfully designed scenarios through frozen wastelands, jungles, deserts and caves. It had been a tough ride and the shell-shocked appearance of my mouse told its own story. But I had victory. Jools and Jop's sacrifice hadn't been in vain.

There has never been a game quite like the original Cannon Fodder. The sequel somewhat lost the 'purity' of the original (sorry Stuart). Play it and be thankful.