Cannon Fodder

a game by Sensible Software, and Codemasters

Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesisSNESSNES

Genres: Action, Arcade Classics, Shooting Games

Cannon Fodder is a war-themed real-time tactics game available on a multitude of platforms, including PC. It caused quite a lot of stir and controversy due to the fact that it trivialised the lives of soldiers (hence the name) and it was considered rather violent for its time. The Royal British Legion actually insisted on displaying their lack of endorsement at the introduction screen.

The game puts you in command of up to eight soldiers who can be divided into up to three groups. Each level may consist of several phases, and fallen soldiers are replaced with new recruits at the beginning of each new phase, while those who survive an entire mission are promoted and receive an increase in their abilities (rate of fire, accuracy and range). All soldiers are equipped with machine guns (which have unlimited ammunition), and may also carry grenades and rockets found on the map.

The gameplay of Cannon Fodder is a simple point-and-click, which translated perfectly to the many platforms and allowed it to ignore the various limitation of each console. The directional pad moves the cursor, and two buttons are used for moving and shooting, respectively.

Your tactical abilities are put to the test, as everything happens in real time, and micro-managing eight units might prove too difficult or simply not a wise choice. For this, you can assign each of the three possible groups to be controlled by the AI while you put your plan into motion. Each phase has different objectives, such as defeating all enemies on the map or rescuing hostages.

You must decide the best way to complete them, sometimes at the expense of some of your own soldiers. In Cannon Fodder, soldiers can be lost not only to enemy fire, but also because of shrapnel when destroying enemy buildings or even getting caught in quicksand. It can be quite frustrating to see one of your high-ranking soldiers disappear into a puddle of quicksand, knowing that you need to restart the whole mission if you want to recover him. Due to the many unforeseen events that could happen, the game can be replayed many times with varying results.

Despite the criticism the game received, it actually attempted to prove a point: war is senseless. Veterans view it as a shining example of real time tactics, and once Cannon Fodder was acquired by Codemasters, they hoped to see a modern 3D version released, however that has yet to happen.

Cannon Fodder features:

  • Real time tactics to challenge your abilities
  • 24 missions and 72 levels
  • Available on a multitude of platforms, including PC

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Cannon Fodder Downloads

Sega Genesis Cannon Fodder download
  • Manufacturer: Atari
  • Machine: Jaguar

This is great - draft a whole buck of little guys, put 'em in uniform and put 'em out in a landscape that rains steel and is watered with blood! Kill all who oppose your philosophy! Hey, war has never been so much fun! This is the best Jag game ever!

reggie posted a review

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