Cannon Fodder

a game by Sensible Software, and Codemasters
Genres: Action, Arcade Classics, Shooting Games
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, GameBoy Color, PC, 3DO, Atari Jaguar
Editor Rating: 7.7/10, based on 6 reviews
User Rating: 7.7/10 - 6 votes
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Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder
Cannon Fodder

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

Download Cannon Fodder


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Atari Jaguar

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Yes, graphics actually used to be this bad - just like the 3Dfx beauties of today will look like mud wiped from a child's face in a year's time. Cannon Fodder was one of the most addictive games of its day, a blood-soaked action game where you mouse-clicked a squad of men around a VGA battlefield, shooting and blowing up everything in sight. Once you get through the first couple of missions without casualties, your soldiers start to pick up in rank, and therefore shoot further and with greater accuracy. Of course, you'll lose a good few men along the way, but back home there are conscripts aplenty waiting to lay down their digital lives. Reach the later levels and you get to drive Jeeps, tanks and choppers.

Once you've got over the graphics, you realise that the gameplay underneath is ageless. The level design and the speed of Cannon Fodder make an explosive and addictive mix that makes the game hard to put down and easy to forgive. Five years old and priced at just five quid, this represents far better value than Army Men. A word of warning though: setting up the game to run in Windows 95 can be a bit of a pain. You may have to do a bit of homework on the memory management front, but it's well worth the extra effort.

Welcome to the Marines. Private Pyle! Grab your rifle and jump into that war-zone! See that building over yonder? Blow it up! If you see anything that moves, blow that up! What? Stop shouting? Not in my corps. Pyle! Drop and give me 20!

Welcome to Cannon Fodder, probably the single most addicting game since Lemmings. In fact, think of Cannon Fodder as Lemmings, with guns. Lots of guns. Get the picture?

There is no plot to Cannon Fodder (well, okay, there is a plot buried in there somewhere, something about saving Mr. President from terrorists). but you'll soon forget that in the excitement of blowing things up. It's basically shooting shooting and more shooting find a couple of grenades to break up the monotony).

Your guys may look car-toonish, but don't let that fool you about the difficulty of this game. This ain't no walk in the park, buddy. Some serious strategy must be utilized if you are to be victorious. You must use everything at your disposal, whether it's your weapons, troops or your surrounding scenery, to gain the upper hand and totally annihilate your enemy.

War has never been so much fun!

People say:


Just what I wanted: a fun, mindless shooter. The gameplay is simplistic yet original. It has some humorous CG cinemas in the beginning, but you'll only want to watch them once. The graphics of the characters are a bit too small. It would have been nice to see some more detail. The setup to the game and story are humorous. I tend to enjoy games that don't take themselves too seriously. If you want a simple shooter that's loads of fun, Cannon Fodder has what you need.


Every once in a while a game comes along that is so fun, it's nearly impossible to put down, Cannon Fodder fits into this category! For a goo that really doesn't have anything that special when it comes to graphics or sound, Cannon Fodder delivers some of the best mindless fun I've had in a long time. The only room for improvement on this game would be to see it ported over to the PSX where you could link two systems together and battle against a partner.


Cannon Fodder is a great combination of strategy and fun. The simple and easy-to-use interface allows you to do everything from switching your weapons to splitting up your company. The control of the company and crosshairs use a simple point-and-click cursor that can be learned instantaneously. Cannon Fodder seemed too easy at first, but grew Increasingly difficult as the missions progressed, which is perfect for beginners as well as expert players.


Graphically simplistic, Cannon Fodder brings nothing new to the 3DO. The sprites are small and the sound effects are nothing a cart couldn't handle. What makes this game good is the depth and ease of gameplay that this title delivers, making it fun for players of all ages to enjoy. The sadistic humor of random destruction and enemies suffering in agony gives players the incentive to tackle the increasing level of difficulty and fight harder to finish each of the stages.

Cannon Fodder puts you in command of a squad of soldiers searching for enemies, but slow walking and repetitive missions equal unsophisticated gameplay. Hilarious sound effects add appeal to the game, but charmless backgrounds and tiny sprites tank the graphics. Still, Cannon Fodder's a pretty good blast.

  • 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!

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

3DO Screenshots

Atari Jaguar Screenshots

GameBoy Color Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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    Andy said on Forum:

    This game is great fun i wish some kind person will post a link for Cannon Fodder 2, And if someone could please tell me how to set it up for the mouse controls, But other than that it lives up to it's title of a true classic and a must download.