In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Cannon Fodder

aka: Cannon Fodder: war has never been so much fun
Moby ID: 210
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Description official descriptions

Guide a team of up to six soldiers through 72 levels of combat in this top-down action/strategy hybrid, best thought of as Lemmings crossed with Commando crossed with Dune 2. The characters are controlled indirectly using the mouse or joypad, as you activate each soldier or group of them by highlighting them, clicking one button to move them to a particular spot and the another for them to fire guns at an enemy. You can also pick up grenades or rockets, fired by pressing both buttons at once, which can be used to destroy groups of enemies, buildings, or some vehicles.

Each mission has a specific objective, and some feature vehicles such as tanks that are used to make things easier. Your troops can cross water but can't shoot within it, so finding and controlling bridges is often crucial. You can use the arrangement of trees to find hiding places to shoot from and should watch out for CPU soldiers doing the same.

Spellings

  • キャノン・フォッダー - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

17 People

Original Concept
Programming
Original
Graphics / Artwork
Music / Sound Programming
Original design
  • Sensible Software
Amiga program design
Ibm pc compatibles code
  • Audio-visual magic
Graphic Design
Music & sound
Original Soundtrack
  • Jops
Uk software manager
Project manager
Quality control
Artwork & design co-ordinator
This manual copy
This manual design
  • Root Associates
Production

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 71 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 222 ratings with 4 reviews)

War shouldn't be this much Fun

The Good
The Genesis/Mega Drive version of Cannon Fodder was an oddity. A game that was designed for control with a mouse that works with a joypad.

Released in 1994, it had a lot to live up to. The Amiga & PC releases had gone down very well, but the skeptics said it couldn't be done on the consoles. They were wrong. Although it was missing the legendary theme song 'War has never been so much fun' it was still a blast. The digitised version of the song was good enough anyway.

The game is a 2/3 top down shooter where you control a squadron of Grunts to shoot & blast your way through each mission, split into several phases. each with different objectives and parameters. It was a game that required good vision, quick reflexes and a quicker brain.

With the enemy innumerable, the terrain hostile & the natives in the line of fire it made for a game that was testing to say the least. Thankfully though there is a password system, without which the game would be nigh on impossible.

The graphics were typical fare from Renegade & the Sensible team. Miniature sprites that hold great detail. The terrain between on each level looking great too.

The game itself, although of a violent nature, had elements of dark humour which is all part of the fun. You can't help but be amused & bemused at some of the things on show.

The sound was superb & greatly complimented to the gameplay. Although there is no in level music there are subtle sound effects which really add to the tension. But the gunfire sound effects can soon shatter that.

A superb game that was a little on the tough side but excellent to play.

The Bad
The difficulty curve was a tad steep.

The Bottom Line
This is what war games should be like, a blast that doesn't let up.

Genesis · by Liam Dowds (39) · 2003

A true amiga classic, fast-paced, friendly and humorous.

The Good
Colorful graphics, humorous style, lots of nice, tiny, cute animation and sound. Tons of character, lotsa weapons and gadgets and puzzle-like level design.

Maps are great, Jungle and VCs, Arctic and Desert etc. They start a bit small and expand to vast areas of beautiful surroundings. Mouse plays well, saves are OK.

Great soundtrack, solid design.

The Bad
It was a bit too tough at times. Unforgiving even.

Still... it was balanced out by the relatively small duration of the game.

The Bottom Line
Amazingly enough, no review for this great classic was written. That was reason enough for me to register- this is actually my first review here.... i just HAD to throw in my 2 cents....

This is indeed a solid game. Objectives and gameplay structure is simple: you are in control of a small band of soldiers which are controled either as a whole, or individually. Left click moves, right shoots with rifles, both activate special weapon (grenade / bazooka). Simply enough, the soldiers have plain objectives: destroy all buildings or more commonly go to place A from B, or kill all soldiers in the map. Simple and fast action. The correct resources must be used in the right place & time. Graphics are somehow small but detailed and kinda...er...cute! As in Sensible Soccer or SensibleGolf, lots of clever animation and sprites that win you over, make up for the low-res graphs.

Amiga · by Kuv (59) · 2003

Hmm...Let's just say it's a Funtastic Classic! (it rhymes)

The Good
The Gameplay was fantastic. It's a creative, unique, top-down veiw where your little soldier buddies follow you around the terrain while you do your little missions. Most of the time you have to kill all the enemies, destroy a building, ect. It's a smooth control using the keyboard and the keys aren't hard to learn at all. It's a great game for it's time and it's a very underrated.

The Bad
The Gameplay is about the only good part of the game. The graphics are very weak. The Terrain graphics are ok, but the blood graphics look more like red jumbo sized lego blocks spurtin' around. The soldiers you control are "pixelish" in look (not at heart) and when they move, it looks like they grow new legs as they move along. So the graphics are a big suck factor.

The Bottom Line
If you don't mind shabby graphics, and you enjoy a good overhead-view action game, then this is a game you should check out today. Or, tommorrow. Or sometime soon. But, if the graphics suckfactor is a problem for you, then you should go be picky somewhere else (In other words, this game is not for you)

DOS · by Dason Rise (17) · 2003

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Cannon Fodder appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cover controversy

The Royal British Legion (who have always been known for their 'poppy' logo), complained that this game was 'sick and degenerate' before its release, making several tabloid headlines trying to ban the game (before anyone had played it). The poppy was reluctantly removed from the cover before release but it still appears in the game itself.

Extras/Demo versions

Amiga users received two "extras" concerning the original game:

  • "Cannon Fodder Plus" was a very unique addition included to the Amiga Power 31 magazine. There are four new missions and the quiz related to the Sensible Software company
  • "Cannon Soccer" also a very unique addition included to the Amiga Format 54 magazine which is a "Cannon Fodder" on the pitch field from "Sensible Soccer". This small game is also known as "Cannon Fodder - Amiga Format Christmas Special"

German release

The PC version is banned in Germany for extreme violence (30.07.94). The Gameboy version isn't.

Music

The conversion of this title from the Amiga to the PC is nearly identical except for the music, which is FM synthesis (Adlib) instead of the original Amiga 4-channel digital ("mods"). This was a normal practice for most conversions, except by this time several free modplayers with source code had been released, so there was no reason to not have the original mod music...

Version differences

  • CD32 version contains special MPEG track where is stored movie (length = 3 min). In this movie members of Sensible Software (developer of game) are wearing army uniforms and they're doing funny things - dancing, riding army vehicles, throwing darts on the poster of actor Christian Slater etc. From this movie was taken a few photos and used in Amiga intro. This real intro is only played if you have the FMV expansion module. Cannon Fodder is the only CD32 game to support the FMV module, which was the last piece of hardware produced by Commodore before its bankruptcy.
  • Game Boy Color version due to technical limitations has been cut down. You can only control a maximum of two soldiers for any mission thus the levels have been tweaked making the game a lot easier.

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1995 – Readers' Special Award for 1994
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • March 1997 (Issue 92) - 3DO Game of the Year runner-up
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1994 – Most Morally Questionable But Fun Game in 1993
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #61 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by B.L. Stryker, Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker, phlux and robotriot.

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 210
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Windows added by Picard. 3DO added by Corn Popper. Genesis added by Tibes80. Jaguar added by Kartanym. Antstream added by firefang9212. Macintosh, Linux added by Sciere. SNES added by Joshua J. Slone. Acorn 32-bit, J2ME, Symbian, Amiga CD32 added by Kabushi. Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Game Boy Color, Amiga added by Stoo.

Additional contributors: Apogee IV, Alaka, Martin Smith, formercontrib, Ms. Tea, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, FatherJack.

Game added August 13, 1999. Last modified May 19, 2024.