Cannon Fodder (Virgin) Review | Mean Machines Sega - Everygamegoing

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Cannon Fodder
By Sega
Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

 
Published in Mean Machines Sega #27

Cannon Fodder

Dear Mum,

Thanks for the clean underwear. And the shortbread. We've been stuck out on maneouvres for the last two weeks in Farringdon, and I don't think I could wash my "Y"s in a mucky puddle again. When I joined the Queen's Own Sensiblers, I thought this was going to be character building. Well, I suppose killing peope is a conversation piece at a dinner party. That's if you can get used to eating with cutlery again. Sergeant Jeps pushes us very hard, but I like to think hes firm but fair. After all, I've just got a promotion - footstool in the Officers' Mess. No more mopping out the latrines for me, the rest of the lads are dead envious.

I'll write to you again next week. Unless I get killed that is. Don't worry, I'm feeling lucky!

Lots of love, Tommy Atkins.

Origin

Developed by Sensible Software on the Amiga, and converted in its entirety to the Megadrive - the inspiration is war itself.

Game Aim

Clear each stage of enemy troops and their equipment using your team of eager recruits.

Firing Squaddies

Right, look lively! Getting this shower into shape shouldn't be trouble for officer material like yourself. There are two basic commands in the army - move and fire. Point the cursor to where you want the men to go and they'll follow their lead officer - the most experienced one. While they're on the move, you can get them to spray fire in any surrounding direction. Later on you might want to give your men some responsibility, by splitting them up into separate guerrilla units, simultaneously dividing your ammo and tactics to progress.

Collateral Damage

Dear Mrs. Atkins: I regret to inform you that your son has been killed on active duty. The incident occured during a sustained attack when the unfortunate chap was struck by a flying roof. There is a tendency for enemy structures to explode under fire, and roofs and doors take a constant toll on our men. Rest assured, he suffered no enduring paint, unlike the enemy, who writhe about in agony for quite some time when shot.

We Want You For A New Recruit!

Come join the army - it's a great life! There's always plenty of opportunities, just come queue at our recruiting office over the hill. We select between two and five young rookies per mission. Each starts without rank, but the longer you last the more stripes you'll have down your arm.

After each campaign, a new set of men seeking adventure arrive to swell the ranks, which is just as well, because without men we have to wave the white flag.

Grenadier Guards

Dear Mum,

Today I learned how to use a rocket launcher. Sometimes they are just lying around, so I couldn't resist taking a pot shot at a Nissan hut. Our pop guns aren't much good at taking out those things, but a few fireworks or a couple of grenades is enough to do the trick. Pity the enemy are starting to shoulder a few of their own, thought.

Territorial Army

Getting to grips with the ground is an essential for success and a (reasonably) long life. Learn the effects of the following:

1. Shallow Water You can still fire without impediment, but you are slower.

2. Deep Water Can be crossed, but leaves you exposed to enemy fire.

3. Quicksand Watch out for this. Many of our boys have sunk without trace.

4. Jungle Impenetrable and shields you from fire, but rockets and grenades can rebound.

5. Ice Going AOT is a constant problem on the arctic levels. Steady as she goes.

6. Traps Look out for sinister markings in the undergrowth. The enemy have set snares.

7. Landslips It's safe enough to drop down rock walls, but these passes are the only way back up.

Gus

What an absolute gem of a game. Cannon Fodder is one of the most original game concepts in years, and so perfectly implemented as to be a pleasure from the first moment, and still pose a challenge weeks later. The unique nature of the game is the way reflexes and strategy are mixed. Although success is entirely dependent on your sharp wits, it quickly becomes essential to tackle the levels with a firm strategy.

However, to keep things sharp, things often take an unpredictable turn, and you're making command decisions in split seconds.

It really feels like handling an army unit, but with the hallmark humour of all Sensible games, and the attention to game feel and control that have made their previous classics.

The presentation is accomplished, though neither the graphics or sound would make you stop short. But pick up Cannon Fodder for five minutes, and you'll acknowledge that you're in the presence of true gaming genius.

Steve

This is quite simply the most fun you're going to have with your Megadrive in ages. Cannon Fodder is one of the most original games I have ever played, yet for all its new ideas it never bogs itself down with over-complex controls of especially deep strategy.

Yes, special tactics are needed to defeat the assortment of grenade and rocket-wielding enemy troops, but such is the simplicity of Cannon Fodder that they are pulled off with very little thought.

Every aspect of the game excels: the graphics are small but full of Sensi's oddball humour (Watch out for the exploding sheep!) and the sound effects are equally hot.

In all, Cannon Fodder is one of the best games to emerge from Virgin HQ. It's original, playable and has enough levels to keep avid players yomping for ages. Enrol today.

Verdict

Graphics 77%
P. Crisp backdrops and clear layouts with exceptionally smooth-scrolling and sensible colour schemes.
N. Everything is nit-sized.

Sound 79%
P. Great agony samples when the enemy take a dive. Nice gun noises.
N. Not so sure on the 'Ace of Base' title music. Hapy Nation, lads?

Playability 94%
P. Even Mother Theresa would be working out new ways to progress. Utterly compelling.
N. The game kicks in a little too suddenly after a few missions.

Lastability 90%
P. Loads of sub missions, and the later stages take ages to work out. New elements are introduced gradually to keep your attention.

Value For Money 89%
P. When what you want is game, Cannon Fodder offers it in abundance.
N. It was one a disk game, and a darn sight cheaper.

Overall 93%
Cannon Fodder - patron saint of wargames. This is where the smart money will be going for getting the most out of your Megadrive.