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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Cannon Fodder (Amiga)

I figured that, seeing as I've got my Amiga out and haven't used it much this month, I'd stick with it for today's write-up. And sitting on the top of one pile was Cannon Fodder, the renowned Sensible Software classic, and a game that I'd never really fancied before today, to be honest.

If you ask me why I've never fancied it, it's probably because I expected a game that was like an advanced version of Commando, and it turned out to be a game where you use a mouse to point at little men and drag them all around a map, completing objectives along the way. I've never been a big fan of those games... right from Command & Conquer, which was probably the first game of its type that I played. I just don't have the right kind of brain for those games (see also: puzzle games). But Cannon Fodder, whilst being one of the first of those types, is less complicated than the genre eventually morphed into, and as a result, more fun for me.

Cannon Fodder is produced with a typical vein of Sensible Software humour running through it, but it also hits a solemn, sombre note. Each of the men you take to battle has a name, and whilst they rack up kill totals in macho fashion, you feel a pang of loss when one of them finally buys it. Hitting home harder still is the way new recruits blindly line up for battle by the hillside... a hillside that fills up with little white crosses as your men fall by the wayside. It's oddly poignant, and gives you pause for reflection...

...and then you pile back into the fray again. Cannon Fodder has a lot of levels, and they're well designed and fun to play with a pretty good learning curve, meaning that even the most hopeless strategist should be able to get a handle on things and make satisfying progress.

The only real issue I had with Cannon Fodder is that my men kept coming to grief because the mouse didn't respond properly. But that's because it's an old mouse and I didn't have a suitable surface for it. Other than that, Cannon Fodder may well live up to its claim that "War Has Never Been So Much Fun".

2 comments:

  1. I never got through Cannon Fodder, precisiely because I got too attached to little chaps and couldn't bring myself to go on once one of them perished. And it's a very hard game to finish without losing a single man...

    War, never been so much - go up to your brother, kill him with your gun. Leave him lying in his uniform, dying in the sun.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDxCBx9Xb1I

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  2. I can really see how that could happen. It's a little thing, but you really do become attached to the little fellas, and it's a wrench to see one "die". Bastard Sensibles.

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