Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Cannon Fodder

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bill-swift - October 3, 2013

Yes indeed. Before Battlefield, Call of Duty and their awesome ilk strode into the gaming world, this was the pinnacle of virtual warfare: a couple of blurry, faceless soldier-midgets shooting several shades of shit out of everything ever. Prepare yourselves, because this could well take you over your dietician-recommended intake of badass for the day.

Prepare yourselves for the toon-tinged carnage of Cannon Fodder.

This not remotely sensible title from Sensible Software first appeared in 1993, on Commodore's craptastic old Amiga. It's a little more strategic than your average shooter, and features some charmingly wobbly (Amiga-mouse-based) controls.

You are the commander of small military force, waging furious, bullet-flavored war against a much larger army. Just where the conflict came from is undisclosed, but these enemies are surely evil in some way or another. After all, their uniforms are a slightly darker shade of green than our own! The massive bastards.

Still, back in 1993, everybody was too busy watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and/or rocking out to MC Hammer --who still refuses to let you 'touch this,' incidentally-- to have any shits to give about plotting. So nuts to it.

Cannon Fodder takes you through a jungle, a snowy region, more jungle, and a heaping helping of extra jungle. Via a little cursor-flailing and clicking goodness, you will direct your troops around the landscape, delivering flaming ballistic justice to the ‘nads of all who oppose you. You can have up to four soldiers under your direct command at once, and the lightest hit will kill the little dudes of either side.

As such, cautious play is rewarded (well, necessary). Each of your men is named, and is promoted --via a little icon on-screen-- as they kill more foes. Anybody you lose is added to a disturbing little war memorial-esque screen, and the guilt of screwing up and losing a decorated badass war hero is too much. How will you sleep at night? How?

You won't, that's how. Cannon Fodder's cannon fodder is not... cannon fodder. You heartless ass-cookie.

As toon-tacular and ridiculous as the game is (Hi there, enemy-spawning igloos and snowmobile cruising!), it can also be quite poignant, what with its list-of-the-dead concept and quite graphic depiction of war and its effects. Tree huggers might even call it a sort of satire. It was certainly controversial, with its use of the poppy motif.

But let's not get too melodramatic. The series' strapline is war has never been so much fun, so let's party like it's 1993 and reminisce about this power-up collecting, bazooka-blastin' good time below, courtesy of JimPlaysGames:

Source of images: retrofishta.

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