Cannon Fodder 1 logo Gamer Gold

Sensible Software return with a bang with their supposedly controversial war-'em-up.

An outraged Liberal Democrat MP called it "monstrous". British Legion chiefs labelled it "appalling". The Star said it was "shameful" and advised people to make sure they didn't buy it.
As you mgiht have guessed from the headline on the page "it" is Cannon Fodder, Sensible Software's latest offering. Why all the publicity and all the fuss? Well, papers will be papers and they will blow things out of proportion.

The reason for all this uncalled for and unfair publicity is because Sensible included the distinctive poppy symbol into the game. MP's and war veterans were apparently outraged which is fair enough I suppose, but there are ways and means of getting a problem like that solved.

Having a newspaper sensationalise the problem, going over the top and spreading inaccuracies in their reporting, is not the way to do it. Cannon Fodder is not shameful, monstrous or appalling, but is instead one of the games of 1993 and my money is on it becoming the Christmas number one.

The poppy has now been remove and everyone is happy except perhaps publishers Virgin and Sensible Software themselves who could have done without any of the hassle involved. Enough of all this, you lot want to know about Cannon Fodder. To save you reading to the end of this text I could just ell you to go out and buy it and thus there still might be some copies left in the shops.

Sensible Software have never really produced a bad game and more recently have dominated the software market with such excellent products as Mega-lo-Mania, WizKid and Sensible Soccer. Most of their titles are tinged with elements of surreal humour, especially WizKid and the highly amusing team names in Sensible Soccer.

Cannon Fodder blasts off with one of the best game tunes of '93. It's a sort of raggae-style composition with a woman singing over the top of it. She croons "War! Never been so much fun!" and you what? She's probably right.

As the song plays you are treated to a menagerie of digitised shots of the Sensible Software team dressed up as soldiers. As good a way as any ot get your face in a game I suppose. Once all this tomfoolery has finished it is then time to enter the war zone.

Before the action actually starts, you need to call up some of the 360 fit young men to become troopers. Only 15 of them are allowed to volunteer for each mission. As missions progress you start to lose men and innocent soldiers are thrown into war with the more experienced troops.

There are 24 missions to complete, each one has a different terrain and objective. Most missions are split into a maximum of six phases. You do not directly control troopers, but instead determine their behaviour.

This is achieved by using the mouse, the mouse pointer and a troop leader. Troopers will only follow their leader, but they can also be encouraged to split up and do their own thing.

At the beginning of your adventure all the troopers are conscripted as lowly Privates (I know a joke about that! Not very funny, but I know one). Your troopers ranks increase for every phase that they survive, but promotion only occurs when the mission is complete.

The missions start off very slowly and are quite easy. You start to wonder why you need 360 men, but as soon as you hit the fifth mission everything gets that little bit harder.

In the previous levels you have met up with "normal" soldiers, but later on your start to meet bazooka wielding troopers and you then realise that Cannon Fodder isn't the breeze you thought it to be.

The control system is worth mentioning simply because it is so good. The very first level and it becomes as natural as eating your tea. The mouse pointer is swept around the screen and more of the terrain is shown to you. By clicking on that point with the left button, your squadron of troops will move to that point.

The right button is your killing button. When pressed it lets rip with a deadly hail of bullets from your soldiers. If you use a combination of both buttons you can use your grenades or bazookas which causes major destruction upon the enemy.

At first Cannon Fodder looks fairly run-of-the-mill stuff. Some people might even call it an average shoot-'em-up, but as you progress you get addicted and the completion of a level becomes more important than eating, drinking and maybe even life itself (err, probably).

Sensible's war-'em-up is one of those games that you can completely immerse yourself in. The graphics are brilliant. Although the men are small they seem to have characters all of their own which is attributed to the animation. Losing a man is almost like losing a best friend.

There are loads of nice little touches such as the men celebrating after completing the phase to the sound of patriotic World War tunes. Another nice touch is when one of your men takes a bad hit and lies on the floor screaming his head off while blood shoots out of his body and it thus becomes your solemn duty to end his pain. It's sad and quite painful to watch, but you have to wipe those tears from your eyes and get your revenge by defeating the enemy.

The sound is quite incredible and uses up all four channels to create some startling effects. For instance when you are marching around the jungle, exotic birds fly overhead and their squawking becomes louder the closer they are to your troop.

There is a more important reason for this directional sound malarkey because you can use it to your distinct advantage. Muted gunfire tells you that enemy soldiers can see you are heading in your direction, the same goes for helicopter rotor blades. The rumbling of a tank means that you should run very fast in the opposite direction.

Being a games reviewer you must point out good and bad points for each piece of software, but I am getting a headache from trying to criticise Cannon Fodder. I suppose it could do with a two-player option, but apart from that I can't really find cause for complaint.

I love Cannon Fodder and so should you. If you still haven't bought it then I must stand up and question your state of mind. Sensible Software seem to go on from strength to strength. Cannon Fodder is one of the most playable games you will every play and also one of the most fun. A rootin' tootin' shoot-'em-up of the highest order.

Cannon Fodder 1 logo Amiga Format Gold

This is disgusting. Appalling. Shameful. This is irresponsible, degrading, vicious, untenable, vile, gross, rotten, dismal and thoroughly despicable.

No matter how much I think about it, no matter how much I try, no matter how much considered brain-working combined with finely honed judgement I put into it, there is no way in which I can rescue the civilian from his cage in one of the scenarios of this massive game in time for this review to go to press.

Believe me, I pleaded with AF's editor to tell the printers to hold their multi-thousand-pound presses for just a few days longer. I lied about having the flu', the plague, the pox, Delthi-Belly, Montezuma's revenge and scabies in order to get a few more days - no a few more hours - to play this damnable computer entertainment. But there was just no way.

Hold on a second, I have just thought of another devious strategy to get the little sprite from his jail. Nip up a few pages to the Hired Guns review and come back in a minute. Nope, that did not work either. But that is the kind of hold that Cannon Fodder can have on you if you do not watch out. There you are doing something important when "Whammo!" an idea leaps into your by now fried mind as to how to complete one section from one mission. Bye-bye day. Bye-bye really important thing... hello games mania.

Because, if there is one thing that Cannon Fodder has in spades, it is addictability. And if there are two things it has then they are addictability and killer playability.

Like Lemmings or Syndicate, it discovers a tiny piece of your cerebellum that is most prone to fun, self-sacrifice, problem solving and extreme violence and, I will say it again: "Whammo!" you are nabbed.

For those of you who have not given this month's Coverdisk demo a go - then here is a quick overview of the action and plot.

You will have had very little sleep for quite a while, your mouse hand will be twitching in a deeply worrying manner, and you wil probably be giggling under your breath

Ready for real war?
Cannon Fodder is a wargame. It is a wargame without statistics. It is a wargame without tediousness. It is a wargame in which people die. That is right, when you lose one of your troops, you are made more than aware of it by the black, poppy-bedecked screen that lists the names of the dead like a kind of mobile Washington Wall or Cenotaph.

Oh, for sure there is a heap of mouse-driven wandering around various backdrops shooting, grenading or rocketing things. Yeah, there are skin-crawling death scenes in which soldiers - their innards doing spastic dances on their uniforms - writhe around on the floor as they wait to be put out of their misery. And boy is this offensive. But then again, the sight of people writhing on the floor in agony while fighting futile little skirmishes for rich oil companies, drugs, money or other less dignified causes is offensive. At least playing this diversion will keep you out of the army.

Cannon Fodder does not much around when it comes to violence. Where many other pieces of computer leisure-ware) the term 'computer game' is rapidly going out of fashion in this industry) emulate films such as Lethal Weapons, Universal Soldier or Under Siege in their sanitised, sentimentalist, feel-good portrayals of violence, Cannon Fodder goes for the Reservoir Dogs approach. You are shot. You bleed. You cry out loudly in a most embarrassing and un-TV-like manner. You can take a hell of a long time to stop living. Then, in time of war, you tend to get left where you lie, probably forgotten for a while until the furore is done with. Then maybe forgotten for ever.

For the purposes of this game, you and your mouse fingers are in control of a number of recruits. Their mission (whether or not they agree to accept it) is to go into various battle situations and sort out the enemy. This 'sorting out' process involves destroying buildings, expunging the opposition, rescuing occasionally unwilling civilians, and surviving intact.

If this final condition is met, then your troops are hoofed up a rank. This has the tripartite purpose of (a) making them and you feel good; (b) upping their intelligence, reflexes, speed and ability to move around the terrain the optimum manner; (c) giving them really good-looking gravestones when they eventually meet the inevitable shell that is emblazoned with their signature.

Because that is what happens at the end of an unsuccessful mission. You are returned to the distinctly sparse and obviously Sensible recruitment screen, and on the hillside behind the queues of eager young grunts preparing to don the khaki and do battle, you will see loads and loads of small white crosses marking the number of war dead you have managed to produce. Of course, the higher the rank of the corpse, the more impressive the tomb marker. Neat eh, gamesters?

But enough of this ironic stuff. This is a game review here, and the powers-that-be do not want all this heavy stuff. What is the gameplay like? Bloody brilliant mate! That is what. Easy. Too right it is easy. for a start, it is mouse driven, so even if you have never considered buying a joystick, you can still play it. Right button to walk. Left button to fire. Right and left to throw something that goes boom.

There is a map at the lower left of the screen to give you some handle on where you are and what you have got to do - it also pauses the game, tipsters. Then there are the scenarios. As Sensible Supremo Jon Hare admits, the graphics are utilitarian. They do their job very well indeed, setting atmosphere and (thank goodness) using up most of the screen. Your little guys (and lasses, who can tell what sex they are?) bear a striking resemblance to the Auxerre side from Sensible Soccer out on a severe training run. They are tiny, cute and highly motivated (what?!) and they are very dangerous when used properly.

The missions are many and varied. As I mentioned, in order to accrue more rank for your grunts, they have to complete missions - but these missions are more often than not split into several sub-sections. Each of these is a drain on your abilities, so when you do actually complete one of the later of middle missions, not only have your troops improved, but you have also come away a better player. OK, so your nerves will be shattered and you will have had very little sleep for quite a while, your mouse hand will be twitching in a deeply worrying manner, and you wil probably be giggling under your breath, or whispering: "Eat that!" or "Die pig!" or "Go on Tubby, chuck the grenade!", but you will have finished a mission.

The more you get into this game, the more adept at it you become and the more dangerous the little 'uns become. This gradual curve, in tandem with the fast reactions and intense problem-solving abilities you have to invoke, goes to place this as a classic in the making.

Can you keep in control?
We will have to wait a year to see whether it lasts the course. I would still have liked the ability to customise names, to hard disk install, and the tanks to have been a little easier. But I can see this magazine, for one, printing map after map for some very frustrated gamers in the next few months. And, despite what the tabloid press (well, The Star) have to say about the 'shameful' nature of this game - Sensible used pictures of the commemorative poppy on the original packaging and in-game graphics (the graphics have now been changed), this is possibly the most anti-war game I have seen in a while. So have fun with it.

Cannon Fodder 1 logo Amiga Joker Hit

Trotz ihres so friedlich klingenden Namens haben die Söldner von Sensible Software nun ein Spiel vorgelegt, dessen grimmigen Metzger-Humor wohl nur Briten lustig finden - das Gameplay gefiel allerdings auch uns!

Stellt Euch am besten eine Mischung aus Metzelorgien wie "Airborne Ranger" oder "Special Forces" auf der einen und Strategicals mit indirekter Steuerung à la "Populous" auf der anderen Seite vor. Sowohl die leicht schräg von oben gezeigten, tadellos scrollenden Landschaften als auch die per Maus erfolgende Befehlsvergabe lassen Erinnerungen an die aufgezählten Games und dazu vielleicht noch "Mega Lo Mania" wach werden.

Von der Sache her schickt man bis zu sechs Soldaten Richtung Feind, wobei mit dem linken Mausohr gelenkt wird, das rechte zum Ballern da ist und beide zusammen eine Granate auflösen - darüber hinaus befinden sich am Screenrand noch Icons, die z.B. eine Übersichtskarte auf den Schirm holen. Je nachdem, in welcher der 24, wiederum in 72 Unterabschnitte eingeteilten Missionen man sich gerade befindet, muß man sämtliche Gegner abmurksen, alle feindlichen Gebäude vernichten, einen Hinterhalt anlegen oder eine Geisel nehmen bzw. befreien.

Um die hervorragend ausgerüsteten und von Auftrag zu Auftrag immer unangenehmer werdenden Gegnern Paroli bieten zu können, findet man allereli nützliche Dinge wie etwa herrenlose Panzer, Hubschrauber oder Munitionskisten; später auch kugelsichere Westen.

Es gilt jedoch immer zu beachten, daß Realismus hier groß geschrieben wird. Versehentlich beschossene Extra-Munition explodiert, beim Durchschwimmen eines Flusses kann man nicht ballern, und wer Schlammlöcher übersieht oder beim Anschleichen an den Feind nicht auf seine Deckung achtet, ist selbst dran schuld, wenn ihm irgendwann die nur beschränkt vorrätigen Kämpfer ausgehen.

Natürlich winken dem wahren Kriegshelden Beförderungen, auch darf man seinen Trupp in mehrere Untergrüppchen aufteilen - wesentlich strategischer wird das stark actionsbetonte Spiel damit aber nicht, die taktischen Elemente bewegen sich ungefähr auf "Dune II"-Niveau.

An der intuitiv beherrschbaren Steuerung gibt's nun überhaupt nichts zu meckern, die dramatische Soundbegleitung und die abwechslungsreiche, gut animierte und sehr übersichtliche Grafik können ebenfalls überzeugen. Wesentlich heikler sieht's da schon in der Abteilung Moral & Geschmacksfragen aus, denn Blutfontänen und herumliegende Soldaten mit aufgeschlitzten Bäuchen gehören hier zum kriegerischen Alltag.

Dazu sind nicht alle Gags so harmlos wie die gelegentlich unvermutet am Schlachtfeld auftauchenden Eskimos oder Schneemänner: Die Toten auf beiden Seiten werden in der Manier von Fußballergebnissen aufgelistet, und im Intro singt der "sensible" Mitautor Jon Hare "Krieg hat noch nie solchen Spaß gemacht"!

Wer indessen mit einer überdosis pechschwarzen Humor leben kann, sollte sich das spielerisch wertvolle Kanonenfutter eiligst besorgen - die BPS findet sowas ja meist gar nicht lange lustig... (mm)

Cannon Fodder 1 logo

The game of the year? War, it seems, has never been so much fun.

Okay, so we've got this game slapped across our cover, it took up an entire coverdisk last issue and we've all been enthralled by Jools' imaginative and innovative use of basic Anglo-Saxon expletives as we've begged and hassled him to write his long running Diary Of A Game feature. Quite a lot of coverage for a single game, but after spending a worryingly large amount of my time playing Cannon Fodder, I'd say that anything up to and including changing the name of this mag to Cannon Fodder Power would be a justified amount of coverage.

It's fast, it's thoughtful, it's addictive and it's the kind of game that I can see I'm going to be playing through the night like a real saddo. So why don't you join me, and journey through the next few pages as I explain to you why playing this game is now more important to me than eating, sleeping or any other basic bodily function.

Having to write pages of reviews every month, I'm always on the lookout for something concise and snappy that'll end up in the blob on the page (Which is the 'Call Out', technical term fans. - Ed) but those Sensible boys have done my job for me. "War's never been so much fun," they tell me, and when you load up the game, you get a pretty groovetastic song that drums the same message home. It's about two minutes long, is reminiscent of an early UB4O track and sets the tongue-in-cheek, boot-in-mouth tone of the game brilliantly.

As the song runs, you're treated to pictures taken from the pop video in which the Sensible team dress up as soldiers, run around with plastic guns and pose against a WW2 halftrack. It's all very much in the vein of Oh What A Lovely War, or perhaps the fourth series of Blackadder, and serves as a bit of an antidote to the serious theme.

So boring game details next. The game is made up of 23 missions which are spread over 72 different maps. There are five different terrains - Jungle, Desert, Arctic, Heathland and Underground Base, and although they're fairly well mixed up, there's a definite weighting towards jungle levels at the beginning and underground levels at the end.

Oh yeah, the game comes on just three disks, with the last half of the missions coming on disk three. Since it recognises a second disk drive this means virtually no disk swapping while you're playing. Hoorah!

So why buy this game then? Well, for a start it's massively simple to get into. You start of the game with a squad of men, and at the end of every mission, you get a further 15 recruits, which initially seems a tad excessive. However, by the time you get to Mission Six and your boys are being slaughtered like cattle at every twist and turn, you start to realise why you get so many troops.

Every time a soldier survives a mission, he's promoted, and his accuracy, range and rate of fire is increased. You get quite attached to anyone who survives more than a couple of levels, but since everyone in the game has an equally tenuous grip on life, there's inevitably a horrible moment when a rocket with his name on it comes whooshing in and he gets his. The promotion system means that you can end up with a crack team, but it also means that you get terribly paranoid and ever so careful with your men.

You control your boys with the mouse, and click on the left button to move, the right to fire and both to throw a grenade or fire a rocket, depending on what you've selected. You can easily split the band up into sub-groups, which opens up all sort of possibilities. The soldiers can't swim and shoot at the same time, so by sending them over rivers two at a time, you can provide supporting fire from the bank.

You can even click a preset course for one group while you control another, which allows you to attack from two directions at the same time. Not only is this easy to work out, but it's so simple that you can do it quickly, which is essential if you want to split the team or switch to rockets when you're under fire from tanks and helicopters and all manner of nastiness.

The scrolling system works so well that most of the time you're not even aware of it. To look in any direction, all you have to do is move the mouse near the edge and you push the screen, just like you'd imagine it would. If anyone made a dictionary of computer game words, then the listing for 'intuitive' would be "Just play Cannon Fodder and you'll know. Okay?"

Still not convinced yet? Well, the missions involve lots and lots of killing, with the occasional spot of hostage rescue thrown in before masses more killing. Strictly speaking, the missions break down to killing everyone, blowing up all the buildings, rescuing prisoners, taking hostages and protecting civilians, but it all involves killing so many people it isn't even funny anymore.

Complete carnage doesn't impress you? How about four channels of sound that completely immerse you in each world? How about authentic jungle noises with parrot squawks, or the howl of a freezing wind blowing across the broken ice floes?

How about sound that reflects what you're looking at on the screen and that fades realistically with distance, making it an essential gameplay feature? What do I mean? Well, if you come out of the jungle (squawks, rustling, etc) and get to a river (running water) but hear distant rotors (whump, whump, whump), then you know there's a helicopter near, and that it's time to hide. Muted gunfire tells you that enemy soldiers can see you and are heading your way, and the flop-sweat fear of hearing a rumbling tank engine has to be experienced to be fully understood.

And if that doesn't get you, then stirringly patriotic WW1 jingles as you complete each mission or a Jimi Hendrix-esque rendition of the last post as you remember your dead are sure to knock your ear-socks off.

Thinking that it sounds like 72 maps of pretty much the same thing? Wrong! Although you start off the game with a fairly simple run-around-and-shoot-everything approach, you quickly cotton onto the fact that this tactic only works for the first few levels, and that a bit more finesse is required for later levels.

By the time you get to Mission Seven, many of the levels are puzzles in the Lemmings mould, and successfully completing the level depends as much on you planning ahead as it does on your reactions. How exactly do you get past the helicopter, evade the gun turrets, blow up the bunkers and then blast down the stockade wall so that a civilian can escape to his house? Well, take it from me, it's hugely difficult and involves a tank.

Oh, just go and buy the flipping thing

Yes, tanks! And skidoos and jeeps and helicopters firing heat-seeking missiles. Whatever fearsome vehicles the bad guys have got, then at some point in the game you get to drive them as well. Many of them haven't got a weapon, but that's no problem as you can just drive over people, and whenever you find a ramp, then rest assured there's lots of Dukes Of Hazzard tomfoolery to be had.

Hey, I just mentioned civilians, which are another feature to keep you guessing. There are cute little eskimos in the arctic, natives in the jungle and even moseying gunslingers in the desert, but you never know how they're going to react. Some of them are neutral and just wander around, some of them are hostile (in which case they deserve everything they get) but a lot of them are reactive, so if you kill any of them, they'll open up on you.

You want more before you buy this game? Blimey, how much? Okay, how about hyper-intelligent baddies in helicopters who'll trash you in the open, but can be evaded by hiding in the treeline or holes? How about a completely interactive terrain, so your troops bounce over every bump, slide across every ice floe, fall down every cliff and even sink in the swamps? It's another incredible game feature, since you can blow down fences with grenades and destroy huts with explosives, but you've got to look out for bits of debris as they fly off in all directions. You've also got to keep a look out for suspicious lumps in the ground as many of the levels are littered with lethal booby traps of all descriptions.

And you want blood? Good, 'cos Cannon Fodder's got masses of it, with each little guy blowing apart in a hail of gunfire, or lying around moaning and squirting after a spring-loaded spear has shot out of the ground and impaled him. And then there's the... Oh, just go and buy the flipping thing.

So you've waded through four pages of top-quality pictures and masses of praise for this game, and no doubt you'll have noticed that there's something missing - criticism. The simple reason for this is that I can't find anything wrong with the game. "In which case," smart arses out there are going to say to me, "why haven't you given it 100% then?" Right, here are a few reasons why:

1 It's got a finite number of levels, and even though 72 maps are going to take you ages and you can keep going back to them to try out different ways, there's going to be a time when every level is too easy for you. Eventually.
2 It's only a one-player game, and two's always better than one. This rule applies to everyday life as well.
3 Even though it's brilliant, I can't believe that it's the best game that's ever going to be made, so we've got to leave a few marks for when the ultimate game finally gets round to appearing.
4 Not even real life is worth 100%. Yeah, think about it.

Cannon Fodder 1 logo CU Amiga Super Star

'War has never been so much fun' or so the song goes. Jon Sloan dons fatigues to join the chorus of Virgin's latest bloodfest.

I cannot camouflage my feelings about this game. I have just got to shoot my mouth off. Cannon Fodder is the best thing since gun powder. It is bloody brilliant. It is better than sex. But that is enough adulation (And bad war puns - Ed.) for now. So, what is it about? Simply put: shooting, shooting, shooting, more shooting and, just for a change, a few explosions. That is it. No fancy storylines. No deep and meaningful scenarios. Just grab a handful of recruits, drop them in a war zone and then blast everything in sight.

Weighing in at three disks, Cannon Fodder is a hefty game indeed. There are 24 missions awaiting your soldiers, each with between one and six phases. In total you will have to wade your way through 72 scenarios, each one progressively harder than the last. The early operations involve sending the team on a straight 'shoot everything in sight' assignment. Later one, though, they will have to rescue hostages, rescue civilians and kidnap opposing soldiers.

When you realise that one stray bullet, from either side, hitting a civilian is all it takes to lose the phase, you will see just how tough the game is. To crank up the challenge element you only have 15 raw recruits per mission. And, as you are guaranteed to lose a good number the first time you try the mission, even experienced players are going to take a couple of weeks to complete the game.

Believe me, by the time you reach the seventh mission you will be cursing your lack of mouse control. I played it with a 400DPI mouse and still got wasted!

Speaking of controls, even a complete mouse-a-phobic could get to grips with these. Just point the mouse where you want to go, left click and off the men will trot. Right click and they will shoot at that point. Bullets are unlimited but there is also a fixed amount of secondary weapons. Firing them is easy too. Right click on the target and then left click at the same time to release one. It is tempting to let rip all your weapons early on, but that would be a waste. And some missions need you to carefully control your resources.

For instance, one objective could be that you have to blow up all the enemy's huts. This is not possible with bullets alone.

You do not get to choose the size of your squad in each phase, that is done automatically. It is not a problem though 'cos the Sensi boys have pitched the difficulty curve just right. You will have just enough men to complete that part, even if you lose a couple. But it is best not to sacrifice troops needlessly as they increase in rank with each successful mission.

From the very first moment you load Cannon Fodder you know you are in for a treat. The intro music and slideshow is one of the best I have seen. Normally I skip through intros. But, Sensi's version of 'War... has never been so much fun' captivated me - it is a brilliant, toe-tapping tune. The attention to sonic detail has been carried over into the main game with both music and sound effects perfectly scored. It's the simple touches, like the way that the sounds get louder the closer you are to the source, that make it.

On the graphic front there is no innovation but plenty of good solid Amiga art. There's loads of variety in the landscape types - jungle, ice, desert, moors and underground caverns - and the sprites' animation is very detailed considering how small they are. I love this game. It has its faults, like the lack of order options. But on the whole it is a very playable, very tough shoot 'em up. Be warned though, you will need to have a sick sense of humour head on to enjoy the puns.

Many development teams, if they are lucky, go through the golden phase and the Sensi boys are right in the middle of theirs now. Can they do no wrong? Not as far as Cannon Fodder goes anyway.


War wouldn't be war without a selection of powerful weapons capable of mass destruction. Cannon Fodder is no different, there is enough firepower in there to stock the arsenal of a small South American Dictator.
Your insertion team starts each scenario with an unlimited supply of bullets but, depending on the plot, there is the opportunity to pick up much bigger guns!

GRENADES - Your basic shred-the-enemy-with-small-bits-of-shrapnel devices. Their range is limited, but they can be thrown over obstacles to hit their targets. Very useful for a sneak attack.
ROCKETS - These bazooka shells are great for long range attacks. Best used against buildings of enemy soldiers similarly equipped. A great tactic is to dash out from cover, let one off, then dash back under cover to watch the fireworks from a safe distance.
HEAT SEEKERS - More long range devastation can be achieved with these than almost any other weapon. Brilliant against enemy vehicles.
SKIDOO - One snowy scenario sees the team stuck in a maze-like forest with the only way out over a series of ice ramps. Evil Knieval look out!
TANK - Touch but not indestructible. Some enemy bunkers are so armour planted that only a shell delivered from one of these will penetrate it. The sounds of soldiers squished beneath the tracks are so sick.
HELICOPTER - If you feel you are above all this violence, you can be, literally, with the 'copter. Flying above the action means you can strafe the ground yet be immune to most returning fire, except the rockets and heat seekers.


Hidden in certain locations on specific missions are special Sensible icons. If you find one of these your dreams will come true. Well, not quite. However, they do power up your troops. Grabbing one will do a variety of things from giving the men instant General rank (with better firepower, etc.) to granting invincibility for a short time. Basically, look carefully around each level. Some icons are just lying around, others are hidden behind background scenery. Good luck!

Cannon Fodder 1 CD32 logo Amiga Format Gold

If you've never heard of Cannon Fodder (Sensible Software, 0799 516044, £30), then you've either been out of the country for the past year or you're six feet under.

Guide little armed geezer through various terrain and missions, killing people, rescuing hostages, killing people, blowing up buildings, killing people, taking prisoners, killing people, driving military vehicles and killing people. Oh, and just in case you missed it, you kill a lot of people.

Cannon Fodder's got it all: strategy, arcade skills, fabulous graphics, excellent sound and taxing gameplay. It's probably best played with a mouse because some of the elements are timing crucial and you may find that the gamepad is just a little too clumsy to keep up with the more frantic action.

There are no differences between the floppy-based version and the CD version which means that there are 72 missions to be traversed, pacified and fought through. All in all Cannon Fodder is probably the best game yeat to appear on CD32. Buy it today - you won't regret it.

Der Index-Kandidat

Cannon Fodder 1 CD32 logo Amiga Joker Hit

Während Sensible Software schon fleißig am Nachfolger dieser blutigen Sprite-schlacht(ung) arbeitet, darf man sich nun acuh am CD32 überzeugen, daß "Krieg noch nie soviel Spaß gemacht hat".

So verspricht es zumindest der Titelsong, und wie Max im Test der Disk-version bereits befürchtete, fand die BPS den rabenschwarzen Humor der Briten ganz und gar nicht zum Totlachen: Wegen Geschmacklosigkeiten wie gemeuchelten Soldaten mit heraushängenden Eingeweiden landete das spielerisch überzeugende Söldnerstrategical kürzlich auf dem Index.

Rechtlich haben wir es mit der CD-Fassung nun zwar mit einem anderen und damit zumindest vorläufig noch jugendfreien Spiel zu tun, doch das bedeutet bloß ein paar Überstunden für die BPS.

Abgesehen von einem Hubschrauber, der neuerdings durch die parallax scrollenden ZwischenSequenzen rattert, ist nämlich wirklich alles beim alten geblieben: Man führt einen Trupp von bis zu sechs Mini-Rambos durch 24 (manchmal in mehrere Phasen aufgesplittete) Missionen in Iso-3D, killt dabei reihenweise Feinde und macht deren militärische Einrichtungen dem Erdboden gleich.

Dank nur noch eines speicherbaren Spielstands und der nicht allzu glücklichen Pad-Steuerung liegt der Heldenfriedhof hier etwas näher; wohl dem, der am CD32 auf die Maus zurückgreifen kann.

Und sollte er auch ein MPEG-Modul sein eigen nennen, wird's noch wohliger, denn dann wartet noch ein sehenswertes Video, in dem das Team um Jon Hare zu den Raggaeklängen des Titeltracks ein wahres Gagfeuerwerk abbrennt!

Wir trauen es uns kaum zu sagen, doch für uns bleibt diese rundum mörderische Stratego-Action ein Hit. CD-Söldner, die derselben Ansicht sind, sollten daher schnell handeln - möglichst schneller als die BPS. (st)

Cannon Fodder 1 CD32 logo

Virgin, £30

Amiga version: 94%, AP32.
No new levels, no extra sound and no gratuitous but pointless in-game music in this CD32 conversion, and it does not make the slightest bit of difference. It is Cannon Fodder, and so it is brill.

For your money you do get a flashy intro sequence starring the Sensible crew and the option to play it using the CD32 controller, although to get into the full flow of the game, you really do need to get yourself a mouse. Shoot, bang, kill, run, swim, bomb, fly, rocket, spike, bleed, maim, drive, die, fall, slide, panic and bodge your way through 72 levels packed with moral disregard and political incorrectness.

Cannon Fodder 1 CD32 logo

Virgin, £29.99 out now

Tennis Elbow. Athlete's Foot. Tiddy-winker's Thumb. Er, Couch Potato's Bottom. All afflictions caused by repeated actions during play. And all pretty bad.
Played almost constantly over a number of days, certain types of computer games can cause similar injuries to the player. Two of the most popular examples are the Sensi-Joystick-Button Thumb (which I'm sure we've all experienced at some point or other), or the unique Cannon Fodder-Mouse Hand. Stupidly long names I know, but it's what I like to call them (in the last five minutes since I made them up), and hardened players of either game will suffer cramp and other symptoms at some point. Probably.

Alongside Syndicate, Cannon Fodder is the game which best makes use of the mouse for control. The pointer chases around the screen, and a swift left-button fires your weapons, while the right sends your crack troop squad into action, running strategically towards the bally Hun.

In fact, it relies on the mouse to the point that you wonder how Sensible could ever have created it for joypad-lovers, and the general feeling, simply, is that they couldn't. Now that they have, that theory is proved right, because the joypad control is sluggish at best, and impossibly frustrating at worst.

So, now comes the time to slag it off. Right? Well... no. What I'm going to do instead is recommend that you buy a mouse - yes. Sensible has left the mouse control routine in, thankfully. A mouse will only cost you £10 or so, and the sheer volume of enjoyment (if, indeed, you measure it in that way) you'll get from the two together will be huge.

It's a war game but it's also one of the finest arcade games ever - packed with people to shoot, inventive mantraps, and a nice line in interesting automobiles, which you can get in and drive.

The CD32 version's been slow in coming, and although it doesn't offer any real improvements over the floppy game, it continues to hold its tin hat-topped head high above the competition. Buy it and find out just how much fun war is.