Back then in 90’ties I’ve encountered this funny games, where you had these small guys running around. My friend from neighborhood had Amiga and we played it at his place. These were games from Sensible Software and these small guys were their trademark. At first, we just loved playing matches in Sensible Soccer, later we’ve discovered Cannon Fodder. It fitted perfectly to the mind of 10 year old boys, having their “base camp” somewhere in the forest, jumping and sneaking, tossing invisible grenades and shooting guns carved from piece of wood.
In Cannon Fodder, you commander a few-men squad, going on a mission. Desert, jungle, arctic – you’ll visit them all. You see the action from above. You march and look around carefully for enemies. You can shoot them, you can treat them with grenade or bazooka. You can also split your team into 3 squads and switch between them to perform their tasks. All in all, sounds simple, but the game is very fun to play. It’s also quite cruel, voices of wounded or dying soldiers can be too disturbing for younger audience. To pass later levels, you would have to develop an evil strategy to overcome all your enemies and save your life. I remember countless sessions of us discussing which approach will turn out to be best – swim from the east, attack from north, create a diversion from inside, etc. etc. Each time you started a new mission, you could see a line of new war recruits forming and a big hill with graves of these who didn’t make it. Bizarre as it may sound, there was something in this game, that actually made us think about value of life. We tried very hard to play with first squad and if we’ve lost someone (I remember the names even now – Jools, Jops, Stoo, RJ), we’ve really felt it and even saluted :) Later, the best among us was not the one who got to the last level, but the one who managed to get Jools and Co. through all this hell.
The music theme “War Has Never Been So Much Fun” was very popular among amiga gamers. It felt differently back then, games rarely had intros like this and without any voice singing. While we were waiting for the game to load from floppy disk, we were already clapping and tapping to the music in our heads. Then it finally loaded and we could sing with it. Never been so much fun!
There’s also other nice piece from this game, played on screen showing “Heroes in Victory”. This is the first song I’ve taught my brother to play. Here’s someone’s very nice guitar interpration (quite close to original) –
More about Cannon Fodder –