#235 Cannon Fodder

Posted: 18th July 2017 by Jeroen in Games
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618th played so far

Genre: Action/Strategy
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1993
Developer: Sensible Software
Publisher: Virgin Interactive

Partially because of this blog, I started reading up more on older games, to learn about their background and find out more about them.

Cannon Fodder is one of the games that I feel are often discussed in them. There’s some impact to your actions in them that make the games more meaningful than they otherwise would be. I’m not sure if it works that way for me, but we’ll have to see.

Our Thoughts

Cannon Fodder sees you take out a squad of soldiers to fufill a couple of tactical objectives – kill everyone, blow up several buildings, that sort of stuff. The group you take out grows a bit in the first few levels, so there’s a small squad that follows your cursor. It’s a decent game, taking you through pretty varied levels. Your characters level up as they survive missions, making them more valuable.

But not that much. As you are more succesful, more soldiers join your army. They make for an excellent replacement if one of your guys gets taken out and dies – permadeath in that sense is a thing. It means that you won’t bond too much with each character, because they are expendable – real cannon fodder.

And with that, they show you tombstones for each of your dead recruits. More recruits still join you, but it feels dark. You have a decent strategy game, but what it really talks about is how these soldiers are so easily replaced.

It’s a subtle statement, one the game just as much implies as it says. These characters are expendable, but it doesn’t let you forget about them either.

Final Thoughts

Cannon Fodder is a fine strategy game, but to be honest, it would have been forgettable if that was all it was. However, the things it implies regarding cannon fodder is where it sets itself apart for me.