Cannon Fodder is a mouse controlled arcade-strategy game, developed by Sensible Software and published by Virgin for initially for the Commodore Amiga and later on various other computers and video-game console systems such as the Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes,PC (MS-DOS), Panasonic 3DO, Nintendo SNES, Sega Megadrive etc.
The premise behind the game is simple: Take control of a group of little men and send them around a variety of landscapes looking for other little men to blow up or shoot them in the face. Displaying Sensible Software's special sense of humor and uncanny ability to make wickedly playable games, Cannon Fodder is simultaneously ridiculous and very smart. Much too smart for the media of the time, who were outraged by the game's over the top comic violence and seemingly casual attitude to war, all clearly sarcastic. Weapons include the standard issue machine gun, grenades and bazookas, but the more explosive weapons will need to be found lying around. You will also have to be alert at all times to booby traps too! Back then, none of the equivalents to Cannon Fodder could match Cannon Fodder's ingenious level design and delightful attention to detail. The game's control simplicity is what really makes the game work, and makes it so addicting (much like the i.e. Sensible Soccer game). And do not forget the real message of that game: beneath the whimsical cartoon graphics is a message about the cost of war that will start to weigh down on you as the Boot Hill title-menu screen fills with memorials for your fallen troops whilst other new recruits keep coming....
The MS-DOS version is technically excellent and almost resembling the original (Amiga) version in terms of graphics and sound quality. The graphics are very nice and run only on VGA hardware, with smoothly-moving tiny sprites and detailed environments (jungles, snowy wastes, fortresses and deserty areas etc) all found from the Amiga original version. Note that the game here uses more colors on screen when compared to the Amiga/Archimedes versions but no particular differences found in gameplay screens rather on main menu screens (such as the Boot Hill title-menu). Also, there are several nice animated scenes too i.e. when destroying buildings which easily explode into several pieces around the screen. As far as the sound, the game supports AdLib, Soundblaster and Roland sound hardware here. The sound is great although the introductory tune is composed with AdLib's sound synthesis and does not offer the vocals found on the Amiga version. Fortunately, most of the original sampled SFX are found here in similar quality (like hearing the tortured screams of a mortally wounded enemy, gun fires, ambient jungle sounds etc).
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site) MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996) GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines. SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!