"Cannon Fodder" is a long existing strategy title for various consoles including the Gameboy Color. Its central theme revolves heavily around war and elimination of an opposing force. Gameplay keeps with other platforms. Prior to engaging in a campaign the player will be shown a short text briefing regarding the mission that lies ahead. Soldiers will then be deployed into the field and required to execute any designated tasks, usually to eliminate enemy forces or reveal certain objects/locations. The controls are rather difficult due to the overhead view that the game is presented in. There is a crosshair which guides movement and firing, and this has free movement across any point of the display; it can be very difficult to accurately aim one's weapon quickly and many casualties can be seen while the player is making the necessary adjustments for accurate aiming. As previously stated, both movement and firing depends on crosshair positioning which is guided by the arrow keys and the "A" button will execute movement while "B" will fire. Graphics make excellent use of three dimensional animations prior to gameplay. The scene begins initially from an army barracks for briefing which is rendered fully with three dimensional imagery. The game itself, though, is presented with two dimensional sprites that seem to be rather conflicting in application. Both aspects of this graphical interface are great but do appear to "clash" with one another. Nonetheless, colouring is both vivid and features of a wide palette that made use of the full technology available to the console. I particularly liked the audio section of this title. There are numerous voice prompts throughout gameplay, such as "I can see the enemy!" when an opposing force spots the player's soldiers. This I felt to enhance the game's experience immensely. Overall, "Cannon Fodder" provides a very challenging game for the wrong reason (flawed controls) but is redeemed by the clear effort shown by producers in creating an excellent package overall. It's likely that this title would provide suitable replay value to its players.
An all time Amiga classic brought back from the dead on Game Boy Color, but is it any good? Well, the first thing that strikes you when you switch the game on is the opening FMV and music. Yes really, a pre-rendered opening movie on the GBC, and the music even has the original "singing"! The first thing you have to do to start a game is enter your name, and it saves a "game file" for you. The game starts out in an army camp with a handful of new recruits at your disposal. The camp is rendered in pseudo 3D and looks pretty impressive. From here you can save your progress, view various statistics or start the next mission. The missions are split into various numbers of campaigns. These take place in different locations, such as jungles, snow fields and deserts. The opening few skirmishes are fairly easy introductory levels, and usually involve killing a handful of enemy troops. Later on the game gets very tough, with the enemies brandishing rocket launchers and hiding away in armoured fortresses. The flora and fauna, too, will hinder your would-be heroes' efforts. In the jungle, for example, it is all too easy to trip on a trap laid by the (not so friendly) natives, or sink to your doom in a pit of quick sand. Game play consists of controlling your squad of army recruits using a crosshair-shaped pointer. Click one button to direct all your men to the crosshairs, click the other and they will fire a volley of machine gun fire to where ever you are pointing. Press both together and a grenade will be tossed in the general direction, or a bazooka shell fired. This control scheme is similar to many PC "real time strategy" games, and is very simple to use after just a few minutes. Unfortunately the simple control interface is also the games biggest flaw - it is extremely difficult to maneuver the pointer around with any degree of accuracy or speed using the Game Boy's D-pad controller. Often you wi ll often find your men shot to pieces by the enemy simply because the pointer wouldn't move to where you wanted quickly enough. Another feature that is absent from the GB version is the ability to tactically split your squadron up. This makes some levels virtually impossible, as the original idea was to attack enemy bases and installations in a "pincer" formation. Without being able to have, for example, one man rushing a building while another provides cover fire, the game feels a bit dumbed down. The graphics and animations of the soldiers are particularly nice, and the programmers have done a good job of recreating the atmosphere in miniature. Sometimes it is difficult to pick out the soldiers from the background, but as this seems realistic (soldiers wear camouflage for a reason!), it would be tough to criticise. The sound too is good, with some very clear sampled speech and spot effects. It can occasionally come across with too much static crackling, but generally quality is as good as I have heard from the handheld. After each mission has been completed, you return to the base. Here your soldiers are promoted, and the dead remembered. It is very poignant, but I do miss the original "green hill", which bore the graves of your lost comrades. Fortunately, after each mission you also get a fresh batch of eager new recruits to send out on the next mission. When you run out of soldiers completely, i.e. when the enemy has wiped out your entire army, it is Game Over. You have to start again, or return to a previous save. Should you get the game, you will see the "Game Over" screen an awful lot... Overall then, Cannon Fodder on Game Boy Color is a tough little nut. Uncompromising in its difficulty level, it may be too much for many games players. The biggest gripe I have is with the D-Pad control system - it just doesn't feel right. However, there is very little that could have been done given the GB' ;s limited options. Persevere, however, and the classic game play is mostly all there, albeit without some of the more tactical options.