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In most shooting games; whether they be first person, third person or otherwise, grenades would be one of the weapons available for use. Now grenades are designed to hurt and kill, and prove to be very effective methods against the enemy. As one of the characters in the Australian TV series Fire put it, lobbing a grenade is the best and quickest way to split up a platoon.
Now not every game that has grenades would see the enemy use them, though many of them do. They are usually a One-Hit Kill for the player, and most games that use them would also remember that the AI also has guns, and make use of them accordingly.
However that is not this trope. Grenade Spam is when it all goes wrong, when more grenades are used than a soldier can conceivably carry, to the point that there are more grenades than bullets used. This can and does result in incredible frustration in multiplayer and single player alike, as it is seen as a cheap tactic especially when the computer infinitely spawns grenades out of thin air.
- The Call of Duty games are notorious for this. Beginning with the first Modern Warfare game grenades would be spawned onto the map at a not even remotely fair rate. It got so bad that advertising for the game included a Public Service Announcement about grenade spam. Naturally, Battlefield took the mickey out of this.
- The trope is not so bad in games outside the Modern Warfare series or in multiplayer, but it can feel like there's a helicopter with an infinite grenade launcher constantly targeting you.
- Among the series, World At War is notorious for being the grenade spammiest game. It's not uncommon to have a minimum of three grenades around you at a given moment. Oh, and injured enemies close to dying will often pull out a grenade when you get close, just for good measure.
- Critical Miss parodies this in Call of Duty Black Ops multiplayer with "The Stoning of Saint Bluntninja".
- Mass Effect 3 has grenades used to a ludicrous degree on multiplayer gold maps. This with the high level of Nintendo Hard enemies makes playing an exercise in pleasure and pain. YMMV, but the single-player enemies' usage of grenades can seem pretty spammy as well, especially on higher difficulties.
- Luchadore specialists in Saints Row the Third carry grenade launchers, which shoot out about twenty at a time. Even though these grenades aren't that powerful, being near them when they detonate causes the player character to stagger about for a moment.
- Star Wars Battlefront has mooks that are infamous for their reliance on grenade spam. The Vanguard and Soldier classes take it to an almost-trollish level, chucking grenades left and right 'till the character finally eats it.
- Resident Evil 5 is a borderline case when grenades come into play. For a game that only has a few enemies that shoot, the grenade exclusive mercenaries that make constant use of grenades becomes a little jarring on Professional Mode.
- Team Fortress Classic had problems with this due to every class being given grenades and the incentive to spam them whenever death seemed inevitable. Grenades were restricted to one class (and then only from a Grenade Launcher) in the sequel to prevent this.
- Fallout: New Vegas has dynamite spam. When the player is at an extremely low level. The Powder Gangers, likely the first human enemies a player will encounter, are armed with about 3 sticks of good ol' TNT apiece. And will throw them en masse. Now, while dynamite is actually the weakest of the game's explosive weapons, it's still plenty strong enough to cripple and severely damage a low-level player, and has the largest blast radius of the thrown explosives, so good luck dodging. If you abuse V.A.T.S. (or are just an extremely good shot), you can shoot the dynamite in their hands or hanging from their belt and cause the explosion to kill them, but you void the experience for killing them normally if you do so.
- Not to mention the existence of a Grenade Machinegun. Take on the Boomers with one if you need to see your screen filled with as many explosions as possible.
- A certain breed of Elite Mooks in Tron Evolution will repeatedly throw out groups of grenades that make getting close impossible without taking too much damage. Since most of your attacks are ranged this isn't as bad as it sounds, but it's still annoying.
- Ogres in Quake do this on Nightmare difficulty. Ditto for Gunners in Quake II, with their auto-fire grenade launchers.
- The SuperDragon from Perfect Dark is really bad for this, being a repeating grenade launcher with a large magazine and a fast reload. In addition, enemies tend to drop five rounds when they die, meaning you end up with more grenades than you can plausibly use in a single level.
- Halo: CE Anniversary offers a rare opportunity for the player character, with an infinite ammo skull. There is also another skull that gives those explosions a much bigger blast radius. Caution is advised.