Choose between different factions, with their own set of expendable soldiers, mechas, and weapons. Protect your brain, mine gold, and destroy the enemy cortex in his bunker complex!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (789 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 28, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"This game has been in development for years and is a fun game to come back to from time to time. It's really hard to explain. Might wanna get it on sale"

Steam Workshop

About This Game

A project over eleven years in the making, Cortex Command has rich 2D pixel graphics coupled with an extremely detailed physics engine, which allows for highly replayable and emergent real-time action. There is also a turn-based strategic campaign mode which ties the tactical fights together, featuring persistent terrains that will accumulate the battle scars, debris, and bunker ruins through your entire campaign.

Choose from several unique technology factions, each featuring their own sets of expendable soldier bodies, mechas, weapons, tools, and landing craft. Protect your brain, mine the gold, and destroy the enemy cortex in his bunker complex!

Key Features:

  • Fully destructible environments - The gold you need to excavate is sprinkled throughout the terrain of each scene. Use special digging tools to blast your way into the dirt and debris. All the pieces of bodies and ships from your struggles will fall to the ground and permanently add to the battlefield. Get more powerful (and expensive) diggers and you can even tunnel into your enemies' bunkers from below!

  • Strategic metagame campaign – The intense, real-time tactical battles are put in a greater strategic context in the Campaign mode, thus giving each battle meaning and consequence. The gold-rich terrains on the planet and the defensive bunkers you build to defend them are persistent from fight to fight. This means there will be layers of debris, bunker ruins, tunnels, and corpses piled up in layers, telling the history of each place throughout each campaign played.

  • In-game buying menu - At any time and place during the game, bring up a powerful menu to order new bodies and equipment, all delivered at the location and by the transport ship of your choosing. Rockets are cheaper but unreliable and harder to land. Drop ships are far more expensive but can quickly deploy entire groups of puppets onto difficult terrain. Ships and equipment returned to the TradeStar are refunded to your account.

  • Build your own bunker - At the start of most missions, you are able to take your time and build your own command bunker from scratch. Easily design twisting tunnels and place doors, traps, and turrets to thwart your enemies' intrusions! Pre-deploy and equip bodies in and around your installation to prepare yourself for your objectives. Don't spend too much though, or you won't have enough funds left when the mission starts!

  • Four-player cooperative and/or versus multiplayer - Gather your friends and plug in those game controllers! Play skirmish or campaign missions with or against up to three of your buddies. 2 vs 2, 1 vs. 3, 4 vs. the CPU - it's up to you! (rhyme intended). Flexible control settings allow you to use the keyboard, keyboard + mouse, or any generic game controller you can find and plug in.

  • Built-in editors and modding - Several in-game editors allow you to easily create your own stuff. The game's engine is built to make it very simple to modify and add your own content. Design your own missions, guys, ships, weapons, tools, bombs, and shields - and easily share them with your friends. Join and download some fantastic mods from the community at the Data Realms Fan Forums.

  • Cortex Command is still being improved - The campaign mode and missions are fully playable, if not in a completely polished state yet. If you buy the game today, you will also have access to any and all future versions (not including sequels!)

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1GHz processor
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 150MB HDD space
    • Video Card: 640x480 (VGA) resolution monitor
    • Additional: Should run on any PC released within the past 5 years.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 3GHz or faster
    • Memory: 2GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 150MB HDD space
    • Video Card: 1920x1080 (full HD 1080p) resolution monitor
    • Additional: Should run on any PC released within the past 5 years.
    Minimum:
    • OSX:10.4 (OSX Tiger or Greater)
    • Processor:1.6 Ghz Core 2 Duo
    • RAM:1GB RAM
    • Graphics:Intel GMA X3100
    • Disk:300 mb
Helpful customer reviews
50 of 59 people (85%) found this review helpful
124.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
This is the best game with a Metacritic score of 44 I've ever played.

Hell, this is one of the most compelling games I've ever played, period. I never got into the metagame, but the individual battles -- where you're digging for loot so you can buy wobbly inverse-kinematics-y troops who arrive in unreliable crashy spaceships and stomp uncertainly across a mushy, shifting battlefield (partially composed of the corpses of previous troops) and then blast off in jetpacks, sometimes splattering against walls, so they can have a chance at maybe putting a bullet in the head of a flamethrower-wielding crash test dummy -- are CRAZY and WONDERFUL.

No description can do justice to the joy of crashing a tiny high-speed rocket full of bombs into an enemy stronghold, or sneaking a lone, powerful (but, again, VERY wobbly) robotic commando through a labyrinthine base equipped with nothing but a plasma pistol and a grenade launcher. This is one of those games where failure is every bit as exciting as success. And the mod community is very active, so if you want to play as a wobbly, two-dimensional Gordon Freeman or Emperor Palpatine, those options are available to you. Cortex Command is a game about physics and glorious stupidity. It's a game about ricocheting a sniper rifle shot off a set of doors and accidentally knocking the rifle out of your own hands. It's a game where, when you're sent to retrieve an object, you sweat the ENTIRE TIME because you're afraid you'll drop the object down a hole or accidentally jetpack yourself right out of the level while holding it.

This game is bliss.
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25 of 32 people (78%) found this review helpful
212.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Awkward, Clunky, and often doesn't work as expected. Normally this would make it a bad game, but you just haven't lived until you've seen a drop ship veer just a little bit too far to the right and cause a 15 man allied platoon to break out into a Decapitation Conga Line with the power of its white-hot main thruster, then immediately thereafter crash into the pile of corpses it just created, explode like it was full of nitroglycerin, AND THEN launch one of it's blast doors across the map, over the mountains of gibs and fallen friends and foes alike, right into YET ANOTHER allied dropship, which then starts the whole process all over again.

Mix in mods and add rains of refrigerators, cluster-nukes and even your very own custom gun that presumably will fire a wall of bullets that creates so much recoil that the guy who fired it instantly sublimates for extra fun.




Also it's got some neato mechanics and gameplay, but you likely won't notice past the endless downpour of dropship parts and chunks of clone-torso.
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20 of 31 people (65%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Cortex Command is conceptually excellent, and decently functional, but still needs a lot of polish to properly express the creative and interesting gameplay mechanics that it offers. It can be difficult to work with at first, and the tutorial could really stand to teach how the shop/build mechanics are used.

I'm optimistically voting this up for now. I'm really, really hoping that this game continues to get updated. This really is a great concept, and I'm excited about that.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
261.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
This is by far my favorite game, it has given many more play than any other game I have ever played, barring Civ and DOTA 2. I attribute this fact to the fact that it can be played over and over again without feeling stale, this is because it has an amazing modding community, with mods ranging from a new weapon, to completly changing the game.

Pros:
Replayability
Great base game
Despite the updates being rare, they do still come, and still provide new content
Slight sense of humor (Look Sir, free crabs!)
Great modding community

Cons:
Fairly costly
Occasionly crashes (Checking the game cache works wonders)
Long loading starting loading screen (This happens when too many mods are installed)
Updates are rare

Attributes:
RTS and a Shooter in one
Terrain destruction
Pixel graphics
Digging
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
This is a good game for maybe 2.50 but the controls are a nightmare. I just came from playing a match where you have to evacuate a brain from a base. This would seem simple enough, exepet for the fact that with the reload action being the same as the pickup action youll be picking up worthless weapons that way you down. This gets extremely annoying because there is always loose guns from dead people everywhere. The ladders mixed with the jetpack are also terrible because the mechanic for the ladders is like glue and the jet pack pushes you forward into it so you always get stuck in a small corridor trying to just fly about a meter up to get to the next section. If you try to use the actual ladder, it seems your guy will just get tired and randomly fall off of it. I didnt know they uped the price to $20 (seeing how I got this in a humble bundle a while ago) but the fact is that this game isnt worth the $20... at all.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
45.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
this game needs LAN multiplayer T.T
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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
The game had tons of potential, but I feel like development stopped before it was really finished. The control setup is just too wonky to be usable, and the lack of online multiplayer severely kills its longevity.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
35.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Don't even bother with this piece of ♥♥♥♥ unless you have the patience to mod the ♥♥♥♥ out of it.

The ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that made this didn't even bother keeping with their promise of updates, let alone REGULAR updates.

I bought this ♥♥♥♥ some 10 years ago and it's still the same ♥♥♥♥ing ♥♥♥♥ I got it for then as I got it now.

Thankfully I got this for free.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
I WANT MY MONEY BACK!! the game when its loading up it keeps Crashing! or can sombody please help me.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
Extremely buggy, prone to crashing, and local multiplayer is difficult to propose to friends when the manuevers required to play are so fine and difficult to translate to drunk people.

Not a party game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Looks like it would be fun for you and your friends to play, but it is extremely difficult to even move, game is very unresponsive, and huge learning curve which just ends up making you give up and move on to another game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
It's a fun little game to mess around with. The AI is brutal. If I could play it with a friend, I'm sure I'd enjoy it more. Otherwise, I wouldn't say it's really worth the price tag. Still a cool concept and, like I said, fun to play with.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Terrible game, can't wrap my head around all the positive reviews. Very unfinished game with most of the play-worthy content coming from the mod community. Clunky controls, painfully bad movement, impossible ai, deficient tutorial, no story mode, no point. Do not buy this game for the current $19.99 price or any other until the developer shows siginifcant progress in making this thing more playable and dependent on their own content instead of mods.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Very glitchy, not fun yet. The tutorial leave MUCH to be desired, I was possably more confused after the tutorial.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 1
Kind of hard to believe there a game that's been in active development for as long as this can still be such a crashy mess. Granted, it's a lot of fun when you're able to actually complete a round without the game collapsing in on itself, but it's extremely difficult to suggest that people bother with it when the whole thing is an exercise in frustration.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
While this game has a really cool concept, it's buggy and poorly executed. Basically the idea is that you conrol multiple units in real time to protect your base and destroy your enemy. There is a good variety of units and the terrain is fully destructible but many of the basic mechanics like movement can be buggy and frustrating. Though I'll admit the music is quite good.
If I had any confidence that this game would be updated in the future to fix some of these problems I might change my rating, but as it is the updates are few and far between. If this games sounds like something you might like, pick it up on sale, it's certainly not worth $20.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
GOT IT ON STEAM BECAUSE I BOUGHT THIS GAME BACK IN 2005 SAME AS A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER PEOPLE THINKING IT'D BE FINISHED BY NOW BUT IT'S NOT WHY IS IT NOT FINISHED WHY IS THERE NO MULTIPLAYER I REALLY WANT TO LIKE THIS GAME MORE BUT SERIOUSLY IT'S OLD AND NOT INTERESTING ANYMORE.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Creative gameplay ideas, but the UI, menu design, and motivation for playing are not quite there... Supposedly still in development, but for how long now? . . .
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
This game can be so frustrating, and not in a fun rougelike way, but in the way that horrible AI and mechanics make a game so unfun to play that you would rather jab needles in your eyes.

The terrible unit AI alone makes this game garbage and then pair that with the level design that makes it nearly impossible to traverse due to your units sinking into any all terrain that isn't a bunker.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Game is basically a good idea executed really badly to the point its an overpriced piece of unplayable crap with a lousy control scheme. Its pretty bad when its been in development for 10 years and is basically still unplayable. The latest build now pretty much crashes the game when you try to play scenarios. Sorry this one is definately a no buy. I've tried repeatedly to play it because I like the premise but the game's mechanics just dont work.

Im glad this game only occupies 60 megs of hard drive space and is easily gotten rid of.
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