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 (965 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 28, 2012

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"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"

Recent updates View all (5)

March 28

Cortex Command Build 31 released: NO MORE OBJECT LIMITS

Evgeniy “Weegee” Vigovskiy
Stefan “Abdul” Winberg
Ken “CaveCricket48″ Vu Do &
Jesús “GranPC” Higueras Pica

bring you a MASSIVE update (on Steam right now, Humble shortly):

Major features:
  • THE MOID (OBJECT COUNT) LIMIT IS GONE*!!! (*Not truly gone, but hardly reachable)
  • Randomized maps: create a map once, play it forever
  • Bunker prefabs: build your bunker of any size in no time
  • AI skill sliders: bored? We have ‘Unfair’ AI skill for ya.
  • Global scripts: add some pepper to any activity or control AI units in the campaign your way.
  • Mod manager: no more .rte renaming!
  • Constructor tool: AI brains seal themselves in tunnels to live long (and probably even prosper).
  • Visible inventory: guess no longer about how many nukes you have left in your pockets.
  • Scenes previews: you don’t have to remember all those scene names.
Content updates:
  • 36 randomized maps for the campaign.
  • Almost 200 bunker prefabs.
  • New Dummy weapon – Lancer.
  • Wounds, jetpacks, headshot damage multipliers, generic variables – all exposed to Lua.
Other improvements and fixes:
  • Deployments can be used instead of units to make your map compatible with any player-selected techs.
  • AI skill adjustments.
  • Resolution selection fixes.
  • HSplitScreen and VSplitScreen work just like before.
  • Secret endless campaign mode.
  • Tooltips on/off checkbox.
  • Steam can be manually disabled if any start-up problems arise.
  • Diggers create tunnels which way easier to walk through.
  • Factions balance tweaks.
  • Campaign strategic AI tweaks.
  • Campaign tactical tweaks.
  • You can safely set health more that 100, yet it’s still not recommended.
  • Foreign items can be removed from the buy menu.
  • Press CTRL+W to dump the entire world to .BMP file.
  • Author can specify default gold, fog of war and other options for your activity and prevent player from changing them.
  • Some activities may load scenes while discarding any pre-placed actors.
  • Deployments now work correctly in scenario/skirmish modes. No more zombie spawns!
  • AI actors in sentry mode no longer ignore enemies after reloading.
  • The jet-pack mass indicator use jet-pack strength instead of hard-coded values.
  • Small objects are less likely to mysteriously gib after a collision. (MOs now automatically gib when AngularVel > 2000/(MaxRadius+1) instead of 100).
  • Meta Game: Crafts with MaxPassengers = 0 as are not used as drop crafts by the AI
New ini-properties:
  • “AutoStabilize” (1 or 0) for ACDropShips. Enable/disable hard coded use of the upper thrusters, see the Dummy Drop Ship for a lua stabilization script.
  • “ScuttleIfFlippedTime” for Dropships and Rockets. Craft gib if upside-down more than this value in ms. 4000ms by default, disable with -1.
  • “LoudnessOnGib” [0..1] for MOSRotatings
  • “LoudnessOnEmit” [0..1] for AEmitters
  • and many more here
Lua changes:
  • Exposed MinThrowVel and MaxThrowVel for ThrownDevice
  • and many more here

Build 31 is out for Windows and Mac OS X right now! The Linux version is being worked on and should be released shortly.

Also, sign up for the Pioneer Program and be part of what’s next from Data Realms, already 5+ years in the making:

28 comments Read more

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
255 of 279 people (91%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
One of my men jumped out of a crashing dropship and lost his arms and legs due to the resulting explosion, he then jetpacked into the air and used the force of his descent to crush two enemy soldiers with his torso. Afterwards he flew into a landing enemy dropship and made it crash before bleeding out.

A true hero that will never be forgotten.
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40 of 52 people (77%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
49.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
Cortex Command is Worms Armaggedon IN REAL TIME, have you ever played liero? Its that in a nutshell BUT BETTER you cant really explain this game so you have to play it to know it

but the best way to explain it is:

YOU ARE A BRAIN IN A BUNKER, REMOTE CONTROL BODIES, DIG FOR GOLD,BUY NEW BODIES,KILL DUDES,WIN.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
A lot of people seem to be confused by this game. They probably expected some epic story mode or intense multiplayer battles, and end up disappointed because CC doesn't have these features. But it has something different: An incredible sandbox experience.

Do you want to know how I play it? I load up a map of Skirmish Defense, enable unlimited gold and that my brain can be placed anywhere, then build an unbreachable subterranean bunker and start the game. Now the real fun begins. Wave after wave of enemys will try to tunnel a way to my brain, but this task is complicated by the fact that I constantly drop crates filled with pineapple grenades and molotov cocktails on their heads and watch their bodies explode into gore.
Soon, the whole battlefield is covered in body parts and debris. The never ending waves of enemies have to crawl trough a horrible mess of flesh from their fallen brethren, only to be ripped apart by the next crate bomb. If this gets boring, I set up a Sniper with a high powered Anti-Vehicle rifle on a hilltop. It is just too damn entertaining to shoot a drop ships' engines out and then finish the remaining crew with a single, multiple-body-penetrating shot.

The completely desctructible environment is just so awesome to mess with. When you fire bullets at the ground, you can see them traveling through the dirt and coming to a halt. The game even takes into account what weapon was used - bullets of rifles will bury much deeper than the ones of pistols.
This also introduces some interesting mechanics in terms of bunker design. Depending on the angle from where the shot was fired, a bullet will either ricochet off a wall or penetrate it.
Exploding grenades produce shrapnel that rips apart even the toughest enemy. There is even a Chainsaw Gun. Guess what it does. Yes, it fires Chainsaws.

Only problem with it are the lazy developers. This game has been in development forever, and nothing significantly has changed. The devlog is updated twice a year max, and its been ages since the last release. This makes the 20$ pricetag feel like a rip-off, since you're buying an unfinished product that probably will never be finished.

If you can pick it up at sale, though... go for it!
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45 of 67 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
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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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
63.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Okay, so...

I love this game even though I have not modded it. I must have played the tutorial mission well over 70 times. Using the various weapons to destroy the enemies body part by body part is something I recommend putting on your bucket list.

Controlling your own personal fedex space rocket is something that never gets old. Flying your fedex space rocket into the enemy hover ship is also something that never gets old.

I would not use the word "strategy" to describe Cortex Command. This game is not about strategy; it's not about much of anything as far as I can tell. However, if any of you are interested in the physical and scientific behavior of rocket propelled chainsaws, this game will answer your questions.
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32 of 51 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
298.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
56.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
this game needs LAN multiplayer T.T
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Got the best modding comunity i have ever seen,
and you can trample robots with torsos straped to jetpacks.
9/10
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
60.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
A brilliant side scrolling game that mixes tactics with economy management, with an active modding community to keep it ticking over.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
♥♥♥♥ing fun ♥♥♥ game that's underrated as hell and cheap ($20 or 3 hours of work, depends on where you live though obviously)
Imagine a game where you can kill someone by literally slamming yourself into them incredibly fast and watching as they split into a dozen or more pieces.

Yeah that's Cortex Command for you, not saying this in a bad way either, this is literally one of the only games I've ever played where I end up dying in some hilarious/unorthodox way every single time I play.

The game actually has a pretty active modding community, with tons of new factions/weapons/tools/scenarios etc being made available online and on the Steam Workshop.

The only real downside about this game is the movement, let me put it this way.

It's as if someone took QWOP it made it into a sidescrolling shooter. That's the best way to describe the movement.

But if you get used to how the movement in this game is then you'll definitely sit just fine with this game, ♥♥♥♥ing fun ♥♥♥ game man I swear.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
First of all, don't let the Metacritic score decieve you, it deserves waaaay better than a 44.

This game reminds me of those good, old flashgames where you pick your clunky, pixelated troops and let them roam around the map to invade and destroy the enemy's base, i loved those!
Well this game is one of those, but sooo much better in every way!
This game focusses on building your own bunker to protect your dissembodied brain from the hostiles invading it.
You pick your rooms, walls and barricades from a wide variety of different models and easily place them down.
Then you choose your starting units from a large list, ranging from zombies to T-1000-ish killerbots which you can customise freely to wield a huge amount of different weapons.
Once you've done that, you can switch to any of those units and controll them untill it gets eliminated or you switch to another unit. You can also put it in patroll mode to guard your base, sentry mode to guard a specific area and brain hunt where it will go towards the enemy's bunker and find its way to the brain. And if needed, call down a V2 rocket piloted by a drunk pilot who will probably crash, but still deliver your fully-outfitted troops roughly where you wanted them (or you just lob them from space in a box and let it crash a few metres deep in the sand, forcing them to crawl out of the gaping hole while hostiles throw molotov cocktail inside, fun times!)

I must say, this game is very fun to play, Its simple, creative and action packed!
Hell, i had a soldier once who faced off agains three other robots, his legs got shot of and his rifle got destroyed, so he switched to his pistol and killed all three of them before bleeding out.
It's these awesome moments that make this game so great! Shooting down a dropship and witnessing the soldiers under it getting flattend by it or a squad heroicly fighting off hordes of crash-test dummies while trying to block their entrypoint with a concrete launcher, and all of this happened in those few hours i've played!
Worshop makes it even better, adding in units from other games like Warhammer 40K or Halo makes it much more interessting, even adding in a few new maps is always fun!

The only downsides i've encountered is the clunky menu, the poor UI, lacking tutorial and the fact that there is no Free camera mode.
There barely is a UI besides the circular hold-the-right-mousebutton one which is a little confusing at first, the tutorial is very minimum, but you learn the basics of the game pretty fast anyways. And the camera, well, thats permanently focussed on the unit you are using, so no looking around the place, which is annoying if you hear a dropship nearby, but you can't see it.

But for my final verdict, this game is a must-buy for people who like customising their own troops individualy, who like games that tell stories about how badass the units were in that one battle against those 100 crabs and for those who just like building giant, trap-filled bunkers for the CPU to breach (which it will, he'll just dig into the brain's bunker right away)

I give it a score of 8.5/10, take that Metacritic!
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
So - Its a side on, 2D, sandboxy, RTSishy....shooter...? I think.

You build a bunker, bung your brain in it, then call in troops to defend against / attack an enemy who's generally doing the same thing.

All i know is one of my troops took a pot shot at an enemy dropship that crashed on top of him, its engine flew off hit another enemy dropship that promptly exploded sending its explosive contents flying accross the map which flattened many of it's own troops one of whom sent body parts flying back accross the map before cutting a number of my troops in half and flying towards yet another enemy dropship....you get the picture - pure awesomeness!

Even nice rigs seem to struggle when the map gets a bit full - but its still playable :)

Load skirmish defence - give youself infinite gold - then cackle inanely as the health & safety nightmare begins....and the body parts start to fly >=)
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
70.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Cortex Command is a game I really enjoy. It has complex strategy, great game mechanics, and replayability. The biggest draw of CC is it's sandbox like nature, allowing you to play around, or give yourself a challenge. The biggest flaw with CC is that it really doesn't have much to do in it, it's more of a game that you'll pick up and play from time to time than a deep game you'll spend hours with. That said, it never really gets old unless you play really often, it has dedicated mod support to keep things interesting, and a great multiplayer mode. It may not be deep enough to be worth $20, but if you are willing to pay that, you'll find a solid game that will stay fun for a long time, so long as you don't wear it out. Cortex Command gets a 7.5/10
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
42.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
Personally i think the game is great, its very fun to play, cool music, insane weapons, physics,
superb level design, drones, lots of mods, but... it crashes and needs updates to improve stability.
Yesterday it crashed everytime i died after starting bunker attack game mode and some problems
today as well, so i think its overpriced in its current state, but well worth the money when finished.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
Let me tell you the saga of Derek the soldier

Dereck the soldier was tasked with the suicide mission of storming the mighty enemy brain bunker with 2 comrades, despite being outgunned and outnumbered

This does not stop Derek the soldier

Soon the artillery starts to fall, his weapon is then destroyed and his commander gunned down before even being able to tell for retreat

This does not stop Derek the soldier

Derek charges the enemy bunker, pistol blazing, his fellow comrades running for life. Sadly Derek is hit by the barrage of gunfire and loses both his legs and his arm

This does not stop Derek the soldier

Jet packing to the top of a tower, Derek throws a grenade down knocking out a sniper post, there Derek content with his successes, goes to Valhalla to fight a more worthy foe

Thus is the saga of Derek the Soldier

11/10 would sacrifice Derek for no reason again
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
awesome game
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
"Frigging IGN, your mom's mediocre"

It's such an original and addictive game honestly, I've followed this for quite awhile and put hundreds of hours into this off Steam, I don't understand why it's recieved such a slating when there's so much enjoyment to be had.

Essentially it's real-time 'worms warfare' but you can build your own base and fire chainsaws at people and crash ships into the face of your enemies, all gloriously animated with ragdoll deaths and flying blood-strewn body parts creating quite hilarious results, what isn't to like

And that's without mods, this game has one of the greatest modding communities I've ever came across which gives almost unlimited replayability

10/10 ♥♥♥♥ you IGN, take my money Data Realms
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
I've never been drawn into the game's campaign mode, nor really cared about multiplayer.

However, I could setup a base and shoot down dropships all day long. The pixel-perfect, destructable physics are a joy to watch, and surviving wave after wave with a variety of weapons is a constant source of entertainment.

It's a quirky game, and feels unfinished. But there's a core gameplay nugget in there that never gets old. If you're willing to make your own fun, sandbox style, this is a gem in the rough.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
I've been around since 2008, saw it grow and all. Not exactly worth the money in its current state, honestly.
Here are the pros and cons. The rest is up to you, dear reader.

Pros:
Physics, destruction of virtually anything pixel by pixel
Extremely moddable (+now you don't even need the Datarealms' forums and the good old manual installation, lots of stuff is getting ported to the Workshop)
Great spritework
Lots of fun in a metagame-based campaign, albeit an unfinished one

Cons:
Unfinished
Was an early-access ripoff before it was cool and everyone was doing it
Only local MP, no online play (splitscreen is still fun, but real MP is actually completely possible, as once proven by the awesome modders of Datarealms)
Bugs, no mods/tweaks that fix them
In development hell still (+complete with Data switching to other crap)
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
38.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
killed enemy guard unit with top of dropship...crushed an enemy onslaught with a torrent of crabs...called down a planet-cracker of crabs aswell...brain was killed by crab...mined gold with a rocket engine...shot a hole into a 2.5' thick bunker wall with an Uzi...

15/10 Would recommend.
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