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:
Very Positive (14 reviews) - 85% of the 14 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (1,339 reviews) - 79% of the 1,339 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 28, 2012

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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

Mac OS X
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • OSX:10.4 (OSX Tiger or Greater)
    • Processor:1.6 Ghz Core 2 Duo
    • RAM:1GB RAM
    • Graphics:Intel GMA X3100
    • Disk:300 mb
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (14 reviews)
Mostly Positive (1,339 reviews)
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1,026 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Recently Posted
135.9 hrs
Posted: September 26
This was my second game on steam. I regret not putting more hours into this sometimes. So I'm goingto list my pros and cons because why not.
Pros: Has multiple factions to play from, Has an a modding community, Doesn't really have alot of bugs, Controls feel solid, Has good physics.
Cons: Crash's occasionally, Has a limited choice of maps but that can be fixed with mods.

In a nutshell: This game has a few bugs but otherwise I recommend it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
191.1 hrs
Posted: September 25
So, first off, im just going to say that this game is awesome. If you have been looking at it for a while, unsure whether to buy it or not, i would totally recommend buying and trying, i was unsure if i wanted it, but when i were reading about it, i eventually choose to buy and try. and i have been playing it alot since i bought it. I'm very satisfied with the content, plus, you can also download alot of cool mods and play on many diffrent scenes. If you like wierd wacky and (often) chaos filled games, i recommend this game for you.

Buy and Try.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
9.6 hrs
Posted: September 25
It is fun for like 1 hour and then you have already done everything that is remotely entertaining. If it had online multiplayer it could have been a much better game because of added longevity but as it is it isnt worth the price.
I bought it when it was early access and it definitly did not deliver.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vinesause Joel
69.6 hrs
Posted: September 24
buy but first ♥♥♥♥ING UPDATE IT
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.6 hrs
Posted: September 11
(Please check the discussion page before judging my review. You will see that I'm not the only one to believe this game is abandoned, that this developer does not care for its fans and is only in it for the money. Discussions ahead that I found that explain my review.)

About updates

About Development

Plantoid Pioneers...

Is the game dead?

Cortex Command 2?


Save your money.

Just save your money. Please. Do me this small favor. I'll never bother you again...

Why you ask?

There are way better games on offer then this broken, never to be worked on again, maybe one more patch just to appease the nay sayers, hunk of ancient code.

Some people say "Buy it when it's on sale!"

Did they also tell you that this game has been in developement since 2011 (maybe even further back), and STILL its the same game.

Hardly anything has changed. This game is not done, and is in need of a lot of TLC.

Please. Please, just save your money.

Still won't heed my words?

Check the developers online site for their new game that surprisingly looks like the old one. The site is hardly ever updated and those pics and videos seem a bit shady if you ask me. I can take photos of myself at the receptions desk of big corporations and say they gave me the thumbs up too. Where is the proof? Where is the interactions? The reviews?

On Planetoid Pioneers. Their other never to be finished game.

Data Realms
Just finish Cortex Command. It has so much potential! Don't make the modders float your boat while you sail on peoples hard earned money.

Maybe one day this review will be a thumbs up too.

Cortex Command. You were my first early access title, before early access was even a thing.

You broke my heart.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and If you must get this game, please wait for a sale. Cortex Command is not worth 20 dollars.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
There are a lot of 'Boo-hooers' and 'nay-sayers' in the review section because of a number of reasons over the course of this game's development. I won't say they're wrong to hold those opinions but I will say they're wrong for trying to sink this game when it needed their support the most. The game is fun, no one will deny that. I would even say $19.99 fun. I spent a lot of time messing with the engine, the scenarios and conquest modes and that was even before it was on steam. There's plenty to do and you can even do it with couch co-op. That comes standard. Then there's the modding and that takes you to a whole new level with added mechanics, ships, characters, factions. I highly recommend the game despite the rocky development due to a miscommunication between data realms and the consumers.

This was one of Steam's first Early Access titles as the video tries to describe. It wasn't a good move and many people starting blasting the game with negative reviews which hindered the game's development. Data Realms is a business and it costs money to run it so when the cash flow slows it becomes a vicious cycle of bad reviews, slow profit and slow development. I've been following the game since way back in early stages of development. I know about all the promises that couldn't be kept and sure it's a bummer, but at it's core it's still a great standalone game. The modding community is solid, the local play is solid. You're going to have fun and, since nothing can be done about the fanbase drama, that's all that matters at this point. Who knows with a resurgence of interest Data Realms could finally give this game the TLC it deserved Don't let the reviews sway you from a unique experience that no other game hits quite like Cortex Command. Enjoy the features it has now, then get pleasantly surprised if new stuff comes down the line.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
151.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
its a good game, good music, cool factions and looks like it was made by micheal bay. so its worth its price. but wait theres workshop oh my god if you are 50 50 on buying this game here is your scale tipper and its easy to mod your self (if you have time) and even better it co op so after you pumped hours playing alone in your mums basement call your friends over (if you have any) and play until after half an hour they get bored and ask to go home
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
39.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 18
It has a ♥♥♥♥ing warhammer 40k mod on it, enough said, just buy it... Just but it already, there is even a star wars mod on it. Still dont want it? You can crash a ♥♥♥♥ing rocket right into an enemy's entire army, then proceede to spam crabs. my favorite anime
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 19
This is on OS X.

Pie menu not working - it just does not show up for some reason. XBOX 360 gamepad not working.

Intant fail.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
28.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
If michael bay made a game.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
435 of 475 people (92%) found this review helpful
468 people found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 2, 2015
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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124 of 133 people (93%) found this review helpful
100 people found this review funny
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2015
Jesus, this game is amazing.

It's like that time when you were a kid, and you had your action figures and were all like "OH NO, ROBOT ALIENS!" and you had one in your hand and made it cartwheel in, making swoosh noises as it smashes into the ground and looks up all like "ROAR! Robot Aliens are here to destroy you." And then you grab the Master Chief action figure and he's all like "Not today, Robot Aliens!" and starts laying waste to a horde of aliens with a big laser machine gun, but then a grenade blows up next to him, and you pull off his legs and you're all like "Oh no, Master Chief!" and he's all like "Don't worry, I don't need legs to kick ♥♥♥!" and you're all like "You kinda do...", but by that point there's a bunch of space marine drop pods all coming down to back him up so it doesn't even matter, and then a bunch more robot aliens start coming in and the space marines and Master Chief are just pumping lead into the main doorway, but then the bullet casings start piling up in the doorway behind them and Master Chief is like "You guys need to get out of here, or you'll end up trapped by bullet casings!" and the space marines are like "That's a ♥♥♥♥ing stupid ♥♥♥ justification for a epic sacrifice scene..." and Master Chief's all like "I've definitely had worse." But by that point there's a bunch of AT-STs lumbering for the doorway, so the space marines are all like "later, brah", and Master Chief starts an epic hold out in the room, and a bunch of laser fire blows his left arm off, but he pulls out his pistol and he's all like "SUCK ON THIS, ROBOT ALIENS!" and starts shooting at the AT-STs, which is super useless but it looks really cool. Then, just when it looks like all hope is lost, an inbound robot alien dropship accidentally bumps into a wall as it tries to drop off more robot aliens and it spirals out of control, smashing into the AT-ST's and sending chunks of them everywhere. One of them hits Master Chief in the face and tears off his helmet, and with 5 HP left, as he quickly bleeds out, Master Chief gets one final moment of peace before ragdolling facefirst into a mine and getting blown to ♥♥♥♥ing pieces.


(Check the system requirements because the physics modeling is CPU intensive, $20 purchase might leave you a little salty, keep an eye out for summer and winter sales, as it routinely goes down to $5, anything $10 or below will leave you with no regrets purchasing.)
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155 of 180 people (86%) found this review helpful
393.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2014
some people might not get the importance of mods in this game,you shouldn't expect to have a lot of fun with this game if you dont play with mods on, because they add so much content and interesting scenarios to the game.

in my honest opinion, it's a pretty good game, you'll probably get a few laughs and good times out of it, also seeing as how you can play with buddies split-screen, but you will definately also rage at it once in a while.
here's the website of the devs and where you'll find the mods (mods are in the fan forums section);

i'll list a couple that people should definately check out if they want to play this game here;

there are two kinds of mods that you'll find in the fan forums; mods and scenes. scenes are general scenarios, such as a base assault or an entirely redone campaign. mods are, well, mods. factions, weapons, you name it. someone even made a filter to make the game dark and gritty, and someone made tiberium from command and conquer.

Warhammer 40K imperium of man: a massive mod that adds pretty damn overpowered soldiers and weapons into the game, but not so op that it's no fun to play them, you can feel very powerful with the soldiers, but they're not indestructible, and they're fairly expensive. one thing i should note is that with the soldiers with jetpacks you can do a dash in the direction your mouse is pointing by pressing shift+up.
there's additional instructions for how to make the individual factions other than the standard blue space marines available on the forum page.
Unitec: *note: it's very important that you download the 1.05 compatible version that weegee posted on page 136 of the thread. otherwise it wont work, unless you're using an older version of the game.*
the unitec mod is really amazing, it adds 3 inredible factions into the game which each have a big variety of weapons to use, it's really incredible how much this mod has to offer. i'd like to note that you can enable hidden weapons in Unitec.rte/Devices/Weapons.ini and change the ones you dont see in the in-game menu to either 1 or 0 (depending on what it's already set to)
Darkstorm: very cool mod with quite a few interesting devices that will light your enemies ablaze (the fire on them will light other units that walk into them on fire as well) or freeze enemies to death. the warhammer mod uses this fire mechanic as in their mod as well.
SAW: you should really just take a look at the thread, the artwork that's been done of this is incredible, and it's fairly satisfying to use as well.
Kettenkrad's wehrmacht: this mod. this. mod. it's nazi and absolutely fabulous. i've seen tanks and artillery as well in this mod, but i think they were in earlier versions of it. it's worth a try to install earlier versions of it and see if they still work. i'd also like to post and additional mod for this one, since it fits very, very well. yes indeed, 'tis undead hitler. (none's post)

ssl assault: if you're bored of the good ol' bunker breaches, this is a brand new, easy to install scene which introduces 3 new ones (not under bunker breach, but under a new one called ssl assault 1-3) the first two of which being assaults against the coalition with no counterattacks, and the third being an attack against techion with a lot of counterattack once you reach exit the first building you go into.
Cortex Shock: HOLY COW THIS IS GOOD, i almost forgot this one, it's an adventure scenario that puts you through various fairly hard levels, get your game face on for this one. there is some mod compatibility in this, but it'll be better explained on the mod page.
SHIELD: Under Siege: this is a scene that requires the Unitec mod i listed, it's a fantastic campaign with 14 levels that each has unique oblectives and hardcore gameplay, very very fun, but be careful not to lose your units, you will instantly lose. the mod is discontinued, but there should be enough content to make anyone happy. i very much recommend getting this mod.
Prison Escape 1-3: i really think you should just start playing this without any other words from me. 3 fantastic missions with an incredible feat of scripting at the end.
Unmapped Lands 2: this scene is very simple to play, but it can also get very long the longer you play, because the AI gets so much gold that he simply never runs out when he's attacking you. there's a manual in the thread for how to play the games.

and that's it. i hope you enjoy playing with mods, since i certaintly have done. there's a bunch more mods on the forums that you can find, but i'll leave it there.
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114 of 132 people (86%) found this review helpful
45 people found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2015
The grenades work like grenades

Your body works like your body

The armor works like armor

The bullets work like bullets

The environment works like an environment

The blood works like blood

The jetpack works like a jetpack

10/10, other games just can't get these simple things right.
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115 of 139 people (83%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
166.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
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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