A hard-hitting simultaneous-turn-based tactical game from the creators of Frozen Synapse. Defeat your opponent’s plans on a randomly-generated playfield in this brutal futuresport.
User reviews: Very Positive (187 reviews) - 82% of the 187 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 19, 2015

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Buy Frozen Cortex

Includes a copy of Frozen Cortex for a friend

Buy Frozen Cortex Soundtrack Tier

Everything in the Basic Tier and also MP3 and FLAC versions of the soundtrack

Buy Frozen Cortex Mega Tier

Everything in the Basic and Soundtrack Tiers, a copy of Frozen Synapse, a big bundle of nervous_testpilot and chiptune music and some special in-game customisation items

Buy Frozen Cortex Ultimate Tier

Everything in the Basic, Soundtrack and Mega tiers along with some more in-game customisation items and a special Frozen Synapse inspired team


Recommended By Curators

"Understanding the nuances of Frozen Cortex reveals a deep strategic experience that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Frozen Synapse."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (16)

May 14

Controller Update

This is a small update to the game which adds support for game controllers. Currently the game only supports the Xbox 360 controller (and 3rd party compatible controllers) on Windows but on OS X and Linux it supports a wide variety of controllers including the PS3 and PS4 ones.

Xbox Style Game Controllers
  • Left Stick: Moves the cursor
  • Right Stick: (Iin-game) Moves the camera around
  • Triggers: (in-game) Zooms the camera in and out
  • A Button: Left mouse click/(in-game) places a waypoint
  • B Button: (in-game) Delete waypoint
  • X Button: (in-game) Rewind to start of turn
  • Y Button: (in-game) Play preview
  • Bumpers: (in-game) Switch between players
  • Start Button: (in-game) Prime turn
  • Dpad Up/Down: (in-game) Switch between waypoints
  • Dpad Left/Right: (in-game) Add/remove time from waypoint
PlayStation Style Game Controllers
  • Left Stick: Moves the cursor
  • Right Stick: (Iin-game) Moves the camera around
  • R2/L2 Buttons: (in-game) Zooms the camera in and out
  • ✖ Button: Left mouse click/(in-game) places a waypoint
  • ◯ Button: (in-game) Delete waypoint
  • ◼ Button: (in-game) Rewind to start of turn
  • ▲ Button: (in-game) Play preview
  • R1/L1 buttons: (in-game) Switch between players
  • Start/Options Button: (in-game) Prime turn
  • Dpad Up/Down: (in-game) Switch between waypoints
  • Dpad Left/Right: (in-game) Add/remove time from waypoint

0 comments Read more

May 1

Easy Mode and Older League Modes

Two important things to point out from the Manager Update:

- There's now an Easy Mode which lets you see the AI's plans before they are committed. This is a great way to help new players learn the game, so if you see anyone struggling to get started then point them in that direction.

- The previous League modes which were available from the Single Player Menu are STILL THERE! They're now available by clicking "Basic Leagues" on the right-hand side of the Single Player menu.

2 comments Read more


“Frozen Cortex is one of the deepest strategic experiences on PC”
87% – PC Gamer

“Frozen Cortex’s distilled tension makes each match feel like the best bits of sport and strategy gaming”

“Adaptation, anticipation, creativity: this is what strategy is all about - and this is a game that really gets it”
Recommended – Eurogamer

Just Updated

Frozen Cortex Manager Mode Features

  • AI simulation mode for viewing matches around the league and when you don’t feel like playing a match yourself
  • Set strategic options for the AI and player positions on offense and defense
  • Comprehensive team management options and salary cap system
  • Full post-match and season stats for every individual player
  • Player injuries and mechanical failures
  • 90-team college league featuring draft and huge end-of-season tournament
  • Fill out your college tournament bracket and see how your predictions fare
  • More betting options: bet on both GCL and C.O.L.L.E.G.E. league matches
  • Use winnings to buy armour and customise your team
  • Full play-by-play summary of every match that happens in the game world

Free Copy For A Friend

Get a free Frozen Cortex: Basic Edition for a friend with every order.

What's In The Tiers?


  • A full and unrestricted copy of the game for a friend


  • Everything in the basic tier
  • FLAC and MP3 versions of the soundtrack


  • Everything in the soundtrack tier
  • In-Game customisation items
    • "Mega Helmet"
    • "Astonishing Trophy"
    • Special Celebration Animation
  • Steel and Glass EP
  • Chiptune Bundle
  • Determinance Soundtrack
  • Frozen Synapse Complete Pack
  • Behind-The-Scenes Music Production Video (coming soon)
  • Developer Video Interviews (coming soon)


  • Everything in the Mega tier
  • More In-Game customisation items
    • "Incredible Trophy"
    • "Ultimate Gloves"
    • "Ultimate Shoulder Pads"
    • Frozen Synapse Team

About This Game

Frozen Cortex is a simultaneous turn-based strategy game from Mode 7, the creators of Frozen Synapse. Get a free key for a friend with every purchase!

Make a plan for your customised robots on a randomly-generated playfield. Positioning, timing and reading the terrain are all vital if you want to outwit your opponent.

Your moves, and those of your opponent, play out at the same time.

Taut, competitive multiplayer and a deep, complex single player with three different league modes (including large-scale randomly generated league) mean that you can experience your own brand of futuresporting glory!

“Another brilliant slice of strategy from Mode 7” (Eurogamer)

“I’ve been looking forward to this as much as almost any other game this year.” (Adam Smith, RockPaperShotgun)


  • Free key for a friend with every purchase
  • Four core single player modes: roguelike “Knockout” mode; Global Cortex League mode; Manager Mode; Randomly Generated Season Mode
  • Experience the intrigues of the Global Cortex League with a compelling story that spans the various modes - play how you want and keep up with the narrative!
  • 7 unique AI teams each with their own coach who responds dynamically to the play
  • Manager Mode - vast season mode featuring salary cap, roster management, free agent bidding, a college league, injuries and much more...
  • Multiplayer modes: Full Match and Duplicate; several variants of each; make your own custom mode!
  • Online rankings and fast matchmaking
  • Team Editor: name your players, customise their stats, armour, faces and more!
  • Further customisation options including Pitch Editor
  • Music from legendary indie game composer nervous_testpilot

This game was previously called Frozen Endzone and was renamed Frozen Cortex while in Early Access

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0 & at least 1GB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Soundtrack Tier requires extra 1GB disk space, Mega & Ultimate Tiers require extra 4GB disk space.
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • OS: OS X 10.9
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.1+ & 1GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Soundtrack Tier requires extra 1GB disk space, Mega & Ultimate Tiers require extra 4GB disk space.
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • OS: Kernel 2.6 or higher
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.1+ & at least 1GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Soundtrack Tier requires extra 1GB disk space, Mega & Ultimate Tiers require extra 4GB disk space.
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
The movement of your players matters. Run or Pass the ball? Plan it out on your tactical board. How much time will you have in this turn? This is easier to determine as the posessing team since you have an advantage in dominating the course of the game, nonetheless the defending team may have good insight and read the game.
This is a simulatenous-turn game with an abstract play field. The geometry of the field is your playground. A plan worth 5 - 10 of your minutes thinking about it is compressed into a 5 - 10 second exchange that will reveal your success.

This is the tactical 1v1 game I have been looking for. One one hand, it has the benefits of being turn-based, like board games typically are. On the other hand, it's based on the advantages of being a computer game which is reflected in the wonderful UI as well as in the rules and in the mechanics. I enjoy the tactical depth of this game very much.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
I want to recommend this game, but I can't. I want to LIKE this game, but I can't.

A deep, rich strategic experience in a novel format (i.e. future sportsball)? Practically auto-sold on this game. After playing through the tutorial, I get the basics of how to plan turns and such, so I move on to the Basic League.

Here's the thing, though: this game does a terrible job of explaining itself. I know how to move my bots, but not why I should. It takes me a couple games before I realize that the goal of the game is less "get the ball in the end zone," and more "figure out what your opponent isn't going to expect or counter, and do that," but I STILL don't know how to reliably gauge what are good options or plays. Half the time it feels like whatever I simulated during the Planning Phase doesn't work out -- bots don't block like I expect them to, or (more importantly) chase the ball carrier like I expect them to. The bots have half a dozen stats that aren't even mentioned in the game tutorial/help (nor shown in the tabular Free Agent view). I still don't know what the hell "Halt" does.

Undeterred, I move on to the regular League, hoping that will give me more options for managing my team between games. But then I discover that I have the worst bots in the GCL, and my salary cap goes up by a paltry few hundred dollars per win while the free agents' "expected" salary shoots up by over a thousand dollars per game week. So, I'm basically stuck with my starting lineup of losers and mostly-losers, facing off against teams with all green (positive) stats -- my bot tackled an enemy bot who literally shrugged it off and walked past because his RESIL was maxed. I'm playing a game that appears to be about outmaneuvering/out-thinking an enemy when I am unable to estimate the outcome of a play and don't even really know which plays are good ones, AND my guys are the worst bots in the League? The only way out appears to be to grind losses until I get better at understanding how to make the best plays possible with my awful lineup, and after 15 losses I don't think I want to play anymore.

I think part of this could be made better if there was a better strategy guide to the game, but I didn't see anything like it online. There was a section of Mode7's forums devoted to Frozen Cortex, but there was nothing useful there. It's a shame, the game seems like it has a great depth of strategy to it, but it's too obfuscated and inaccessible to new players.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
There's so much wrong with this game I don't know where to start.
-Blocks only work if you're standing still, so you can't "tackle" other bots.
-AI will always move to counter to your plan, no matter what you do they will predict it.
-Interceptions are the only way to stop a catcher standing still. If your bot moves in to stop him, he'll be kicked away.
-Interceptions only work when they want to. Sometimes you're not in the path of the ball and you intercept, sometimes you have 3 guys infront of the catcher and they let it past.
-The AI will hail-mary as soon as they pick up the ball and because their bots are so much faster than yours, you will never be able to stop it.
-No team development, just replace old bots with better ones.
-You can't afford better bots even if you win every game. Which you won't.
-Can't pass after making a run.
-The only way to win singleplayer league is through passing onto point zones. Any run you make will be blocked.
-You won't win singleplayer league anyway.

+Playing against a human might be fun, at least their bots will be as dumb as yours.

Seriously, buy Blood Bowl instead. It's got more depth, actions work how they're supposed to, you develop your team instead of just replacing them, RNG may be a factor but at least you know why something didn't work.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
A solidi turned based football game that makes you think moves out ahead of time rather then just focusing on skill. I do like the various modes in question, and the announcers add some life to the game, even if there's frustration on some difficulty at times due to the nature of the game in question. Definitely better for those who like strategy games with a human on human element.

For more information and gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCgkk-uXnD0
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
In Frozen Cortex you manage a team of robots through a turn-based game of 5v5 handball. The gameplay is wonderfully satisfying, once you understand the rules of the game which plays like a mix between mode7's other game, Frozen Synapse, and Madden football.

The game within the game begins with one team starting on the recieving end of the board and the other taking defensive positions. The player guides the movement and positions of each of their robots in anticipation of what the other player's robots will do and where they will be. Anticipation is a critical game mechanic here as not only is the player able to map out the movement of their team memebers, but they are also able to map out how they predict the other team will move. After mapping your predictions for both teams you are able to press "Play" and see the turn play out before you submit your choices formally. This is the same mechanic used in Frozen Synapse, for those who have played.

The ultimate goal of the game is to score more points than the opposition. This is done by either guiding the ball carrier over small blue squares on the board, worth two points a peice, or by getting a ball carrier into the endzone, worth 7 points. The board is riddled with obstacles, a mix of high walls, which you can not pass over, and a mix of low walls which you can throw over. The obstacles vary drastically from board to board, with wide open stages favoring long ball passing and creative drives or more congested boards that require careful planning to successfully navigate without losing posession. Combining these obstacles with the two distinct scoring methods allows for a wealth of strategic possibility.

As mentioned earlier, the specific gameplay is not exceedingly intuitive. Those who have played sports like football and soccer may require a few lost matches during the intial gameplay to shake off preconceptions and open up to Frozen Cortex's mechanics. Expect to make mistakes before learning the subtle nuances of the game. Once the rules are understood the game begins to absolutely shine. This is when careful anticipation of an opponents mindset pays off. Once over the intital, gentle learning curve moments like intercepting a pass by carefully positioning your team several turns in advance or predicting a running route, setting the defensemen and drop kicking the ball carrier, stopping him in his tracks has the player feeling like the Vince Lombardi of robotic, futuresport!

The game is not without it's flaws though. It lacks the depth larger sports franchises have. Although the league mode has personality, drafting different robot models with different attributes doesn't seem to greatly influence playstyles. Additionally, some of the smaller details added to league mode, like the minor league results and play by play of other teams matches, seem superfluous (although vieiwing either of these things is completely optional and does not affect the results of the league whatsoever).

If you are looking for a sports game with deep team management, dynasty modes, and other "EA Sports"-like features. This may not be the game for you.

However, if you are looking for a lighter turn-based strategy game and enjoy the actual sport part of sports games the fantastic game of sci-fi robot handball in Frozen Cortex is definitely worth checking out.
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