Data Realms
Based in Phoenix, Arizona

Release date:
5 September, 2004

PC / Mac / Linux


Regular Price:

RUB399 pуб


You are a disembodied brain in an underground bunker - remotely control puppets and machines to dig up gold and beat your competitors! 2D sidescrolling pixel graphics with an extremely detailed physics simulation make for a mix of nostalgia and surprising gameplay.


Cortex Command was started as a personal project by Data Realms founder Dan Tabar while he was still in high school, well over a decade ago. It was built from the start with ease of modding and deeply physics-driven gameplay in mind, which caused a robust modding community to organically grow around the project over the years. Some of the most competent of these user contributors eventually joined the official development team. They are to this day working to fully realize the original vision and potential of the game's unique design, which combines real-time strategy, tactical action, and turn-based strategy elements, all built on a homegrown and extremely detailed bitmap-based physics engine.


  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Metagame campaign mode - a turn-based metagame that plays out the events on a planetary scale, giving the many battles context and meaningful consequences when won or lost. Claim-jump gold sites which will generate funds each round, and defend your property against the frivolous land-grabbing by those who dare challenge you.


Cortex Command Build 30 announcement YouTube

Cortex Command 1.0 Launch Trailer YouTube

Cortex Command Zombie Cave Gameplay captured in 2009 YouTube

Cortex Command Fan Animation by Mathias Vera Toro Vimeo

Cortex Command Fan Animation "Robot Attack in Russia" by Anton Pikalov YouTube

Testing Weapons in Cortex Command by Anton Pikalov YouTube

Cortex Command Fan Animation "Arrival" by Anton Pikalov YouTube


download all screenshots & photos as .zip (57MB)
IGF 2009 Winner Audience Award.png
IGF 2009 Winner Technical Excellence.png

download logo files as .zip (9MB)

Awards & Recognition

  • "Winner of Independent Games Festival 2009 Technical Excellence Award" San Francisco, 30 March, 2009
  • "Winner of Independent Games Festival 2009 Audience Award" San Francisco, 30 March, 2009

Selected Articles

  • "Cortex Command, My Secret Holiday Joy."
    - Brian Crecente, Kotaku
  • "In the roughest way, Cortex Command is Terraria and Red Faction rolled up with the satisfying ballistics of Metal Slug"
    - Evan Lahti, PC Gamer
  • "Cortex Command is still unfinished, amazing. It’s one of my favourite indies ever."
    - Jim Rossignol, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
  • "try this game its cool"
    - Game Assassin, Steam user with 316 logged hours of CC gameplay, Steam Customer Reviews

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Cortex Command Development Log devlog.datarealms.com.

Official Fan Forums
Fan-maintained Data Realms Forums .

Cortex Wiki
Fan-made and maintained Wiki for all things Cortex Command wiki.datarealms.com.

Unofficial Russian Cortex Command Fan Forums
Fan-made and run unofficial forums for the Russian-speaking world .

Earliest signs - Blast from the past
Earliest snapshot of page that served free public test build of the engine web.archive.org.

About Data Realms

Data Realms is an independent games studio with two dozen team members in ten countries across four continents, all committed not only to delivering solid gameplay entertainment, but to the democratization of game development by inviting players to engage in the development process in a meaningful, creativity-inspiring, and indirectly educational way.

More information
More information on Data Realms, our logo & relevant media are available here.

Cortex Command Credits

Daniel "Data" Tabar
Game Design, Engine and Physics Programming, Art Direction, Project Coordination

Arne "Prometheus" Niklas Jansson
Art Direction and Production, Game Design, Tools Programming

Jason Boettcher
GUI Library Programming

Evgeniy "WeeGee" Vigovskiy
Additional Programming and Design

Stefan "Abdul Alhazred" Winberg
AI Programming and Design, Additional Programming

Ken "CaveCricket48" Vu Do
Art and Content Production, Additional Programming

Jesús "Gran PC" Higueras Pica
Programming, Steamworks Integration

Simon "Snake" Stafsnes Andersen
Art and Content Production

Chris "Capnbubs" Mansell
Art and Content Production

Elliot "TheLastBanana" Colp
Art and Content Production

Anton "Numgun" Temba
Art and Content Production

Arne "Lizardheim" Lie Bergheim
Art and Content Production

Robert Stjärnström and Jonas Rörling
Intro and Main Menu Music Composition and Production

Danny Baranowsky
Campaign Menu, Launch Trailer, In-game Music Composition and Production

Michael Watts
In-game Song "Last Man" Composition and Production

Chris Kruger
Platform Porting to OSX and Linux

Frank Earl
Platform Porting to Linux

Mathias Nahuel Carballo
Licensing System Design and Programming

Jake "Heartsman" Harold
Steamworks Integration and Community Consultant

Anton Pikalov
1.0 Launch Trailer Direction and Production

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks