Cortex Command

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Cortex command.jpg
Title screen of Cortex Command
Developer(s) Data Realms LLC
Publisher(s) Data Realms LLC
Designer(s) Daniel Tabár (Development Director)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Release 28 September 2012 [1]
Genre(s) Action game
Mode(s) Single-player, Local Multiplayer

Cortex Command is a 2-dimensional side-scrolling action game developed by Data Realms since 2001.


Cortex Command screenshot.

The player takes the role of a stationary or mobile "brain", which can take control of other purchased units in order to accomplish objectives. Missions range from tasks such as retrieving a control chip in a cave filled with zombies to defending the brain from attack. As the brain is weak, the player must manage his resources carefully, protecting the brain, mining gold and fighting off enemies.

The game includes the ability for players to create mods (additions and changes to the game) with the built in Lua programming applet and simple scripting.


The game engine was designed and built by Dan Tabár, using several open source libraries. The GUI was built by Jason Boettcher, the artwork is by Arne Niklas Jansson, and the macOS port is by Chris Kruger.[2][3]

The game was first released as an open beta and was later released for purchase with a time-limited demo version available as well.

As of May 2008, the game was described as being in development for approximately seven years, with Dan Tabár quitting his job in mid-2006 to work full-time on the project.[4] No versions for game consoles are planned.[4] The game allows several components to be modified using Lua and INI files, such as Scenes (or levels), Actors, Weapons, and more.[4] Influences for the game include the X-COM: UFO Defense series.[3] As of 2009, the full version is still being refined (as the game is still in extensive development), but includes unlimited play and extra features unavailable in the demo.[2]


The control system for the unfinished version of the game has been described as "too fiddly to be considered entertaining" in 2007.[5] Others described the game as requiring patience, asking players to "take [their] time and experiment".[6] The game has been compared to other games in the genre, such as GunBound[5] and Worms.[6] Positive reviews praise the detailed physics, as well as the chaotic gameplay.

Cortex Command was the Indie Games Game of the year for April 2008.[7]

Cortex Command won the Audience Award and Technical Excellence award at the 2009 Independent Games Festival.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Cortex Command". Data Realms LLC. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  3. ^ a b Griffin, Mike (June 2008). "Cortex Command: Brain slayers in outer space". Play. pp. 64–65. 
  4. ^ a b c W., Tim (2008-05-27). "Interview: Dan Tabár (Cortex Command)". Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  5. ^ a b Alan Dexter (2007-03-05). "Cortex Command". PC Format. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  6. ^ a b Jim Rossignol (2008-04-23). "Cortex Command". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  7. ^ "Game of the Month, April 2008". Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  8. ^ "11th Independent Games Festival". 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 

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