Cortex Command

Travesty! I’ve just realised that we’ve never linked to the utterly superb bunker-architecting side-scrolling four-player battle game Cortex Command. Luckily feature page averted this catastrophe, and I can link you guys to the demo.

Cortex Command is a 2D base-building game in the vein of Worms, only with robots piloted by disembodied brains and giant bunked filled with electronic death. (Also the astoundingly detailed pixel-art and physics makes Worms look a bit like it was made during a sneezing accident.) It does require a bit of patience, however, so take your time and experiment. This one is highly recommended.


  1. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Yeah, it’s very nice. Reminded me of the Clonk series, except it’s less customizable and looks about a million times better. The demo I had was very ‘alpha’ in how far the AI worked and how many levels there were. Also, the time limit was very restrictive. But it’s been a while, I think I’ll give it another try later

  2. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    Yay cortex command!

    More on topic however, CC really is a blast to play multiplayer, the only sad thing is no multiple mouse support. So you need a couple of gamepads to get the most out of it.

    That said, the chaos that can happen here is just sidesplitting. Do try it.

    By the by I just started modding for it, shameless plug:
    link to

  3. Kieron Gillen says:

    Flying across the map with no legs is splendid.


  4. brainwashed says:

    for another highly amusing game involving much digging of teeny weeny square things, check out voxelstein 3d, as linked to by cortex command’s dev log…

  5. roBurky says:

    Just controlling the guys in this is hard. All I’ve managed to do is maneuver a guy outside and shoot a couple of enemies before the demo runs out. And that was on my second attempt. First time I just managed to crash a lot of space rockets.

  6. Munin says:

    Yeah, the controls really suck. As with the Dwarf Fortress UI complaints, certain people will come and say “SO ITS NOT SUPER MARIO GET USED TO IT LOL”, but 1) accessibility is important for me, and 2) I think in this case it actually seriously hinders the fun…

  7. Stromko says:

    It’s a game where the really fun bit is when things go horribly wrong. A new trooper having his head torn off by the jetwash of his own dropship, which makes a horrific spin in the air as one engine is shot off, cratering into the ground, exploding, wreckage randomly slaughtering far-off troops.

    The time-limited demo doesn’t properly illustrate the game, and that’s really too bad because there’s plusses and minuses once you draw it out from 10 minutes to infinite time. I’ve had to dabble with modding to make it so all the wreckage and corpses are crumbly and easily packed like sand.

    Otherwise, within 15 minutes my base and much of the planet is covered in a thick and growing layer of carnage that dwarfs the soil layer, and so confuses the nascent digging AI that there’s virtually no chance they’ll ever threaten my base unless I insist on digging out every few kills.

  8. roBurky says:

    With the deformable terrain, this is a bit like Liero, but with a lot more falling over and accidentally decapitating yourself.

  9. Jives says:

    So i played this a bit back in the day, when it was just two bases and then lol kill each other….

    this base building malarky scares me

  10. Fat Zombie says:

    Yay! It’s finally been covered! This game requires more coverage, as it is awesome.

    (Yes, I too have made mods)

  11. MindBrain says:

    I tried this out and it’s definately cool. Just the type of game I’ve been thinking someone should make.

    The controls I think are just a little bit rough and the graphics could be a little bit more clear. Also I think wreckage should deteriorate

    But what it really needs is online multiplayer even if it’s just 1 vs 1. I’d buy it in a second if it had that.

  12. MindBrain says:

    Looked at their forums and I think I saw there probably won’t make online play. Anyone know a game like this with online play?

  13. Hypocee says:

    Saw the premise (back when it was D.I.R.T. or something), tried it, couldn’t find the fun. Waited a year, heard about it again, tried the new version, couldn’t find the fun. Waited a year, came back, couldn’t find the fun. Tried it now, still no fun to be found.

    The major problem, according to Mr. Me, is that it truly is fun and funny for things to go ridiculously wrong…but for that to count, something has to occasionally go right, and that doesn’t happen in CC. Your units can’t do anything and the physics are impossibly ambitious, so you’re digging for gold lol and then you try to aim and you can’t because the controls stink lol and then you get buried lol and slowly dig yourself free lol and something blows up lol and all the enemy soldiers get stuck lol and then your rocket falls over rofl. I’m happy to be silly, videogame, but you have to meet me halfway by at least existing. A set of rules and abilities, a framework. You know?

    I think that it’s a beautiful idea, but the implementation has turned out to be NP-complete.

  14. Irish Al says:

    I’ve got a widescreen monitor. It won’t run fullscreen as the res is unsupported, and in a window the fonts are so small as to be headache-inducing. Sort it out, Cortex Command.

  15. Geoff says:

    Looks like it will be glorious when it’s finished. I was happy to see from the dev log that it seems to be still actively under development. Hopefully RPS will do us the favor of a reminder post, when it’s actually finished…

    It seems that would be a really good feature for most of these indie devs to have – “email me when it’s done”

    Edit: Ouch. In development since 2000. Not encouraging. Though it does appear that work is still ongoing. I really hope this game does get finished.

  16. Sum0 says:

    Vanilla CC is a little frustrating, but it can be made awesome by a) making a few changes to the .ini to add lots and lots of health to your brain and giving you tons of gold from the start so you don’t have to bother mining and b) downloading all the best mods. CC is most hilarious just as a sandbox without worrying about winning or mining gold. When you’re half-an-hour in and the level is littered with humongous spaceship wrecks peppered by bloody dismembered limbs and legless robots… oh, there’s nothing quite like it.

    As for the controls… I never really had a problem with them. Perhaps it’s just me?

  17. Squiggles says:

    I’ve never had a problem with the controls, either. Maybe at first, but then you realize that your jetpack is your friend, and that with a couple quick thrusts as opposed to a long, strong one, you’re zooming your way across the map at a controlled speed, laying waste to those AI fools.

    I’ve never had a situation like Hypocee’s, where absolutely everything goes wrong. Usually multiple things go wrong, sure, but have you ever actually been in combat? It’s like that. Everything that can go wrong, seems to.