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Cortex Command Is Still Unfinished, Amazing

Hastily mocked up screenshot.

I love Cortex Command. It’s one of my favourite indies ever. The current build of this brain-defending, bunker-building, robot-deploying, side-scrolling tactical digging and shooting game means that it has a tonne of interesting scenarios you can set up and play, but currently the campaign (which I’d jumped into to take a look at) is a bit completely broken. Cortex Command has been out in “work in progress” beta form for about 47 years, but there’s been a bit of progress of late, and so I’m hoping we’ll see that campaign built upon soon. Nevertheless, for those of you who’ve not played this yet – and you really should have done by now – there’s a free (and sadly harshly limited) demo on the site.
A warning: this one of those games that takes some getting used to before you see the real magic of it, and I suspect the demo isn’t long enough to get all that across. The quirky mannequin clunkiness of the character is the whole point: it’s an absurd slapstick physics robot battle toolbox, and it has a bit of a modding scene now to make things even more ridiculous. I’ve posted what is now quite an old gameplay trailer below, but I think it gets the point across.

I am definitely not going to recommend getting the full game unless you’ve played the demo, as it’s definitely an acquired taste. It can be fiddly, and really takes some time to get into the pace of it. But when you’ve got a great scenario ticking over properly, and robots get smacked all over the place, and you are managing on crisis after the next, it’s hilarious.

I plan to play a bit more and perhaps write some more thoughts later in the week. Join me?

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Jim Rossignol

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