Cortex Command is free for keepsies right now


The side-scrolling shoot-o-platform-a-strategy Cortex Command is free right now on Steam–free free, forever–but you’ll need to be quick. You’ve only got another day-and-a-bit to grab it, so hop to it. Is certainly is worth ten seconds of effort to get for free. Here, check out some of what resident RPS tactface Tim Stone thought of it in Cortex Command review:

“Unless you’re defending a domestic bunker, the opening phase of any scrap generally begins with some frantic defence preparation. While a cordon of turrets and troops is airlifted in, you rush to get your fragile perambulating cerebrum into a newly excavated tunnel network or defensible cave. Mismanage this crucial stage and you can easily find yourself looking on helplessly as terrier-like foes scramble through the mouth of a refuge-turned-rat-trap.

“And “scramble through” isn’t wishful thinking in this instance. The mix of QWOP-style soldier skeletons (though, happily, directly controlled units are moved with WASD keys) and endlessly deformable battlefields means every scenery pixel matters when it come to pathfinding and Line of Fire calculations. Troops slither, squeeze and tumble through catacombs. They widen home-made portals with mining tools or attempt to seal them off with concrete sprayers. Bullets nibble at trench edges and chip away at bunker walls. The options for using and abusing the environments are mind-boggling.”

Swing by Steam before 6pm on Sunday (that’s 10am Pacific) to grab it for free. It’ll be yours for keepsies but you need to take it now.

Everyone who owns Cortex Command will also get you a 25% discount on Planetoid Pioneers, its physics-driven platformer prequel, which will leave early access and launch properly on Thursday. Our Brendy enjoyed Planetoid Pioneers when he played an early version in September so hey, that’s a nice little bonus.


  1. TimePointFive says:

    I think this game was part of the very first humble bundle, if I’m not mistaken.

    • Catterbatter says:

      It was in the second one, then the beat the average in the third would also unlock the second. So I got like three copies and haven’t ever really played it. I’ve heard good things, though.

    • DanMan says:

      Yeah, I think that’s where I got it, too. And I’ve yet to play it. -.-

  2. vand says:

    Oh wow, neat. I remember trying this years ago because (if I remember correctly) it’s made by the same person who was drawing and writing Gone With the Blastwave. At the time I felt that it was too wonky for me to understand and play, so maybe it’s time to give it another run.

    Looking it up now, it must’ve been a very early build since the game was released in 2012 and I’m pretty sure it’s almost ten years ago that I played it, but memory could be failing me. Fuck, I’m old.

    • Premium User Badge

      Waltorious says:

      You’re remembering correctly. Cortex Command has been around forever, with lots of community discussion at Tigsource that I used to see as I browsed Tigsource regularly back then. Some quick googling shows that eleven years ago, in February 2007, Cortex Command was already on test build 12.

      I remember being surprised to hear it had finally been released.

  3. dartt says:

    Hi Alice!!!!

    The link to Planetoid Pioneers has an extra quote on the end of it so it doesn’t work!


  4. Mrice says:

    Jesus. I used to play this game back in upper school on a crappy laptop. Its pretty wild to see it again, instant nostalgia.

  5. Eawyne says:

    Wow, I remember it from the Humble Bundle also… It was still in a WIP state, but I have no idea now how I could get a complete copy of it. I’ll have to check on that – maybe has the Bundle been updated ?

  6. poliovaccine says:

    Oh wow, I thought I had never heard of this, but I have played this at some point with my cousin. Damn. Okay, nabbed for nostalgia apparently.

  7. Sin Vega says:

    People who are enjoying this should also consider looking up Void Wanderers, a mod for it that makes the campaign much more interesting by making it about a crew of mercenaries you hire and outfit and send on a ship to fight various missions for money.

    It has a few problems, but most of those are caused by the base game. I want to love Cortex Command but I doubt I’ll ever get its flaws. Still brilliant for free though.

    • Syrion says:

      That looks like a lot of fun, thanks for the recommendation!