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[[caption-width-right:350:Simple instructions]]

->''Mine precious gold from the deformable pixel terrain in order to buy more and better ships, soldiers, weapons, digging tools, and deployable defenses. Use these assets to defend your disembodied brain and bankrupt your opponent! Old-school 2D sidescroller pixel graphics coupled with an extremely detailed physics simulation makes for a mix of nostalgia and surprising gameplay.''
-->-- '''Product Description'''

So in the future, you're a BrainInAJar, on a ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}''-like 2D battlefield controlling {{Mooks}}. You're competing with other factions on a new, Earth-like planet to find resources and ship them back to civilization, or at least whatever you have left, since you spend pretty much all your money on weaponry. Notable for having an impressively advanced physics and destruction engine, which can allow for a variety of emergent gameplay.

The game spent the majority of its time in the public in an unfinished beta state. Created by Data Realms, the {{Retraux}} game spent several years as a demo with several test levels, some of which had a [[AllegedlyFreeGame six minute time limit]], making it in essence a sophisticated toy. Regardless, Data Realms encouraged players to buy the game while in its development stage, for a reduced price than that of the finished game, a model also used successfully by ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' and (On a cheaper scale) VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}. Cortex Command 1.0 was officially released on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} on September 28, 2012, with a new faction and improved campaign mode.

The game features a slowly growing single player campaign with five scenarios currently available. There are several levels available for skirmish mode, and the game features splitscreen multiplayer but no online element. The creator is currently focusing on expanding the campaigns and code for the game while having additional staff work on [[http://androidarts.com/cortexcommand/ content]] as the code rolls out. The game also has a very active modding community and a wide variety of mods that add or change many features in the game as well as adding campaign missions and skirmish areas.

The Steam release (and beta Build 27, released several months prior) introduced the campaign mode, which up to four teams compete for control of the planet. A slider allows for determination of the number of mining sites and brains in a game (effectively controlling the game length), with teams capturing and holding said sites to generate income so they can build elaborate defensive installations for their sites, and launch massive assaults to take a site from their foes. The winner is whoever seizes total control of all the sites on the planet and kills all the brains of the enemy.

[[http://www.datarealms.com Cortex Command Main Site Link]]
The link for the fan forums which also houses the mod community: [[http://www.datarealms.com/forum/index.php Forums & Mod Community]]

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!!''Cortex Command'' provides examples of:

* TwoDSpace: The entire game is 2D, space as well, evidenced by the [=TradeStar=] that orbits the planet exactly perpendicular to your eye.
* AbnormalAmmo: For starters, the Ronin Rocket-Propelled Chainsaw launcher. There are a few mods out there. One of the most abnormal is the rocket gun. it doesn't fire explosives, it fires ''landing craft''.
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The RPC can dig through what every other weapon can't,even bunkers.Its actually the most destructive weapon in the game,if you aim it right.
* ACommanderIsYou:
** '''Coalition:''' ''Balanced'' and ''Generalist'' with a dash of ''Ranger''. The most diverse weapon selection of all the Techs and one of only two factions to have an in-Tech Mech and Turret, but their units are otherwise unremarkable.
** '''Techion:''' ''Elitist'' and ''Technical''. Techion weapons are exotic and deadly if used properly, and their mechanical Heavy Infantry is comparable to the Browncoats' in terms of durability, but they suffer from a fairly limited and expensive roster.
** '''Ronin:''' ''Balanced'' and ''Ranger''. Fragile and poor-quality units, but their deceptively cheap and crude weapons are [[DifficultButAwesome some of the most deadly in the entire game]].
** '''Dummy:''' ''Spammer'' and ''Brute''. Cheap mechanical Light Infantry with superior deployment options (a more durable dropship, and a rocket that presents a smaller target), but weak 'weapons' improvised from construction equipment. Completely lacks Heavy Infantry, but compensates with an armored anti-infantry Mech and a compact Turret. They also employ a special armored Brain Case when designing bases.
** '''Browncoat:''' ''Elitist'' and ''Brute''. Durable close-range specialists with numerous [[KillItWithFire flame-based]] weapons, but expensive [[MightyGlacier and lacking in both range and mobility]].
** '''Imperatus:''' ''Balanced'' and ''Brute''. They possess three mechanical Infantry types instead of just two (including [[AirborneMook a sub-Light Infantry with a longer-than-normal jetpack duration]]), as well as a unique Brain Bot mounted on a tougher chassis. Imperatus guns are slow-firing and focus on dealing as much damage as possible with individual hits.
* ActionBomb: Aside from equipping troops with dropship bombs and having them run up to people, it's also possible to kill enemies by gaining momentum with the jetpack and ramming into the ground so hard you explode. The force of the giblets can often be enough to blow the limbs off of any enemies nearby. Caution is strongly advised when removing limbs or liquefying mooks at close range- there is a chance that their jawbone will smash into your face at a high speed and decapitate you.
* AntiAir: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Anti-Air Drone]], which is capable of launching guided missiles to swat landing craft out of the sky.
* ArtificialStupidity: The A.I. of the game will continue to drop its mooks into your kill zones, crash drop ships, and generally have horrible accidents. They also [[TooDumbToLive frequently forget to leave any units near their brainbot to protect it.]]
** Units only have a set of commands that can be given, and largely do not exercise much initiative of their own. Entirely justified, however, given that they are ''literally'' brainless, which also explains why you can control them in the first place.
* ArtificialBrilliance: Despite frequent accidents and a lack of strategic planning, given the physics-driven and unpredictable nature of the game, the AI does fairly well. They do a great job navigating underground tunnels and damaged bunkers, and can deploy and command units with [[ComputersAreFast frightening speeds]]. They are also masters at improvisation, and will frequently drop bombs and soldiers right on your head unless you place AA guns or sturdy roofing and they frequently scavenge for fallen weapons when theirs has been destroyed.
* AmbidextrousSprite: Pretty much every single sprite in the game.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** While the Rocket Propelled Chainsaw is the most powerful weapon in the game, it's also expensive, inaccurate, extremely heavy and has a painfully long reload time. It can be handy for tearing down a wall and it's tons of fun to see it tear through someone, but you're generally way better off using just a standard rocket launcher or assault rifle.
** Using Heavy Infantry equipped with heavy weaponry/tons of equipment in a snow or sand map that lacks solid structures to stand on. Your powerful-but-weighty elites will quickly sink into the soft terrain and be left as potholes of wasted Oz.
* {{BFG}}: Several in the core game, including the aptly named ''Uber Cannon''.
** Another contender is the Coalition [[StuffBlowingUp Auto Cannon]], which weighs ''thirty kilograms'' and fires grenades full auto.
* BifurcatedWeapon: Cluster mine bomb and cluster grenade.
* BigBad: The fluff-only Remnants of Mu-Ilaak. They have since been [[http://forums.datarealms.com/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=31436&hilit=remnants added as a mod]], though they function as a re-skin of the Coalition tech and are just a standard tech.
* BioAugmentation: Organic soldiers have been grown to be stronger, faster, brainless and incapable of feeling pain or flinching. They even have a thin layer of muscle-goop stuff on their bones that allows them to keep moving even after all their muscles have been removed.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: With luck or a precise weapon, you can destroy a unit's carried weapon to disarm them, though they'll automatically swap to whatever additional weapons they carry or seek to grab something off the ground. This can be a lifesaver when your brainbot is cornered by a [[MightyGlacier Heavy Infantry]] unit packing a gatling gun or other large and easy-to-hit heavy weapon.
* BloodyHilarious: Blowing off a unit's head will often cause them to spew blood everywhere and flop all over the place while making absurd death sounds (HURK HUEGH BLARGH). This frequently bears an uncanny resemblance to a chicken with it's head cut off and a rocket booster strapped to its ass.
* BrainInAJar: The player is present on the map as one of these, either attached to a ceiling somewhere in a fortified bunker or perched as the 'head' of a dexterous robotic body.
* BrainUploading: Humanity engages in this, creating the BrainInAJar technology used by the playable factions to control armies of mindless {{Mooks}}.
* BulletholeDoor: A possible tactic for entering enemy forts or for tunneling through dirt [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer if you forgot to bring a digger or explosive device]].
* ChainsawGood: The Ronin have access to a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Rocket Propelled Chainsaw]], which happens to be one of the strongest weapons in the game.
** They now have access to a non-rocket propelled chainsaw, which functions as a melee weapon. It inherits all the traits of its projectile brother, excluding the exploding and [[AbsurdlySharpBlade physics defying cutting abilities]]
* ChunkySalsaRule: If a unit doesn't have a head, then they will die instantly. Even creating a unit that doesn't spawn with one will cause a corpse to be deployed from your dropship instead of a soldier.
** An ingame cheat now exists to avert this, note that if the torso is destroyed the soldier still dies.
* CloneArmy: What most battles are fought with.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: You can end up bleeding and legless but assuming you still have arms, work perfectly fine in combat until the fatal shot. Heck, even totally limbless people can still "help" [[GrievousHarmWithABody by flying around and headbutting people.]] Downplayed in that units will gradually bleed out once they suffer enough physical damage, though they can continue to fight and move however they can until that last hit point drains away.
* ColonyDrop: The delivery vehicles that your stuff comes in make remarkably good disposable weapons. The quickest way to win a metagame battle (if neither side has any fortifications in the territory) is to simply take control of your initial delivery dropship and careen it towards the enemy brain-bot before it has a chance to dig itself into a protective pit.
* DeathFromAbove: The above mentioned crates make a very cheap delivery system for high explosive ordnance, and with the self destruct option can be easily detonated above groups to rain shrapnel on their heads.
** Also, dropships can be used to drop bombs on your enemies, which come in Standard (frag) and Napalm variants. For a cheaper option, you can also load them up with stick grenades or molotovs, since they have an impact fuse.
** For added fun, combine the two! Load a dropship with bombs and self-destruct it above a crowd of enemies. Cue a shower of bombs and general destruction of anything and everything that can be destroyed.
* DifficultButAwesome: The Ronin. Their units are extremely weak, but they have the cheapest equipment in the game and hands down some of the best weaponry. Used correctly, they can wreck any other faction in the game, no problem.
* DisabilitySuperpower: A character's jetpack power is directly correlated with how much it weighs. Losing both legs can actually ''improve'' your mobility.
* DropShip: In the game, two are available, and they are fairly important in terms of gameplay. Crates are cheap but total-loss delivery vehicles, and rockets are so very hard to fly that they might as well qualify as total-loss too (as the AI so efficiently demonstrates). The dropships are the only delivery vehicles that can be reasonably expected to make it back to orbit and give the player their purchase price back. They're also easier to use as disposable impact weapons than rockets.
* DugTooDeep: If you set some troops to mine for gold and ignore them, it's entirely possible that they'll mine down so far they'll fall off the map and die -- or end up joining their tunnels to an enemy faction's.
* DummiedOut: Many of the more powerful Coalition weapons, such as the Mauler shotgun and flak cannon, were removed in later builds. 1.0 reintroduced them as part of the Imperatus faction.
** there are a few tradestar weapons such as the laser rifle and laser pistol that were removed.
** digging around in the game files will reveal sprites, maps, and gamemodes that have been depreciated or recreated in better modes.
* EnemyExchangeProgram: For an extra cost than normal, you can opt to purchase units and equipment that belong to Techs other than your own. A good way to compensate for a Tech's weaknesses, adapt to particular situations where foreign equipment would be handy, [[TheEnemyWeaponsAreBetter or simply get better guns]].
* EpicFail: Dropship accidents and explosives backfiring can make your failure so spectacular it becomes hilarious.
* EverythingBreaks: Everything on the map can be destroyed. [[SceneryGorn The terrain]], [[BulletholeDoor the architecture]], [[BlastingItOutOfTheirHands your gun]], [[LudicrousGibs your body]]...
* ExcusePlot: The pretty cool premise, which gives room for modding and more potential story, is currently a justification for having a crash-test dummy blow a super-soldier's legs off with a blunderbuss. It ended up being largely ignored and the lead dev decided to instead focus on a board-game styled campaign.
* FlechetteStorm: Rather than fire conventional projectiles, the Imperatus shotgun fires tiny physics-affected fragments of metal chain to lacerate victims.
* FrickinLaserBeams: The game used to include a laser rifle, though it was since removed. There are many mods to add laser weapons, however, though due to how the game's engine works, even the more realistic ones are technically a clever arrangements of bullets and particle effects rather than a HitScan.
* {{Game Mod}}s: One of the main selling points is the game's mod community, which has produced many different armies (including the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} SPESS MEHREENS]]). Mods can cause LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading and, if poorly coded, error messages.
* GatlingGood:
** The Coalition faction employs the most traditional examples; they have sentry gun and drone varieties, as well as a handheld version. Both suitably reduce everything to [[LudicrousGibs itty bitty chunks]] after a few seconds of direct fire.
** The Ronin used to have the [=YAK7000=], which has since been removed.
** The Imperatus Bulldog is slower, but more powerful than the Coalition Gatling Gun.
** The Techion have the Giga Pulsar, which is the Coalition Gatling Gun but with FrickinLaserBeams.
* GiantEnemyCrab: You'll fight one of these as your first boss.
* GlobalCurrency: Oz, a notation for ounces often used to measure an amount of gold.
* GoldFever: The various factions compete for rich gold deposits scattered across the planet, and the ultimate goal of the metagame is to eliminate your rivals and thus claim uncontested mining rights to the entire planet. The currency of the game, as noted in GlobalCurrency, is simply raw gold ore measured in ounces.
* GoombaStomp: Entirely possible, often accidentally. In earlier builds it wasn't uncommon for one or two of your troops to accidentally stomp each other into oblivion as they hopped out of a dropship, although now your troops can freely walk past each other. Doesn't stop you from body-slamming enemies into the terrain, however.
* {{Gorn}}: You can blow off arms, legs, heads, or splatter entire characters into a spray of blood and gibs.
* GunsAkimbo: The Ronin MAC-10 submachine gun. Wield together with an Uzi for MoreDakka. Additionally, several {{Game Mod}}s have 'offhand' variants of weapons they add (usually only [=SMGs=] or Pistols), designed to be used with their non-offhand variant.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Almost anything. [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer Shovels, Digging Tools]], Dropships, [[TheDoorSlamsYou Automatic Doors]], [[GrievousHarmWithABody Jetpacks, Corpses]]...
* ImplacableMan: Heavy units can take a massive beating, but troops in general seem to have no ability to feel pain and will stop at nothing to kill the enemy. Seeing a limbless torso attempting to kill a foe by ramming into him with their jetpack (And usually ''winning'') is a common sight.
* InfiniteSupplies: Your troops have to reload, but they always have more magazines. Throwable items like grenades and bombs avert this, as they need to be purchased individually.
* InstantDeathRadius: If you find yourself [[OhCrap a foot or so]] away from a drone you are [[LudicrousGibs screwed]].
* InstrumentalThemeTune
* JackOfAllStats: The Coalition faction is extremely well rounded and are capable in any situation. They are great for learning the ropes and enjoy the largest selection of different weapon types, but are less powerful overall than some of the other factions.
* JetPack: Most characters have one, and they're both a.) vital for getting around and b.) comically difficult to steer.
* KillItWithFire: Molotov Cocktails, incendiary bombs from drop ships, incendiary grenades, flame throwers.
** The Browncoats specialize in this. Among their weapons are flaming shotguns, flaming assault rifles, flaming artillery cannons, and a very special grenade launcher that can either shoot explosive fireballs or coat the ground in a flammable layer of fuel.
* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: Though energy weapons do exist, the most common and powerful guns in the game are ones that where invented in the 1900's or are similar to modern-day weaponry.
* LethalJokeItem: The crab body is tiny, defenseless, and can't do anything but crawl around. However, they're also free--if you pack several dozen of them into a single rocket or crate, you have yourself a very cheap BigBulkyBomb that will kill everything on the map in a holocaust of flying crabmeat. Especially notable in that the only reason this works is because you have to use so many crabs (Not actually that many) that the explosion ''overrides the game's entity limit'', [[UpToEleven causing everything on screen to]] [[LudicrousGibs insta-gib]].
** [[spoiler:In the Steam version of the game, doing this with 500 crabs is a hidden achievement.]]
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Six playable factions with distinct units and tech. The Ronin in particular have multiple clone templates, each with their own name and slight advantages, while most factions simply rely on FacelessGoons.
* LoadBearingBoss: A minor case. When a brain is destroyed, its minions -- and even the doors inside its base -- may fall to bits, although not explosively so.
* LudicrousGibs: This is not a game for the squeamish. Legs, heads, organs, torsos, arms and many, ''many'' unidentifiable bits will be sent flying, either by a high speed Dropship collision, explosion, or sometimes even just a pistol shot.
** It's possible, although difficult, to gib an actor in such a way that you literally ''liquidize'' them, with a laggy spray of hundreds of blood particles being all that remains of them. Usually requires so much force that whatever caused it probably broke the physics engine in some way.
* TheMedic: The Medic Drone, which wields no weapons but instead generates a passive healing aura around itself.
* MightyGlacier:
** A Heavy Infantry unit (particularly of the Browncoat or Techion factions) carrying a heavy weapon like a gatling gun. They'll be slow as molasses, unable to fly and will quickly sink in soft terrain such as snow or sand. However, their armor protects them from most light weapons and their own weapons will typically chew through anything short of a mech within seconds. Perfect for clearing out bunkers or defending a fixed position.
** Drone units. Man-sized {{Spider Tank}}s that waddle around on tiny legs, they cannot fly and they cannot climb ladders, which limits their usefulness in moving battles. However, the AntiAir Drone is capable of easily swatting dropships out of the sky with its missiles, the Coalition [[GatlingGood Gatling]] Drone is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, and the Dummy Dreadnought [[MadeOfIron is covered in multiple layers of tough armor]].
* MindControlDevice: Your brain is this, technically. The troops under your command are mindless drones that can only perform basic tasks on their own and aren't entirely accurate, so you need to take direct control of individuals every so often to get things done.
* MoreDakka: Plenty of automatic weapons with high rates of fire. The Coalition in particular boasts three different ways to supply their forces with GatlingGood weaponry.
** Suitably, there's also an [[TropeNamer Ork]] mod that adds in a number of ridiculously powerful automatic weapons.
* NailEm: Dummy nail guns, which range from crude 'pistols' to extra-large nail guns comparable to the GatlingGood weapons of other Techs.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The Avenger (which has, alas, been DummiedOut) and Mauler shotguns, the Destroyer and Annihilator energy weapons, the Banshee sniper rifle and the Devastator flak cannon.
* {{Nanomachines}}: The Techion faction specialize in nanotechnology. Their Nanolyzer is a digging tool that turns anything it shoots into inert sludge; as a result it's useless for mining gold, but invaluable for breaking into enemy bunkers. Their Nanorifle is a sniper rifle that disintegrates targets' limbs. And their Nanoswarm grenades explode into vicious clouds of enemy-seeking nanites.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Fanmade content includes [=RoboLichLer=], aka [[http://forums.datarealms.com/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=24174 Cyber-Lich Hitler]].
* OnlyAFleshWound: Even if all but one of their limbs have been blown off and they're slowly bleeding to death, if a clone still has a gun in his hand, he'll keep on fighting as best he can. And when even ''that'' has been torn off, they can always be flown at high speed across the map until a dropship flies low enough and gets an engine shredded by the mad flying clone torso.
* PinballProjectile: The Techion Nucleo fires slow-moving projectiles that bounce off hard surfaces.
* {{Roboteching}}: The Techion Nucleo Swarm shoots seven plasma projectiles which home in on a target. While they don't turn sharply enough to make them useful in enclosed spaces, out in the open they're a real menace.
* RuleOfCool: Zombies and Skeletons are buyable units, and one of the weapons available is a Blunderbuss. Why? Why not!
* SawedOffShotgun: The Ronin Shortgun.
* SentryGun: Comes in armored dummy variety and Gatling Coalition variety.
* SimpleYetAwesome: In a universe with [[GatlingGood laser Gatling Guns, normal Gatling Guns,]] Autocannons and Missile Launchers, the Ronin use now [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece ancient 20th century weapons]] including the AK-47, M60, M1 Garand and Kar-98. Despite being hundreds of years old in-universe, they are some of the [[RockBeatsLaser most effective guns in the game]], being extremely powerful and cheap at the same time.
* {{Shareware}}: The free version has a 6 minute cutoff per session.
* ShieldsAreUseless: The base game includes a riot shield, and while it can save a unit's life in a pinch, it falls apart ''very'' easily (Approximately 8 bullets/bits of shrapnel makes it disintegrate) and prevents the user from firing anything other than one handed weapons.
* ShortRangeShotgun: Mostly averted, played straight by the Blunderbuss.
* ShoutOut: [[VideoGame/StarControl Spathi]]
** In addition, there are many Easter eggs hidden on the maps, such as VideoGame/{{Metroid}}s in zombie cave, and the VideoGame/PacMan-shaped rock in one of the background images, and one of the alien fossils being a [[VideoGame/{{Oddworld}} scrab]].
* SpaceStation: The [=TradeStar=]
* SpaceX: Though they don't appear in the game, the backstory tells of a war against giant Space Amoebas. Yes, Amoebas as in the unicellular organism. Giant ones. In space.
* SpiderTank: Drone units slowly scuttle around on four stubby legs. The inherit usefulness of multiple legs is subverted, however, as without the ability to fly and climb ladders drones can frequently end up trapped.
* TheEnemyWeaponsAreBetter:
** Dropped equipment persists until actively destroyed, so a good way to save money on outfitting your fresh troops is to simply scavenge guns off nearby corpses. Need to chase a Brainbot underground, but can't afford a decent digging tool? Good thing that random Dummy you just dismantled was carrying a Turbo Digger!
** You can [[EnemyExchangeProgram purchase equipment and even unit types from Techs other than your own]] at any time, allowing you to mix and match loadouts from the get-go, but the items cost more Oz than if you simply played as those Techs yourself.
* WeaponizedExhaust: the dropships are unarmed, but can be used to quite deadly effect by flying them on top of enemy units and hitting the throttle. The rockets, on the other hand, must be used with extreme care, because their exhaust has the tendency to kill the units they just delivered.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou[=/=]DecapitatedArmy: If your brain is destroyed, you will automatically lose. Justified, as the units that you order are literally brainless and have to be controlled by you. What isn't justified is why they ''all simultaneously explode.''
* WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer: While using diggers is the best way to tunnel through the ground, [[BulletholeDoor bullets can also very slowly erode terrain and props]]. Inversely, diggers can be used as an emergency short-range weapon.
* YetAnotherStupidDeath: Expect to happen. A lot. From all sides.
** [[ManOnFire Improper handling of the Browncoats' weaponry.]]
** Grunt dying due to a sprained ankle making him tumble downhill.
** Not accounting for a frag grenade's shrapnel sniping your eye out from a distance.
** Failing a mission because your robo-brain's jetpack suddenly decided to headbutt the boulder [[IncrediblyLamePun ahead]] of you, Rocketman style.
** Accidentally crushing your freshly-bought and expensive custom troops with the very rocket or dropship that had just delivered them.
** Surviving the Maginot Defense mission after many brutal waves of dropships and enemies, just so [[EpicFail the escape rocket tumbles down, crushing your robo-brain]], due to irregular footing [[ForWantOfANail resulted from bullets and explosions from said raid marring the concrete platform.]]

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