Title screen of Cortex Command
|Developer(s)||Data Realms LLC|
|Publisher(s)||Data Realms LLC|
|Designer(s)||Daniel Tabar (Development Director)|
keyboard & mouse,
Cortex Command is a 2-dimensional side-scrolling action game developed by Data Realms. In the game, the player takes the role of a disembodied brain, who controls various clones and robots to achieve his aims. The main goal of the game is mining gold, which is used to purchase new clones, weaponry and craft which is then used to eliminate competitors. 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 was first released as an open beta and was later released for purchase with a time-limited demo version available as well. The full version is still being refined, but includes unlimited play and extra features unavailable on the demo.
The game engine was designed and built by Dan Tabar (Data), using several open source libraries. The GUI was built by Jason Boettcher, the artwork is by Arne Niklas Jansson (Prom) and the long awaited Mac OS X port is now completed by ex-Rockstar Games programmer Chris Kruger. As of May 2008, the game was described as being in development for approximately seven years, with Dan Tabar quitting his job in mid 2006 to work full time on the project.. No versions for game consoles are planned.  The game allows several components to be modified using the Lua programming language, such as Scenes (or levels), Actors, Weapons, and more. The current game build is number 23.
Influences for the game include the X-COM: UFO Defense series.
Despite being in development, unfinished playable demonstration versions of the game have been made available to try. The control system for this unfinished version has been described as "too fiddly to be considered entertaining.. Others described the game as requiring patience, asking players to "take [their] time and experiment". The game has been compared to other games in the genre, such as GunBound and Worms. Positive reviews praise the detailed physics, as well as the chaotic gameplay.
Cortex Command was the Indie Games Game of the Month for April 2008.