Game Play

Screen Description

First a quick overview of the game screen.

  1. Crack Attack! logo.
  2. Your opponent's level lights. These indicate the height of your opponent's stack. When the red reaches the top and they start flashing, he's in trouble!
  3. Your level lights. These correspond to the height of your stack. When your stack reaches the top of the screen, these lights flash to warn you of your impending doom. You've got seven seconds to reduce your stack or you lose. If nothing else, just eliminate some blocks. Time during which blocks are disappearing or garbage is shattering do not count towards these seven seconds.
  4. Players' names.
  5. Your star collection. When you win a game, you get a happy yellow star. Once you earn two, you win the match! In this case the player won the first game, lost the second, and the third star is being contested.
  6. The clock keeps track of how long the current game has taken. In solo mode the clock is replaced by your score.
  7. The four orange blocks have been eliminated and are disappearing. Any time three or more of the same color blocks are in a row, they eliminate. In this case, since the elimination is more than the minimum size of three, a '4' appeared to let the player know he was doing a good job. The rectangular-ish white thing is your cursor. You control it with the arrow keys and use it to manipulate the colored blocks in your stack.
  8. These are the blocks in your stack. You can use your cursor to swap blocks which are side-by-side in order to put blocks of like color into a row, which causes them to eliminate. And you'd better be quick about it, because your stack will creep up from the bottom and once it reaches to top of the screen, you loose.
  9. This is a piece of garbage in your stack. When your opponent does something clever, for example eliminating four blocks at once, garbage will fall from above, cluttering your stack. You can shatter garbage into normal blocks by causing a bordering elimination.

Play Control

Play control is very simple.

Arrow Keys

Move your cursor. Also, in solo mode, rotates the Hall of Fame.

Space Bar

Swap the blocks your cursor surrounds.


Advance your stack upwards one row.

P | p

Pause the game. During online play, either player is able to unpause a paused game.


Concede the current match or exit Crack Attack! after a match.

Game Play

The Basics

Slowly, your stack of blocks grows from the bottom, and you've got to make sure it never reaches the top. Because, once it does, you lose! To eliminate blocks from the stack, line up at least three of one color, horizontally or vertically. Once you do, those blocks disappear, and put off slightly your inevitable demise.

To add to the excitement, chunks of red garbage will fall from above. It is impossible to eliminate this garbage directly. However, if you eliminate any blocks which are touching the garbage, the garbage will shatter into normal, run-of-the-mill blocks.

Throughout the game your stack of blocks will slowly grow from below, initially quite slowly but always faster and faster. When the stack reaches the top it will pause and you have seven seconds to save yourself. It is possible, however, to get a momentary repose from your stack's assent. When you eliminate a block or cause garbage to shatter, the growth of your stack will pause. Even if your stack has reached the top and you're about to lose, you will be given a little more time to save yourself. Time during which a block is disappearing or a chunk of garbage is shattering does not count towards your seven seconds.

Multiple Eliminations

So, what is it that causes this garbage? Well, the garbage is your opponent's way of sticking it to you; and, conversely, your way of sticking it to him. While any old slod can eliminate a ho-hum three blocks, a true master will eliminate four, five, or even more blocks at one time. And when he does, not only will he be rewarded with a little light show, but garbage will come raining down onto his opponent's stack! Just remember, the bigger the elimination, the bigger the downpour.


Beyond the multiple elimination method, there is yet another technique to generate troublesome garbage. I speak of the dreaded combo. Whenever you eliminate blocks, it's likely to cause other blocks to fall, either simply because they were above the eliminated blocks, or because you have freed them from a piece of overhanging garbage. If, when these blocks fall, they cause a second elimination, you've got yourself a combo. If you're good enough to keep the combo rolling, your combo multiplier will increment for each elimination. And, when the combo is finally complete, a massive chunk of garbage will descend upon your opponent, it's size proportional to your final multiplier.

Solo Mode

Solo play works a little differently. Instead of trying to last longer than an opponent, now you're attempting to rack up as many points as possible before you die. The number of points you get for an elimination depends on how fancy it is.

3 blocks2 point
4 blocks4 points
5 blocks5 points
N blocksN points

When you get a combo, all of the points you earned in the eliminations which made up that combo are multiplied by the combo's highest multiplier. So, for example, if you work up to a x5 combo, then all of the eliminations in that combo will be worth five times the points.

But watch out! Eliminations generate garbage in solo mode too. Except the garbage falls on you! So, its a tradeoff between points and garbage.

Once the game is over, if your score is within the top thirty scores ever, you win and your name is added to the Hall of Fame! If you manage to get the number one spot, you're in for an extra special treat. Use the arrow keys when viewing the Hall of Fame in order to check out the other scores.

Gray Block

While there is little more to say about the five standard colored blocks, there is an additional color of block, more rare than the others, the gray block. Even the elimination of just three gray blocks generates garbage, and this is no ordinary garbage. Normally when a piece of garbage shatters, the effect propagates on, destroying all garbage that it is in contact with. Often just one well placed elimination by your opponent can shatter all of your hard earned garbage. Well, gray garbage stops shattering propagation like a firewall and can only be destroyed by an elimination in direct contact with it.

In solo mode a gray elimination generates three times the points! Because gray blocks are worth so many points, it's a good idea to try and work them into a combo multiplier.

3 gray blocks6 points
4 gray blocks12 points
5 gray blocks15 points
N gray blocks3N points

X-treme Play Mode

For those who have mastered the art of Crack Attack! and hunger for something more, we offer Crack Attack! X-treme!!! In Crack Attack! X-treme long lost block types, thought by some to be extinct, have resurfaced. Gone is the ho-hum, work-a-day world of the lone gray special block type. Replacing it is a cavalcade of color: over eight special block types!

Use the -X command-line option to access X-treme play mode. One should note that normal play mode is the true test of one's Crack Attack! skill. While normal play mode can be likened to chess, X-treme play mode is more akin to winging a super ball as hard as you can in a small room, and seeing who gets hit first. It's fun, just a bit random.

In Crack Attack! X-treme no block can be trusted and nothing is as it seems!

Wild Block

This crazy block can't decide which color it wants to be! Slowly it shifts though the spectrum, hoping to cause an unexpected match.

Special Orange Block

This baby lays out a hunk of garbage taller than it is wide, guaranteed to add height to your opponent's stack, and quick!

Special Yellow Block

Knock your opponent flat with this block's diseased garbage! All his controls will be reversed until he can figure out a way to shatter the garbage and cure himself.

Special Green Block

Special green blocks generate poisoned garbage which blinds your opponent! Well, sort of. Actually, it will cause his cursor to flicker and then disappear. The cursor will remain nearly invisible until the poisoned garbage is shattered.

Special Blue Block

When you cause the blue garbage generated by this special block to shatter, instead of turning into blocks, it becomes normal garbage. What a pain!

Special Purple Block

Forget those big, easy-to-shatter chunks of connected garbage. Any elimination with this block causes a veritable downpour of miniature purple garbage onto your opponent's stack. That stuff has a nasty habit of getting into all the wrong places.

Gray Block

This old guy's still along for the ride. You'll need him to help eliminate his relatives.

Ancient Ancestors of the Gray Block

There are rumored to be even more rare and powerful block colors, lost relatives of the gray block. Legend speaks of a black block and a white block, one which generates obsidian garbage that is nigh impossible to shatter and the other which generates pearl garbage and has dominion over the sun itself!

Point Values

In solo mode many of the X-treme blocks are worth bonus points. But are the points worth their deadly garbage!? You must decide. It's always a good idea to try and work any special block eliminations into a combo. That way the special blocks' bonus points will be multiplied by the combo's multiplier.

Special BlockValue
special orange10 points
special yellow15 points
special green8 points
special blue5 points
special purple5 points
black? points
white? points