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
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,
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.
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
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
|3 blocks||2 point
|4 blocks||4 points
|5 blocks||5 points
|N blocks||N 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.
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
|3 gray blocks||6 points
|4 gray blocks||12 points
|5 gray blocks||15 points
|N gray blocks||3N 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!
-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!
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
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
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.
This old guy's still along for the ride. You'll need him to help eliminate his
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!
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 orange||10 points
|special yellow||15 points
|special green||8 points
|special blue||5 points
|special purple||5 points
Personal Garbage Image
Crack Attack! is fully customizable!
That is a big lie. However, you can get it to use your own personal giant
garbage image. Often, whenever you lay a really serious piece of garbage
down on your opponent, it will have some sort of inspirational message
on it. Normally, Crack Attack! chooses an image at random from its little
stock pile. However, if you specify your own personal image, Crack Attack! will
use it more often than not. During online play your image will be placed on
any giant pieces of garbage which fall on your opponent. With solo play the
image will be used on garbage you send to yourself. Just think of the
possibilities! You can communicate your views on your opponent's
intelligence, at the same time as you play a rousing game of Crack Attack!
You could propose to your girlfriend, assuming she's enough of a loser to play
Crack Attack! The list goes on.
A personal garbage image must be 128x128 or smaller. Save the image as an
uncompressed TGA with alpha channel. Name the image file
garbage_flavor_my.tga. If you are running Linux, put the file in
.crack-attack/ which is located in your home
directory. If you are running Windows, put the file in the directory
localdata which is located in Crack Attack!'s application
directory. Remember, do NOT use RLE compression when saving. Why? Because
I'm too lazy to code up an uncompressor but too proud to use someone else's.
Plus, your hard drive is huge. If you're really hard up for space, maybe you
could delete a few of those LEXX episodes. When creating a personal garbage
image, use a transparent background and keep in mind that that transparent
background will become red once the image is placed on the garbage.
As you play against a multitude of opponents, Crack Attack! will accumulate a
set of garbage images and will use them from time to time. If you manage to
obtain a garbage image which is of particularly bad taste and you'd like to be
rid of it, find its file. Under Linux it will be found in the directory
.crack-attack/ located in your home directory. Under Windows it
will be found in the directory
localdata located in Crack
Attack!'s application directory. The file will be among the files named
garbage_flavor_###.tga. Simply delete it.
Believe it or not, there are improvements which could be made to Crack Attack!
- Improved Socket Code
Crack Attack!'s socket code was written based on my experience
with parallel scientific simulation code. And no one has ever accused a
piece of academic simulation code of being nimble. That is, my socket use
is perhaps a bit naive, and I doubt it deals as effectively as it might with
such things as not having a direct and dedicated connection.
Much to my surprise, games have been successfully played between opponents
on opposite coasts. None the less, there is still much for me to learn when
it comes to writing robust, time-critical socket code. Until then, your best
bet is to stay inside your LAN.
- Triangle Strips
I'm lazy and thus never got around to triangle stripping the basic block. As it
is the block has over five hundred vertices. That's almost embarrassing.
- Windows Version
I'm only one man!!! I don't have the time or the tools right now.
Want to chat during a game? Go download AIM.
Someday someone will pay me to do this kind of crap. And I'll have an artist!
Colin Walters | Wade Lutgen, friend and co-conspirator | Roland Peetz, play
tester | Greg Kilcup, my infinitely patient graduate studies professor | Andy
Colebourne, creator of AC3D - used to model the basic block | Mark Kilgard,
creator of GLUT | the GIMP team | Nullsoft, creators of NSIS - an excellent and
free utility for creating Windows install scripts | Mom
GNU General Public License
Copyright (C) 2002 Daniel Richard Nelson
174 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210 USA
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
The GNU General Public License can be found online at
Additionally, a copy can be obtained by writing to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.
It is important to realize that the name of Crack Attack! X-treme play mode is
meant to be humorous, and thus should not itself be the subject of derision.
Direct comments, questions, praise, flames, and job offers to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my homepage at