Rearrange dominoes on different platforms to start a chain reaction.

Domino-Chain is a puzzle game where you have to rearrange dominoes on different platforms to start a chain reaction that makes all dominoes topple over. There are many strange types of dominoes, such as the Ascender which will rise to the ceiling when pushed, or the Exploder which will blast a hole into the platform it stands on.

Domino-Chain is a faithful reincarnation of the game Pushover originally published by Ocean in 1992. Compared to Pushover, Domino-Chain has some new levels, some additional domino types, better graphics in higher resolution and high-quality music. On top of that, you can load and play the original levels from Pushover if you have a copy of it.

This game is free software and created by volunteers. Even though it is in a pretty good state, there is a lot to improve. If you like Domino-Chain, please consider to join the team and to help with translations, levels, graphics and more.


Debian, Mint, Ubuntu

On Debian, Mint, Ubuntu and similar systems, Domino-Chain should already be available. Just install the package "domino-chain".

Otherwise, please build from source.


Since Windows lacks a proper package management system, you need to download and unpack the package by hand:

→ Domino-Chain for Windows

Mac OS X

This system is not yet supported, but it should be possible without too much hassle. Please get in contact with us if you'd like to volunteer.


If your operating system is not listed above, or you want to try the latest development version, you can build from source. You need:

GCC/g++, gettext, Git, ImageMagick, Make, pkgconf, POV-Ray, sed, shellcheck
Boost filesystem, Boost system, FriBidi, LUA, libpng, SDL2, SDL2_image, SDL2_mixer, SDL2_ttf, zlib

On Debian-based systems, this means:

sudo apt-get install fonts-freefont-ttf g++ gettext imagemagick libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-system-dev libfribidi-dev liblua5.2-dev libpng-dev libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev libsdl2-ttf-dev make pkgconf povray shellcheck zlib1g-dev

Clone the Git repository, build the game and run it as follows:

git clone domino-chain
cd domino-chain

Have fun!



You control a figure that can walk along platforms which are connected with ladders. On those platforms there are dominoes that will fall according to certain rules. Your task is to rearrange the dominoes so you can start a chain reaction that makes all dominoes topple over. The rules are:

Domino types:
There are many different dominoes that behave differently when pushed. Some fall, some not, some wait a bit before they fall, some raise, some topple until they meet an obstacle.
All fall, no crash:
All dominoes (except for the blocker) must fall and none must crash into another. They are allowed to fall off the screen, though.
Trigger and exit door:
The trigger domino must fall as last domino. Only then it triggers the exit door to open. When you enter the exit door the level has been completed.
Disallowed moves:
You may rearrange as many dominoes as you want, except for the trigger. You must not place dominoes in front of the doors, except for the vanishing domino.
One push:
You may push only once to start a chain reaction with the dominoes leading to the fall of all of them.
Time limit:
All this has to be done within a time limit. This limit is usually generous, but not always.

There is an in-game help as well as and introductory levels that show how all the dominoes work.


The following types of dominoes exist:

Standard, completely yellow:
There is nothing special with this stone, it behaves like a regular domino and falls when pushed.
Blocker, completely red:
This domino can't fall over, so it is the only kind of stone that may still be standing when the level is solved. Dominoes falling against this stone will bounce back, if possible.
Tumbler, big red stripe:
This domino will stand up again after falling and will continue to tumble until it hits an obstacle or rests against another stone.
Delay stone, diagonally divided:
This domino will take some time until it falls, when it is pushed. Dominoes falling against this stone will bounce back and later this stone will fall.
Splitter, horizontally divided:
This stone will split into two stones, one falling to the left and the other falling to the right. The splitter can't be pushed. It must be split by a stone falling onto it from above. A pile of rubbish falling into it also activates this domino.
Exploder, vertically divided:
This stone will blast a gap into the platform it is standing on, when it is pushed. Neither the figure nor the pushing domino are harmed by that, the pushing domino will fall into the gap.
Bridger, 1 horizontal strip:
The bridger will try to connect the edge it is standing on with the next edge, if it is close enough, if not it will simply fall into the gap.
Vanisher, 2 horizontal strips:
The Vanisher will disappear as soon as it lies flat on the ground. This is the only stone you may place in front of doors.
Trigger, 3 horizontal strips:
This stone will open the exit door, as soon as it lies completely flat and all other conditions are met (see above). This is the only stone that you are not allowed to move around.
Ascender, vertical strip:
This stone will start to rise as soon as it is pushed. It will rise until is hits the ceiling, then it will start to flip into the direction it was initially pushed. When you fall into a gap while holding this stone it will also rise and stay at the ceiling until pushed.
Quantum, diagonally divided:
All dominoes of this type will fall together as if they were quantum entangled. There are two types of quantum dominoes with inverted color markings. Those of the same type will fall into the same direction, the others will fall into the opposite direction. This is a new type of dominoes not present in the original Pushover game.


The figure is controlled using the cursor keys and space. Use the space key to pick up the domino behind the figure or to place it down where you are currently standing. To push press first up to let the figure enter the row of dominoes. Then simultaneously press space and either left or right cursor key depending on whether you want to push the domino to your left or your right.


If you don't know where to start in a level, simply push a stone and observe what happens. This helps very often to get a general idea how to solve a level and where the problem is.

If you forgot which domino has what kind of special property press F1 to get a short help. This window also displays a short hint, once the time of the level is out.

The first levels introduce you to the dominoes. Here you can explore how the different dominoes behave in different situations.



You can file bug reports, discuss ideas for new features and offer contributions on the

→ Domino-Chain Issue Tracker

which is the central point to get in contact with the project. There, you'll also find links to the code repository, and so on. If you need to contact us privately, please contact Andreas Röver via roever at users dot sourceforge dot net.


Andreas Röver:
Project founder, main programming and reverse engineering.
Volker Diels-Grabsch:
Text-based level format, build system and code assorted bugfixes and patches.
Roberto Lorenz:
Music composition and arrangement.
Harald Radke:
Theme graphics.


Domino-Chain places a few files on your hard-disc in everyday running. Those files will be placed in your home directory. The exact location depends on your operating system.

Location on Unix systems:
Location on Windows:
My Documents\domino-chain

The following files are saved:

This file contains checksums of all the levels that you have successfully solved. In the level selection dialogue those levels contain a mark. If you loose this file those marks are gone.
These files contain recordings of activities within a level. They are automatically created whenever you solve a level but you can also actively make a recording by pressing 'r' while you play a level. When you observe something strange while playing, make a recording and send it to us. Also when the game crashes a recording will be saved. You can delete these files whenever you want. You can distinguish the recordings by the prefix in their name. "Sol" stands for solved levels, "Man" for manually created recordings and "Err" for recordings made when the program crashed.

Level Designers

Domino-Chain will eventually get a level editor, but right now it doesn't. However, all levels are stored in a readable plain text format, so you can create and modify levels directly with a text editor.

To get your levels officially included in the Domino-Chain project, you need to adhere to the following rules:

They need to be put under the GPL, or a compatible license. Otherwise inclusion is legally not possible. Copyright stays with you, of course.
Complete sets:
Please contribute only complete sets and no single levels. They don't need to be long, 10 levels is enough, but this way you can keep up a constant scheme and theme logic of the levels.
You absolutely must provide a recording of one possible solution to each level. That solution is not within the distribution, just within the source code repository. It is used to ensure that the solution of your level is still possible after we made changes to the program. This way we limit possible frustration.
Do only send non-compressed level sets. We need those for the inclusion in the source. And we need those for possible future updates.
Use the index file to reorder levels, don't rename the files. This way inserting a level becomes very easy.


We have graphics for most themes, but not for all. Those themes do have some foreground graphics, but their background tiles are all black. You are very much invited to create and to improve the graphics. Even more important, though, is the creation of a new main figure. In either case, please contact us if you are interested.

The backgrounds are made out of 20x13 tiles. Each tile has a size of 40x48 pixel. The reason for that is the non square pixel of the 320x200 resolution of the original game. For each theme there is a PNG image file containing all the blocks that may be used by the levels. To make it possible to place the blocks more freely into the PNG file a LUA file accompanies the image. This LUA file contains the block positions of all the used blocks.

It is already implemented to use transparency within the blocks. Right now you can stack up to 8 layers, but if necessary this can be made dynamic.

It is also planned to have something like animated tiles, but they have to be kept at a low count. Not too many frames and not too many animations. They are not intended to make the background dynamic, but to rather be a little finishing touch to the graphics. Possibilities are trees that move from time to time in a breeze, a bird that sails through the sky from time to time, and so on.

The figure is more complicated. The image figure.png contains all possible animation images for the figure, one animation below the other. On request we can provide an additional GIMP image that contains in separate layers possible surroundings of the figure in different animation frames (like ladders, steps, ground, a carried domino, and so on). We will happily provide that image to an interested artist.


Release 1.1

Improved gameplay:
The automatic set down of dominoes is disabled, as this mechanism is irritating for novice and young players.
Port to SDL 2:
The whole project is ported from SDL 1 to SDL 2, making the code base more future-proof.
Improved build system:
The build system now provides a fully automated cross build for Windows using MXE. Along the way, several issues regarding cross builds are fixed.
Typos and translations:
Multiple spelling mistakes are fixed and translations are updated.

Release 1.0

Initial release:
This is the initial version of the Domino-Chain project.


We want to thank the developers of the original game for making such a nice little game.