(Credit: Screenshot: Download.com/Tom McNamara)

Perhaps inspired by Ready Player One, Google and Android phone maker OnePlus have teamed up to launch a browser-based puzzle game called Crackables -- and the grand prize is an "ultimate gaming setup" valued at $30,000.

According to the countdown timer on the website for Crackables (whose content is only viewable in a mobile browser, unless you're wrangling one of those agent string add-ons), the contest begins tomorrow, September 18, at 8 a.m. Eastern, which works out to 5 a.m. Pacific, or 13:00 GMT. Players will access the game via the website, rather than a mobile app, and you don't appear to need an Android phone or tablet to be eligible to play.

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For those of us who haven't gotten an advanced peek, an 11-second teaser clip on YouTube (and the cryptic introduction on the mobile site) are all that we have to go on in terms of how the game works and what it looks like. But at the least, the tech looks simple enough to run on a wide variety of phone and tablets.

According to the press release, "Only the first 1000 people to make it through the first 3 challenges will qualify to continue and have the microcontroller sent to them to become a potential winner." So if you're in the market for an "ultimate gaming setup" and you're a good puzzle solver, now's your time to shine -- assuming that you're ready to go as soon as the clock hits zero.

There's no indication in the press release about what "the microcontroller" is supposed to do -- the only time it's mentioned is in the quote above. There are also no details on the contents of this "ultimate gaming setup," but at that price, speculation can run pretty wild.

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Based on this writer's experience with building one of the most enjoyably ridiculous gaming PCs known to man, that kind of money can buy you the parts to make not one but two top-of-the-line gaming PCs, with custom liquid cooling, absurd amounts of storage, multiple 4K monitors, and just about anything else you could think of. Just don't try to run both machines off the same electrical circuit at the same time.

At any rate, we expect a OnePlus phone to be somewhere in the packing list. The company is reportedly on the verge of releasing the OnePlus 6T, a refresh of its OnePlus 6 Android phone -- albeit without a headphone jack. The company has earned a loyal following with its aggressively priced unlocked phones and long-term software update support, though its tech support department is apparently run pretty lean to get costs down.

CNET reported a few weeks ago that OnePlus will be partnering with T-Mobile to release its next phone in October, with a tentative price of $550 and support for the carrier's 600MHz band, which T-Mobile claims will be fast and deliver better coverage than before.

The takeaways

  • Google and Android phone maker OnePlus have jointly announced a puzzle game contest called Crackables, and the grand prize is a $30,000 "ultimate gaming setup."
  • The contest begins September 18 at 8 a.m. Eastern -- less than 24 hours from now.
  • Neither party has elaborated on the actual contents of this $30,000 prize.

Also see

Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.