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GAME FACT: The player's car can be reversed by pulling back on the joystick.

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Reviews (N-Z)

Up n' down

983 (1-2 Players)



Overview and game play

Up n’ down is a racing game viewed from an aerial, isometric perspective for 2 players who take turns to drive a buggy along numerous interconnected roads. It was relatively popular in the arcades and was converted to several home computers available at the time. One coin is required for each player and the game begins with a dark pink buggy parked at the bottom of the racecourse. Pushing the joystick up causes the buggy to drive in a forward direction and pushing left or right at any intersection causes the buggy to switch lanes. It is also possible to make the buggy roll backwards by pulling back on the joystick. As the buggy progresses along the racecourse, points are awarded to the player. Also present on the racecourse are coloured flags that the player can collect, which also add points to the players score. There are ten colours of flags shown at the top of the screen: cyan; orange; dark blue; light red; dark green; dark red; light green; pink; yellow and black. As each flag is collected, all subsequent flags of the same colour on the racecourse are turned white to show that they need not be collected. Once all the flags are collected, the flags at the top of the screen flash and the course is complete. A bonus screen then appears and a bonus is awarded to the player for the amount of time spent collecting the flags. The faster the completion time, the bigger the bonus.

To add some challenge to the game, other vehicles are also present on the roads that block the player from progressing further either by driving slowly, backwards or at high speed. Each road is only wide enough for one vehicle so the player’s car is equipped with the ability to jump over other vehicles by pressing button 1, (hence the games title of up n’ down). There is no time limit so the player may be tempted to creep along the roads slowly and reverse down some of them to collect flags and bonus items such as cherries and ice cream that add points to the players score. The designers realised this possibility and if too much reversing is undertaken, vehicles can appear from behind the player to cause a crash or if the player is driving too slowly for too long, 2 high speed vehicles appear to ram the player’s car. If the player’s car touches another vehicle or jumps off a road, it will crash and one of the 3 vehicles the player starts with will be lost. The only exception to this is if the player jumps from one road on to another. This is risky and the player will need to be travelling at a high speed to succeed. Speed is maintained by pushing the joystick forward and if the players’ vehicle is not travelling fast enough up a hill, it will roll back down the road. Conversely, the players’ vehicle gains speed when travelling down a hill so the player must compensate for this by pulling back on the joystick if the vehicle is travelling too fast.



The ability for the players’ vehicle to jump adds much to the game play. Sometimes two or more vehicles are travelling along a road and the player has to make a quick decision whether s/he will be able to jump over each car in succession before a corner appears. Later in the game, roads that have dead ends appear and the jump feature becomes essential for the player to avoid crashing.



For an early 80’s game, up n’ down has good graphics that are colourful and pleasing. The roads look solid and the isometric view presents an interesting perspective for the racing. There are a good variety of vehicles on the roads and different vehicles appear at various stages in the game. Apart from the roads, there are pools of water by the roadside that the players’ vehicle can fall into and grassy areas between roads that can be jumped over. The scrolling of the road is smooth and adequate to convey a sense of movement. 




Music plays throughout up n’ down that is about average for 1983. The tune stops and the music changes to a jingle when the players’ car crashes and a separate tune plays if the player has achieved a score good enough to enter his/her name on the high score table. The sound effects are simple and are used for key game play moments such as when the players’ car jumps or crashes or when it collects a flag.



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