Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Upn Down

According to a 1983 survey, the most requested features in Volkswagen Bugs were:

1. Install a heater that has more than the two default settings of "off" and "a billion."


2. Make it jump, man. No, I'm serious. I want you to make it jump.

When automobile designers from VW failed to heed their customers' wishes, arcade designers from Sega heard them loud and clear. The result is Up'n Down.


Gameplay: Each level has 10 different flags scattered across two often-intersecting roads. Your job is to pick them up. If you get them in less than one minute, you'll earn bonus points. Do it for the first four rounds, and you'll win a guest appearance from Pengo during level five.

The roads go—wait for it—up and down, and will affect your vehicle's speed accordingly. This also affects the other vehicles around you, and you can either jump over (or onto) them, or use your joystick to speed up or slow down to avoid them. Be careful that your momentum doesn't carry you off the road when you jump; just like in real life, if your Bug touches anything but pavement, you'll blow up.

Could be mistaken for: Bump 'N' Jump, the John Waters classic Herbie Goes Magenta

Kids today might not like it because: When that cute girl asks, "Want to come over and play Up'n Down?" they don't want to find out she's actually talking about a video game.


Kids today might like it because: VW Bug enthusiasts finally have a game where the object of their affection is the hero, instead of the punchline.

Totally fake contribution to automotive history: VW's Klaus VonBraundt originally planned on including magic jumping shocks in the 2004 VW Beetle, but he was so bad at Up'n Down, he included a bud vase instead, out of spite.


Wil Wheaton drives slow in the driveway every Saturday.

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