First Impressions

Which Way Up Space Olympics

DeveloperTurtle Flip Studios

Release Date:  6 February, 2024 (EA)

Platform: Windows, Linux, MacOS

Genre: Simulation

By Chris Picone, 20 February 2024


Which Way Up came across my desk only recently and my first thoughts were that it looks - conceptually - a bit like G-Switch, a multiplayer game that my young fella introduced me to a few years back which we love playing together.  While there are some similarities, Which Way Up has a lot more to offer, and in particular features a good range of "minigames" to compete at, rather than just racing.

First, I want to clear up my misunderstanding: Turns out there's no gravity switching in Which Way Up.  Gravity points toward the centre of whichever platform you're standing on, so if you're on top you'll be right way up and if you're on the bottom you'll be upside down.  To get from one platform to another, you just jump.  Sometimes this can be tricky though, because gravity will continue to pull you while you're jumping and some of the platforms spin.  Other times it's even easier; if the platforms are a reasonable distance apart, you end up in a low gravity zone, and can float in whichever direction you choose by keeping the jump button held in.  The racing levels can be really fun because they usually have some other sort of challenge included, like an ever-growing black hole that sucks you in, and another is a domination-type level that has you trying to collect stars for points.  You have one other button to play with:  The "charge" button.  Pushing this button releases what kind of looks like a gust of wind - you can hold the button for a stronger gust.  How you actually use this "attack" is determined by the level.  On a race-type level, you might use the charge to push your opponent in a direction they don't necessarily want to go.  Other levels feature objects that can be pushed around too; there's a pong-type level where you need to use the charge to shoot asteroids into your goals to score points, and another where you have to throw bombs at your opponent's planets to score points, but the bombs can also be pushed away even mid-air with a charge attack.  There's also a hypercharge level, which is kind of like a game of hot potato.  Someone starts hypercharged and the only way to release the energy is to use a charge attack on an opponent, passing your energy onto them.  Eventually the timer will go off and whoever's holding the charge explodes.  

The verdict? Which Way Up is an excellent multiplayer game.  I played it with my young fella and we both loved it, so I'd say this one's definitely good for all ages and perfect for families. We only played 2 player, which was awesome, but I think it would be even more fun with 3 or 4 players. Also, I played it pre-release, which means so far I've only got about half the game modes available, and online play isn't available yet.  It's already very polished and there's plenty to keep you occupied, so the full release version should be amazing.