If there’s one certain thing about streamers is that they all love a good viral game. And while that doesn’t always mean a *good* game, it’s usually true that they’ll be playing it for long periods of time. And that’s exactly what is happening with Only Up! An infuriatingly difficult game that’s captured the attention of streamers like iShowSpeed and more.
But for many viewers, at first glance this title might seem extremely generic and difficult to understand. That’s because Only Up! Is part of a small wave of titles that have appeared in the past few years, which center around a single objective and very simple mechanics, while being developed using generic assets.
What is Only Up!?
In the same vein as Getting Over It and ALTF4 (although much less reflective than the first one mentioned), Only Up! Tasks you with doing exactly what the title says: you must guide a kid as far up as the world will allow with clumsy parkour and nonsensical environments. Starting from a junkyard, you must climb buildings, bouncy beds, fancy hotels, railroads and more until you reach the top of the world.
All of these obstacles are stacked on top of each other, and there are no loading screens or safeguards, which means that a single wrong step could lead you to lose all of your progress, falling all the way back to the beginning. It’s all about paying attention and having good judgment while making your jumps, and not so much about reflexes, but the pressure of falling into one of the many traps the game has prepared and having to start all over again is enough to make players make mistakes.
The game was developed and published by SC-KR Games, and it was released on May 24, 2023 exclusively on PC via Steam. And in less than a month, it had reached a viral success thanks to streamers showing off the game, and viewers enjoying their rage and frustration while seeing them fall. Now beating the game (and setting time records) has become its own subculture online, with speedrunners finding exciting routes and new tricks almost every day, while streamers like iShowSpeed and Adin Ross try it out with varying degrees of success.
It’s been such a hit specifically because of their early failures, which are often accompanied by heavy displays of rage and desperation. In one of his broadcasts, Speed fell halfway through the game after four hours of playing, which prompted him to destroy his computer live on the internet.
If you’d like to try it out yourself, you can get the game on Steam right now. It’s only $6.99 right now thanks to the Steam Sale, and the only additional cost is your sanity.