Solely Up! is a game where “it’s a must to get as excessive as doable.” And no, not like that—it is a low-budget indie platformer about climbing to the highest of a bizarre, floating construction product of railway tracks, large slices of fruit, floating islands, and issues far bizarre than that. And immediately, almost 150,000 persons are watching it on Twitch.

The highest channel on the Solely Up! class immediately belongs to xQc (and sure, that xQc, the man who received $100 million to stream on Twitch competitor Kick lower than every week in the past), who on the time of writing has 71,000 individuals watching him play. However as you possibly can see from the class entrance web page, he is removed from alone:

(Picture credit score: Twitch)

The idea of Solely Up! is straightforward: You’re Jackie, desperately attempting to flee the poverty of the slum during which you reside. To take action, you embark upon a journey impressed by the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, climbing ever upward into the unknown.

“The world has undoubtedly gone loopy, although it has by no means been regular, however possibly now’s the prospect for you,” the Steam web page states. “Disaster is a time for motion and decisive steps… besides it is scary, as a result of each step can set you again far.

“Typically it’s tough to decide on the best path, however don’t be afraid, you possibly can all the time repeat, we study from errors.”

Mechanically, Solely Up! is sort of easy. It is performed from the third-person perspective, you possibly can stroll, run, bounce, or mantle onto issues, and you’ll’t die: Even if you happen to fall from miles up within the sky, you will lose progress however not your life while you land. Predictably, it is just a little janky: There are some pretty apparent clipping errors, and the voice appearing is repetitive and decidedly not nice. 

As advised by the Steam retailer web page, I may really feel the game reaching for some stage of profundity, however it largely simply got here off as bizarre. At one level, as an illustration, I reached a disembodied prepare platform within the sky: Jackie mentioned, “My grandfather labored right here for 60 years, after which he died.” Later, upon assembly a pleasant canine, he mentioned, “What a pleasant canine. Your grasp is not coming again. Go discover a new one.” It appears clear that English is not the primary language for developer SCKR Video games, besides among the in-game commentary struck me as weird.

The response on Steam can also be “blended,” with simply 65% of the consumer evaluations coming in constructive. One of many chief complaints (which I wholeheartedly agree with) is the dearth of a save function: If you happen to give up the game or crash out, it’s a must to begin over from the start in a brand new session.

There’s additionally unhappiness with Solely Up’s adjacency to NFTs. You are not shopping for NFTs in-game (so far as I’ve seen, anyway), however numerous photographs from the Goblintown NFT sequence, as an illustration, may be seen in places all through the game. The title of the game additionally seems to be a play on “Up Solely,” a reasonably well-known phrase on the earth of NFTs which amongst different issues was the title of a once-popular NFT-related podcast. NFT app Flooring additionally lately launched a brand new function referred to as—you guessed it—Up Solely mode.

Extra overtly, the participant character’s jacket has the Goblintown brand on the again (and the title emblazoned throughout the entrance, though it is difficult to see), and there is truly a Goblintown masks you possibly can placed on firstly of the game. 

(Picture credit score: SCKR Video games )

(Picture credit score: SCKR Video games )

(Picture credit score: SCKR Video games )

There isn’t any seen disclosure of a connection, so most of that may most likely go unnoticed by most gamers, however clearly there’s some form of connection, with Goblintown additionally now promoting official, real-world Solely Up! hoodies and t-shirts, at ridiculously inflated costs. I’ve reached out to Goblintown and SCKR Video games to ask in regards to the nature of their relationship.

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It feels sketchy, and but there’s one thing in regards to the game that’s additionally oddly alluring. I completely detest video games which are designed solely to make me indignant, like Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy or the upcoming follow-up Child Steps—I believe I performed Getting Over It for about 5 minutes earlier than I punched my canine and formatted my laborious drive—and let there be little question, that’s completely what Solely Up! Is all about.

(Picture credit score: Steam)

But it surely’s additionally form of lovely in its strangeness and ease. There are numerous moments where the way in which ahead is not clear, so I used to be compelled to cease and study my environment pretty carefully, and possibly I am seeing one thing that is not likely there however I felt a robust childlike fantasy vibe that actually gave me that “let’s simply see what’s across the subsequent nook” feeling. Falling is extremely irritating, though it is not too laborious to catch your self on the way in which down if a construction is close by, however I additionally discovered that with just a little care (Solely Up! additionally has “gradual strolling” and “gradual movement” choices, so you possibly can actually creep alongside if you have to), I did not fall a lot in any respect.

I do not suppose it is a good game, and I’ve doubts in regards to the sturdiness of its recognition on Twitch, and there is an plain dodginess to the NFT facet. Regardless of all that, I can see why individuals watch (and play) it. If you happen to get pleasure from streamers who get mad and yell and scream and freak out, Solely Up! undoubtedly has the potential to set a few of them off; and if you happen to’re within the temper for a quiet, easy, “what’s subsequent?” journey which will or might not make any sense when it is throughout, it could possibly be that, too.

For the document, there may be an finish to Solely Up!: Newly-crowned king of Twitch Kai Cenat performed by means of it from begin to end final week—a stream that, in response to TwitchTrakcer, is what touched off Solely Up’s sudden surge in recognition.

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(Picture credit score: Twitch Tracker)