Up’n Down is a vertically scrolling game with a pseudo-3D perspective. Players control a purple dune buggy, resembling a Volkswagen Beetle, as it moves along a single-lane path. Using the joystick, pressing up or down adjusts the buggy’s speed, while pressing left or right changes lanes at intersections. The “jump” button enables the buggy to leap into the air, which is necessary to dodge other cars on the road. Players can either jump entirely over other vehicles or land on them to earn points.
To complete a round, players must collect 10 colored flags by driving the buggy over them. If a flag is missed, it will reappear later in the round. The roads feature slopes that influence the buggy’s speed and bridges that require jumping. A turn is lost if the buggy collides with another vehicle without landing on it or jumps off the road into the grass or water.