HomeReviews2.5/5 ReviewSOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! Review

SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! Review

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You may have fond memories of the days when school was cancelled due to the snow. Of being able to build a snowman with friends in the street, or drink far too much hot chocolate in hope of staying warm. I unfortunately, do not. The only memory I have is of my primary school advising children to stay home, but my grandma not wanting us at her house for the day so she dragged us into school anyways. I think my sister and I made up around 50% of the kids that had made it in.

And yet, that snow day is still preferable to SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY!.

The latest game from the foul-mouthed kids from Colorado has a lot to live up to. After some poorly received games from the late ‘90s, their fortunes changed on the Xbox 360.

South Park Snow Day review 1
Should you turn your back on SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY!?

Snow Day follows on from the excellent RPGs in The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole, and you once again play as “The New Kid”. After referencing how you were so OP by the end of those games, the rules have been changed to a new format to prevent that from happening again. It isn’t just the rules that have changed though; the genre, amount of fun, provocative humour, in-game references and gameplay have all changed too, and not one of them for the better.

Whereas the previous two games claimed to have a reference from every single episode released to their respective dates, SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! simply homes in on one episode from series 22 for its main source of inspiration. And even that isn’t revealed until over halfway through the game’s five chapters.

SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! eschews the turn-based RPG styles for a rudimentary multiplayer hack-and-slash. It honestly feels like we’re stepping back in time to play the likes of Happy Wars, but even then without anything of real merit. You have a choice of three melee weapons and three ranged weapons, but they all feel terrible to wield. You can also select two power-ups that bring limited potential to the battlefield. I opted for one that allowed me to cover enemies in cat urine, that then temporarily had them fighting on my side. Not that they were useful at fighting, but it just meant I could kill them without them running all over the map.

Knowing how bad the AI can be in Snow Day means you are going to want to party up. Up to four players can jump into a level, and by having human partners you remove an incredibly annoying bug. AI players that get stuck in the environment will just suddenly decide to go down; you can revive them but give it a few seconds and they will drop to the floor again.

South Park Snow Day review 2
The gang are back!

And this isn’t the only issue. There have been moments where the AI has just stopped fighting altogether, or when visiting Jimmy for an upgrade has brought about collision issues, greeted with a loud, low vibrating noise.

Jimmy is one of two characters that can reward you with cards and upgrades as you progress, along with Henrietta the goth. SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! employs a rogue(very)lite mechanic where you can select two cards at the beginning of a level, but as you progress you can upgrade the cards or find new ones from these two vendors.

I say ‘very lite’ because the only penalty for failing to complete a level is that you must restart from the beginning of that level, not the entire game. You retain all Dark Matter points (used to upgrade your character) but your TP points, that are used to upgrade your cards, reset. TP is short for toilet paper, and much like the UK during the start of COVID, most residents of South Park are hoarding toilet paper like it’s going out of fashion. This is about as puerile as the humour gets in Snow Day, as most of the game is devoid of any true laugh out loud moments

One of the cards you equip though is called a Bullshit card. These are more powerful cards that can turn the tide of the battle. But the enemy for that particular level can also equip them, and using them is accompanied by a big booming voice exclaiming “BUUUULLSHIIIIT”. You’ll likely exclaim the same thing whenever they are used: not only do they make things more difficult for a short time, but the game pauses whatever you are doing and turns the camera around when it returns to your character, meaning you’ll probably miss that crucial killing blow.

South Park Snow Day review 3
Pretty generic – with a South Park skin slapped on top

And I am just going to say it, but why on Earth has Snow Day reverted to a 3D South Park game like the terrible Nintendo 64 one? The beauty of The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole was that they looked like you were watching an episode of the TV show. Aside from an introductory and ending scene for Snow Day, the rest of the game is in third person 3D, and far removed from traditional South Park.

If you are looking for a mindless button masher that can be wrapped up in less than six hours, then SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! is for you. If however, you are a fan of South Park, or indeed the RPG’s from the last generation of consoles, then Snow Day is a tough recommendation. Devoid of the cult humour that it has made its own over the years, SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! feels more like a generic multiplayer game with the thinnest South Park skin layered over it.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • A potentially good card-based roguelite
Cons:
  • Missing everything that makes South Park good
  • Not in traditional 2D
  • Dull gameplay
  • Few AI bugs
  • Very short
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, THQ Nordic
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 26 March 2024 | £24.99
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>A potentially good card-based roguelite</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Missing everything that makes South Park good</li> <li>Not in traditional 2D</li> <li>Dull gameplay</li> <li>Few AI bugs</li> <li>Very short</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, THQ Nordic</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 26 March 2024 | £24.99</li> </ul>SOUTH PARK: SNOW DAY! Review
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