Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny standing next to each other in South Park Snow Day
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

South Park Snow Day Review: A flawed action-adventure with glimpses of excellence

To quote Kenny McCormick: ''mmph mfmm pfmph mmfph!''

The latest addition to the South Park video game family South Park Snow Day doesn't set out to reinvent the concept of a co-op action-adventure game. Focused on implementing tried-and-true mechanics without risky experimentation, the game succeeded in keeping me entertained for hours with its trademark South Park humor, challenging combat, and a decent plotline.

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Story

Player, Stan, Cartman and Butters overseeing an Upgrade selection in South Park Snow Day
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The story continues from the foundations of the game's turn-based RPG predecessors and the RTS mobile spin-off, with Eric Cartman still carrying the mantle of the Grand Wizard. South Park has been hit with a devastating snowstorm, causing chaos and destruction and leaving residents in complete disarray.

In such circumstances, the city has decided to suspend school until the situation blows over (literally), much to the protagonists' delight. As in the previous games, you take on the role of the New Kid joining the gang of Eric, Kyle, Stan and Kenny, along with other well-known supporting faces. Together you embark on a make-believe fantasy adventure inspired by classic D&D tabletop games and iconic RPGs a la Elder Scrolls and WoW.

Without treading into spoilers, the straightforward story plays out as an extended episode of South Park. As such, it merely serves as a springboard to propel you into all sorts of wacky situations. Throughout the story you'll run into a good number of jokes, quips and pop culture references, executed in typical South Park fashion.

As a die-hard fan of South Park, I was quick to catch certain innuendos referring to more iconic episodes. Although a particular portion of these jokes were hit-and-miss, it was not due to their infamous inappropriateness. It seems to me that the writers were trying to appeal to both the casual audience and their devoted fanbase, leaving both partially satisfied in the process.

On the bright side, the high points of South Park Snow Day's story made my playthrough more than worthwhile. At the end of the day, South Park was never about mind-blowing storylines and character building. At its core, South Park Snow Day is a societal critique burrito wrapped with an action-adventure tortilla and seasoned with obscene toilet humor—just the way I like it.

Story: 4/5

Gameplay

Player aiming a cannon at a shielded cannon in South Park Snow Day
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

As mentioned earlier, South Park Snow Day stays within the well-beaten path. The game plays out as a typical action-adventure title with platforming elements thrown into the mix for added variety. After going through the tutorial to learn the ropes, you're thrown into Kupa Keep, which serves as the game's central hub.

Before going to Cartman and choosing which mission to start, you can visit Mr. Hankey in the port-a-potty to upgrade your perks and choose your loadout in the Armory. Apart from weapons and powers, you'll also select a starting upgrade and a BS power with a limited number of uses. The enemies will activate their BS power mid-battle to try and flip the odds in their favor, so use your BS sparingly to counter theirs.

Every mission ends in a boss fight that won't give you much of a headache, as the bosses have a few basic attack types you'll quickly learn to dodge. After defeating them, the bosses leave behind treasure chests full of Toilet Paper, Dark Matter, and Cheesy Poofs to replenish your health and upgrade your perks.

Speaking of chests, you'll find them hidden and scattered throughout the maps waiting for you to plunder their contents, along with backpacks and regular boxes. Being persistent, I looked under every nook and cranny for chests and backpacks I might've missed, and the best hidden ones always yielded the best pickups.

Gameplay: 4/5

Combat

Player using a Wand as a flamethrower to hurt enemies in South Park Snow Day
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

South Park Snow Day features roguelike elements like randomized drop locations and mission areas to keep things interesting in each playthrough. Throughout the (too) short five-mission campaign, I encountered a wide variety of enemy units, including mages, swarmers, bruisers, and archers, to name a few.

All of the units are based on their similar counterparts in other RPG franchises. On easy difficulty I didn't have much trouble taking out waves of enemies, but starting from mission four I encountered a difficulty spike I wasn't prepared for. Enemies become more aggressive and dangerous, dealing damage quickly and leaving you with little time to react (especially on normal and hard).

Three AI companions join you on missions and pop in every time you engage in combat. Both the companions' and the enemies' AI is decent in battle, with ranged units keeping you at a distance and melee units finding higher ground to gain an advantage. Every time I was taken out, one or two of my allies rushed in to revive me while the others protected my saviors.

The combat is fluid and fast-paced, but I often found myself breaking the fluidity by combining certain moves and actions. It's not as jarring at first, but as the difficulty ramps up towards the end of the campaign, you'll certainly feel its effects. The movement is limited because it is combat-oriented, which leads to many failed jumps and clunky platforming attempts.

Combat: 3.5/5

Presentation

Player fighting Cartman and Bulrog in South Park Snow Day
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Graphics-wise, South Park Snow Day stands out as the best-looking 3D South Park game, although the competition is pretty much nonexistent in this category. Credit where credit is due, though: I commend the developers for faithfully bringing the character models into a three-dimensional environment. The environments, however, are somewhat of a different story.

Due to the game's setting, there isn't much variety to be seen, and I've mostly been running into identical-looking streets and buildings covered in snow. With the lack of an in-game minimap, it's easy to get lost in the mission area and wander off course. The direction indicator is helpful in guiding you to where you're supposed to go, but it too can go crazy and point you to random corners of the map.

The weapon and power effects look passable at best, and I've stumbled upon murky textures unsuccessfully hidden behind trees, vehicles, and other objects. The cartoony style of the source material lets you get away with some visual hiccups, but only up to a certain point.

On the audible side of things, South Park Snow Day's soundtrack is surprisingly strong for a game as unserious as this. In many tracks you'll hear bits resembling Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings and Jeremy Soule's The Elder Scrolls. The weapon and magic sound effects do their job well, but the enemies' painful moans and exclamations of agony get very old very fast.

Presentation: 3/5

Replayability

Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny standing in front of a toilet bowl in South Park Snow Day
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

After you've completed all five story missions, you can try your hand at the To Danse with Ravenous Shadows Horde Mode DLC, offering four extra wave-based missions. If you have three buddies to join you online, both the fun factor and the replayability increase tenfold. If that's not the case, South Park Snow Day doesn't have a lot to offer.

If you consider yourself a completionist, you can replay the missions but with a fun twist. Completing the main story will unlock Nichole, who will be waiting for you between areas with a tempting offer. Nichole will challenge you to complete the mission with enemies receiving two upgrades, and in turn you'll receive new items — Dark Matter and Platinum Pieces — to deck out your character.

The lack of a PvP mode limits the game's lifespan, and I'm hoping a version of it will be introduced down the line. Team battles have the potential to reinvigorate the game South Park Snow Day, opening the door to events, unlockables, and other multiplayer goodies.

Replayability: 3.5/5

Verdict - A fun entry with something left to be desired

South Park Snow Day left an impression of a fun and competent game, offering sneak peeks into what the game could've been. With extra content, more polished combat mechanics, and game mode variety, the game could easily blossom into a fan-favorite entry. For now, it's a decent South Park video game experience that won't leave you disappointed, but it won't fulfill you either.

When it's all said and done, the game provides fun in variable doses, decent co-op, and the good old South Park humor we all know and love. For half the price of a AAA game, that's more than enough to entertain you in short-to-medium bursts.

[Disclosure: A free copy of the game was provided to PGG by the publisher for review purposes.]

If you're trying to find every Treasure chest in the game, check out All Treasure chest locations in South Park Snow Day on Pro Game Guides.


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Author
Jovan Krstić
Jovan, a Codes Writer at GAMURS, applies his extensive gaming background and research skills to uncover every available code. His gaming interests span genres such as racing, horror, first-person shooters, and RPGs. Outside of work, he enjoys competitive gaming in Destiny 2, ranking up in EA FC's Ultimate Team, and playing Overcooked 2.

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South Park Snow Day Review: A flawed action-adventure with glimpses of excellence

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