Game Review: South Park: Snow Day! (Xbox Series X)

Well, it had to happen, didn’t it? After several excellent South Park games, along comes one that can be simply called bad. Lacking good humour or a decent story, featuring uninspired and unenjoyable gameplay, and proving to be far too short, even at its lower price. South Park: Snow Day! is a massive disappointment.

Where did it go wrong? Well, developer Question seems to think the system used by the excellent games, The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole, needed a complete overhaul. Something, in-game, is claimed to have been needed as your character, The New Kid, broke things by becoming too OP.

Gone is the 2D, turn-based role-playing style of those games. Instead, we have a 3D co-op action-based hack & slash game with roguelike elements.

There’s no issue with Question looking to freshen things up, in fact there’s a strong argument that it was necessary, and elements of this new style of gameplay work. The problem is so much doesn’t too. If you’re not finding yourself frustrated with how Snow Day plays, you’ll find yourself bored.

It really doesn’t help that the story is so ‘meh’ too. South Park is being hit by a blizzard, one that is reaching biblical levels. The town is panicking, people are dying, and toilet paper is in short supply. Eric Cartman doesn’t care about this though, he is desperately hoping and praying (literally with the latter) that school will be closed.

He gets his wish, and with that comes the opportunity to return to the characters from The Stick of Truth and battle it out across frozen South Park locations. It’s all fun and games for the kids, until it becomes clear that the blizzard is no accident. Someone, or something, started it, and it’s up to the kids, and you as The New Kid, to put a stop to them.

What begins as a fun homage to many a person’s childhood, turns into something epic, as only South Park can do. Yet, the speed at which the story runs out of steam is genuinely surprising, and if that wasn’t bad enough, it fails to utilise the many beloved characters in meaningful ways. However, what is truly unforgivable is how unfunny it is.

Everything feels toned down, there is no South Park boundary pushing, and even the more vulgar moments feel forced. The clever writing that is synonymous with the show? Completely absent here. It just feels so lacklustre and lazy. Which is such a shame because the 3D visuals look fantastic, and the concept is super-solid.

Gameplay though, that’s where South Park: Snow Day! truly falls apart, even if there are elements that work well enough.

Players take on the role of The New Kid with plenty of customisation to make a unique looking character. Kupa Keep (Cartman’s backyard) serves as the hub and from there, upgrades can be applied, equipment and powers selected, items bought, and missions selected. Don’t get excited about this though, it’s very limited. Take weapons for example – there are three melee choices and three ranged choices. That’s it.

Powers are a bit more varied, with different types for different styles of gameplay, but you can only select two at a time. Some are way more useful than others too, so players will likely find themselves sticking to what works for them throughout the game’s five missions.

Yes, you did read that right, five missions. Five missions that can last anywhere between 25 minutes and 60, but at its longest that just amounts to five hours of main story gameplay. Made so much worse by the total lack of replay value and the additional content that is as repetitive as everything else.

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Are they fun though? The answer is both yes and no. At first, there’s a lot of fun to be had, especially if you’re playing with a group of human players, but the realisation that there is very little substance to the fighting, arrives very quickly. Combat just feels so bland, and eventually turns into nothing but button mashing and the occasional dodge/roll. Made all the worse by floaty mechanics, awful projectile aiming, and the ‘bullshit’ cards.

These are cards that both teams select at the start of a mission and, when activated, cause a variety of changes to gameplay for a limited time. The freezing of battles while an announcer shouts ‘bullshit’ gets old very quickly, and some of the enemy team cards can be extremely unfair.

It’s a system that could have worked though, especially as the other aspects of the card system make gameplay more fun and interesting.

Alongside the selected ‘bullshit’ card, players can select several perk cards across the entire mission run, upgrade them using toilet paper (one of several in-game currencies), and unlock new ones as things go on. These, unlike the ‘bullshit’ cards, compliment battles and give slight advantages rather than weight things in one direction over another. Once the mission is over, all those perks and the collected TP are lost to never make the player… OP.

The only things collected that players can use in the hub area is PP and dark matter, the former used to buy cosmetic items, and the latter used to permanently upgrade your character. However, while dark matter comes steadily, the system has the cost increasing significantly after each expenditure making the sense of progression non-existent. It, like so much of the game, has you scratching your head as to why it was done this way.

South Park: Snow Day! might not be a fully priced game, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of thought or care that has gone into it. It’s an egregiously low effort release, evident by the lack of content (it has a season pass though), and made extremely forgettable by the subpar story and poor humour. To reiterate what was said at the start of this review, South Park: Snow Day! is a bad game.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

South Park: Snow Day! (Xbox Series X)
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