April 19, 2024
Come on down to South Park and have yourself a time with Snow Day! The Finger Guns review:

There’s been a fair amount of success in the history of South Park video games. Whilst we can look at South Park way back in 1998 (the N64 version getting away with the shocking fog because well, it’s South Park), a first person shooter which was basically just the South Park characters throwing snowballs at each other but was good fun. Then there was South Park Rally, a kart racer that was well, not great in comparison to the then competition of Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing which was then followed by Chef’s Luv Shack, a terrible Mario Party esque compilation game that never really reached the heights of its competitors.

It would take a few years for South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge to arrive on Xbox to middling reviews. If you know the lore of South Park a game focusing on Scott Tenorman seemed like a great idea, it was a shame it didn’t reach the heights of its cool concept.

Then in 2014 there was some kind of revolution as South Park: The Stick of Truth landed on the Xbox 360 / PS3 generation from Obsidian. The Stick of Truth absolutely smashed it out of the park with its terrific visuals directly depicting the shows visual style. A turn-based RPG that caught the humour and the brilliance show with aplomb, The Stick of Truth was successful enough to warrant a sequel in 2017, with the superhero parodying The Fractured But Whole, another hugely successful RPG that many assumed would then be the groundwork for South Park games moving forward.

Ergo, here we are in 2024 with South Park: Snow Day! Whilst the ‘kids playtime’ ethic is still very much alive and well (all taking place on a hugely inconvenient day in South Park where it’s covered in snow). Terrible for the adults but hey, the kids are absolutely delighted as the schools are closed and their turf wars can continue once again.

Snow Day! brings all the kids of South Park together (and you, the new kid) in a battle for the ages, and while there’s fun to be had there’s just not enough here to justify it as a worthy follow up to what’s come before it.

First up the visuals have had quite the makeover, taking the games back to the 3D visuals that we were a little confused about way back in the South Park 64 days. South Park in 3D still feels a little off, and considering the beauty of The Stick of Truth and The Fractured but Whole is so eye-popping and authentic, it was an interesting choice to take the game away from that style into 3D. That may sound strange saying that in 2024, but it’s South Park. We all know how it should look.

Your role as ‘New Kid’ (as in TSoT and TFbW) once again puts you in the shoes of a new guy or girl in South Park so our primary South Park characters are all around us. It never really gets old and is all part of the fun going to upgrade your weapons and run into Token or Butters teaching you how to shoot. It made me smile and was always a treat. Especially Jimmy who awaits your presence at the end of each level.

It’s depressingly dull in South Park though, which is a problem. Whilst Snow Day has made South Park look somewhat apocalyptic which I felt was a bit much, though as we’re looking at this world through the eyes of the kids, I feel like we can get away with it looking a little more dramatic than it probably should. Seriously, thousands of South Park residents should be dead if the blizzard was this bad. But I digress..

One of the biggest draws of The Stick of Truth and The Fractured but Whole was of course how funny these games are. It’s a huge draw when their stories are written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone themselves, allowing the game to feel like a long episode where they can be exactly what you’d hope them to be, riffing on popular culture, religions and more. Nobody is safe and that’s always been the biggest draw of South Park.

Snow Day fumbles this particular snowball. Whilst there are funny moments (particularly Cartman and Randy, who naturally get all the best lines split right down the middle), there’s very little here that’s going to make you laugh out loud in the same way the previous games did and unfortunately they are so few and far between you’re really hoping the next joke is going to arrive sooner rather than later and yet it takes an age to be funny again because the whole premise is taken so weirdly seriously. Yes, we know the kids of South Park are playing a serious game but Stan, Kyle and Kenny are virtually dramatic characters and have nothing funny to say throughout which I found fairly odd.

Kyle’s role as ‘guy who shouts back at Cartman’ in the TV show is present and correct here, but the responses are damn near exactly what you expect them to be with very few new offerings, if any at all. If you’re a die hard South Park fan you’ve heard it all before and on many, many occasions. Snow Day! offers very little in return for your time and patience in the hope that the humour might just be the saviour here. It isn’t, It’s just all a bit flat.

The gameplay itself also doesn’t particularly strike a chord. Each level plays out in the exact same way with its tedious hack and slash combat and use of three melee weapons (a battle axe, daggers or a sword and shield), and ranged weapons such as a bow and arrow and a wizards staff. That’s your lot, so whilst the turn based antics of the previous games has been eliminated, the combat doesn’t particularly feel arcadey or full of action as your tear through copy and paste first graders who all say the same boring one liners upon ‘death’. When you’re surrounded the hit boxes are either frighteningly small or you simply lose track of who your enemy is because you can’t lock on to anyone, giving the combat a somewhat floaty feel that doesn’t feel dangerous or make you feel like you can really cause any kind of damage.

One mechanic remaining from the two previous titles is the deck building, which does save Snow Day! from being a fully mediocre experience, even though its implementation has certainly been utilised better elsewhere.

As you progress you’ll collect upgradeable cards which offer huge benefits in combat and unlocks power ups and special powers that can be cultivated throughout a level before it quickly falls into oblivion at the end of each level. The powers range from resurrecting teammates to turning your weapons into flame throwers capable of burning first graders alive before your very eyes. They’re all temporary band-aids that cover up the slogfests which are each combat segment, but they’re certainly adding something a little more exciting than slashing and bowing.

There’s also the ‘Bullshit’ card, which you pick at the beginning of each level that enables you a super power a limited number of times throughout. They range from turning into vampires to becoming huge versions of yourselves to stomp over your child enemies. Again, these fun mechanics are only temporary and again add more fuel to the fire that there just isn’t enough here to make it fun for more than a little while. They’re included to drag things out, which in this case is a bit of a pain seeing as the combat segments last far longer than they ever should in the first place.

Snow Day !as you can imagine works best with friends, but don’t expect Helldivers II levels of excitement here as there just isn’t enough variety for it to work as well as it should. It would appear having a blast a different direction for the series has only put it a few steps back from where it was in terms of its gaming output. The thoroughly enjoyable Stick of Truth and its sequel remain the staples of South Park in video games and Snow Day! has absolutely nothing about it to knock them off their perch anytime soon. It’s a hugely disappointing venture that could have been so much more. Ergo, it feels cheap and quickly produced, without the attention or detail that the previous two titles were so rightly plauded for.

It’s funny in places, and if you’re a real fan it’s fun to explore South Park as a whole, but there’s very little here to shout from rooftop of South Park Elementary about.


PS5 VERSION IMPRESSIONS by JOSH THOMPSON

“South Park: Snow Day! on paper has some brilliant ideas. Co-op 3D Action, similar to 98’s South Park for N64; card based power-ups to change the flow of gameplay, and a story that continues the brilliant previous two outings. However, there’s nothing the game does exceptionally well, outside of the satirical charm from Stone and Parker’s world. The PS5 version is a seamless experience, but when there’s not all to much going on graphically or systems wise – it’s a no brainer that it should run without a hitch.

Even running on Unreal Engine 5, the game has the distinct bare bones look from demos you’ve seen for the engine. Frame rate is a solid 60fps, making the dizzying action you’ll be jumping into look a little flashy. However, this could have been on a previous gen or a low-spec PC and still run like a dream. This is substantially better with friends, and for a lower price, you can justify a gang of you to buy in and have a hilariously decent snow day”.


South Park: Snow Day! is a pale imitation of the series’ previous titles, and falls short of the imagination and hilarity they produced. Whilst it’s certainly fun to run around South Park and interact with your favourite characters, the laughs are few and far between, the gameplay is deeply mediocre and if you were wanting more after the end of The Fractured But Whole, this certainly isn’t up to scratch. But hey, it’s £25. I’ve had worse takeaways that cost more than that.

South Park: Snow Day! is available on Xbox Series / PS5 (reviewed on) / Steam (reviewed on) and Nintendo Switch on March 26th

Developer: Question
Publisher: THQ Nordic

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.

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