South Park: Snow Day! Review – Disappointing Day Off

South Park: Snow Day! Review

Admittedly, fans of the previous South Park games, ‘Stick of Truth‘ and ‘Fractured But Whole,’ will find themselves left wanting more when they get their hands on South Park: Snow Day. While Snow Day technically stands as a sequel to both games—continuing the story of a new kid who gets caught up in the unbridled insanity of a quaint Colorado town—it also tries to distinguish itself in ways that only work sporadically. Maybe this boils down to the fact that South Park Digital Studios LLC has looked to a different team to grab the reins for the third time in three development cycles. Snow Day sees California-based developer ‘Question’ tasked with continuing Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s beloved saga. Unfortunately, it doesn’t nearly live up to its predecessors.

The most striking difference found within Snow Day is its immediate visual distinction from ‘Stick of Truth’ and ‘Fractured But Whole.’ While those two titles looked identical to the actual show, Snow Day instead opts for a 3D look more akin to the cult-classic N64/PlayStation game from the late nineties. This change in visual style works for the most part, given that Snow Day bucks the trend of being a turn-based adventure. Instead, it’s an action-oriented king-of-the-mountain-style brawler that moves players from site to site, capturing objectives and completing quests.

Third Time Isn’t Always a Charm

Unfortunately, the root of Snow Day’s problems lies within this new combat system. Whereas the previous games offered variety through character builds in how you could approach situations, Snow Day mostly feels like a monotonous string of missions indistinguishable from one another. A card system in place offers different attacks, buffs, etc., but I never found it to be all that necessary. Once I had a set of cards that worked for me, I stuck with them for most of Snow Day’s short campaign. When everything was said and done, I didn’t feel any need to go back and try things with a different setup, killing potential replay value.

Speaking of its short campaign, Snow Day continues the narrative groundwork laid by the previous two entries in the series. After the events of ‘Fractured But Whole,’ the kids decide to adjust the rules of their game to prevent any single character from becoming overpowered. This is the premise upon which Snow Day is built. Shockingly, you’ll spend a mere five to six hours playing through the story – a massive departure from the first two games. With that being said, I enjoy South Park, and I still found that Matt and Trey’s signature humor was enough to warrant my time. If you’re a fan of this series, there’s much to love about Snow Day despite its glaring shortcomings.

Fun With Friends

While it isn’t necessary by any means, Snow Day does benefit from finding a team of people to play it with. A full squad of four can play through the entirety of the campaign, naturally adding to the enjoyment of its short runtime. If you prefer to spend your time solo, you’ll be pleased to find that your AI companions are surprisingly competent. They’ll effectively land attacks, revive fallen teammates, and rush over to healing posts when needed. I’ll always argue that these types of games benefit from enjoying them with friends, but I never felt handicapped if I was playing by my lonesome.

South Park: Snow Day by no means lives up to its predecessors. Still, it manages to be worthwhile for those invested in the franchise. After all, it’ll only set you back thirty bucks. Just be aware it’s not a game that will hold your attention for hours on end. Fans of the turn-based combat found in previous titles may find it jarring that Snow Day flips that formula on its head in favor of an action-oriented gameplay loop. It’s also disappointing that said action ends up being as shallow as a kiddie pool. Yet, I still enjoyed my time with these characters, even if it was over in the blink of an eye.

***A Steam code was provided for the purpose of this review***

Thank you for keeping it locked on COGconnected.

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The Good

  • Clever, humorous writing
  • Great fan service
  • Price is right

The Bad

  • Fans of previous games will be left wanting
  • Quite short
  • Repetitive, shallow combat