The latest South Park video game, Snow Day!, had a lot to live up to following the critical success of previous instalments, but unfortunately, it falls short in many ways. The gameplay loop is unsatisfying, with most of the time spent hacking and slashing through generic scenarios set in a now snow-covered South Park. The missions lack variety and fail to set themselves apart from one another, resulting in a very lackluster experience for players. The combat system is another major issue, being unresponsive, clunky, and simply not engaging. This lack of polish in the gameplay mechanics greatly hinders the overall enjoyment of the game.

One of the biggest drawbacks of South Park: Snow Day! is the significant performance issues present, especially on the Nintendo Switch. Players can expect to encounter drops in frame rate, blurry textures, and numerous glitches that can soft-lock the game. These technical issues are particularly frustrating during intense boss fights, where bugs such as characters clipping into walls can force players to restart missions entirely. The strange audio mixing in cutscenes further adds to the overall lack of polish, with sound not syncing up with on-screen actions and scenes ending prematurely.

Despite its shortcomings, South Park: Snow Day! does offer some interesting gameplay mechanics. Drawing inspiration from roguelike games like Hades and Darkest Dungeon, players can select passive ability cards at the start of missions to enhance their attacks and unique abilities. The powerups, such as the Bull**** card, allow players to activate game-changing abilities to turn the tide of combat. Additionally, players can retrieve additional cards from Jimmy after combat rounds, further enhancing their abilities. The perk tree system and skill cards assigned to ‘L’ and ‘R’ add depth to the gameplay, allowing for strategic decision-making and character customization.

Snow Day is structured like a live-service game, with Kupa Keep serving as a hub for accessing missions and other tools like a weapons shop. Players have the option to select the difficulty of missions, adjust their loadout, and host or join multiplayer sessions. While the game can be played solo with CPU Allies assisting in combat, the lackluster AI and low damage output of these allies detract from the overall experience. The game’s co-op mode also falls short, failing to deliver an engaging experience whether playing solo or with others due to the game’s technical and gameplay issues.

South Park: Snow Day! is a disappointing video game adaptation that fails to capture the essence of the beloved TV show. While it introduces interesting gameplay mechanics inspired by roguelikes, the lackluster combat system, performance issues, and weak writing make it a lackluster experience for players. Despite the potential for engaging gameplay, the game ultimately falls short in delivering a compelling experience that lives up to the standards set by its predecessors. Fans of the South Park series may be disappointed by Snow Day!’s inability to capture the humor and charm of the source material, making it a forgettable addition to the franchise’s video game library.


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