South Park: Snow Day isn’t the game I wanted but it finally turned me onto roguelites

South Park: Snow Day is a big change for the series and not necessarily for the better

Eric Cartman and Stan Marsh at a Bulls*t Trial in South Park: Snow Day
(Image: © THQ Nordic)

Tom's Guide Verdict

For better or worse, South Park: Snow Day represents a major change from past South Park games by opting for a 3D world, action-adventure gameplay and roguelike elements. It can be played solo with bots but it’s a more enjoyable experience when played with fellow South Park fans online. The combat can get repetitive and movement isn’t as smooth as I’d like but there are upgrades in the game to fix this.


  • +

    Excellent world building

  • +

    Single-player offline mode

  • +

    Plenty of references for South Park fans


  • -

    Repetitive gameplay

  • -

    Bots are a poor stand in for real players

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South Park: Snow Day Specs

Platforms: PC (reviewed), PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
Price: $29.99
Release date: March 26, 2024
Genre: Action-adventure

There’s nothing quite like waking up for school only to find out that classes have been canceled for the day and South Park: Snow Day perfectly encapsulates this feeling. This new action-adventure game from Question Games may be a departure from the recent South Park RPGs but it allows you and up to three friends to experience the quiet mountain town in a whole new dimension: 3D. 

While South Park: Snow Day is intended to be played cooperatively online, there is a single-player, offline mode for those wanting to experience its story. It’s also useful for farming rare resources which you use to upgrade your character’s perks. I played through the entirety of South Park: Snow Day solo and while the game is certainly better with friends, there’s still fun to be had if you choose to go it alone. 

As South Park: Snow Day is available for both PC and consoles, finding friends to play with likely won’t be hard but if you can’t, bots fill in the open slots in your party. These bots aren’t the greatest party members and during my playthrough, there were times when they left me high and dry in the middle of an epic battle. I soldiered on though as the game’s story had me hooked as a lifelong fan of the crude animated series. Read on for our full South Park: Snow Day review.

South Park: Snow Day: Cheat Sheet

What is it? South Park: Snow Day is an action-adventure game that’s meant to be played cooperatively online with friends. It tells a brand new story set in the South Park universe with plenty of call backs and references to the past games and previous seasons of the show.

Who is it for? South Park fans will be right at home here even if this isn’t an RPG like Stick of Truth or Fractured but Whole. It’s a difficult game to play on your own with bots as teammates but it’s easier as well as more fun with a group of three other players.

What is the price? South Park: Snow Day costs $30 on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/X and the Nintendo Switch. There’s also a Digital Deluxe Edition that  comes with the Season Pass and a Collector’s Edition which includes all of the above plus some physical items from the game.

What other games has the developer made? Question Games is a small developer that has released two games before this: The Magic Circle and The Blackout Club. However, they also had help from South Park Digital Studios which created the game’s cutscenes and helped bring the world of South Park from 2D to 3D.

What games is this similar to? South Park: Snow Day has similar writing to Stick of Truth and Fractured But Whole but it plays a lot differently from previous South Park games. The gameplay feels a lot like Diablo whereas the roguelike elements are similar to Hades and Darkest Dungeon.

From 2D to 3D

Eric Cartman rendered in 3D in South Park: Snow Day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Up until the release of The Stick of Truth back in 2014, South Park games had never managed to capture the long-running show’s magic. Miraculously that 2.5D, third-person, role-playing game, and its 2017 sequel, did just that. 

For their next game though, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone wanted to do things a bit differently. Instead of creating a game that felt more like a South Park movie, South Park: Snow Day was designed with replayability in mind. The game feels more like an episode of the show with plenty of room for expansion since it's broken up into self-contained chapters which you are encouraged to replay with later unlocks. 

For instance, after finishing the game on my own, I went back and replayed a few chapters with some online teammates and had even more fun than I did the first time around. However, playing with others does lessen the amount of loot you acquire since everyone is fighting for collectible currency like toilet paper and dark matter. 

While South Park: Snow Day’s core gameplay is in 3D, you still feel like you’re watching an episode of the show at times since all of the cutscenes are in 2D, which adds to the overall authenticity. 

Snowed in

The new kid in South Park: Snow Day standing outside of his house

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

South Park: Snow Day has a fairly simple premise but the unpredictable story does a good job of holding your attention. The game begins with Eric Cartman delighted that school has been canceled because of a serious winter storm that has transformed the town into a winter wonderland. Naturally, as most kids would do in this situation, Cartman, Stan, Kyle and other kids of South Park are eager to get outside and play.

A reporter in South Park: Snow Day explaining that school is cancelled for the day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

The snowstorm plays an important role serving as both a visual backdrop and as a gameplay mechanic. Your character walks slower in thick snow and you’ll find yourself slipping as you make your way across Stark Pond’s frozen surface. While the kids of South Park are making the best of their day off from school, the town’s adults are behaving exactly as you’d expect: They’re hoarding toilet paper and fighting amongst themselves.

South Park: Snow Day may be an online co-op game at its core, but there’s plenty of lore and story here too. There are also loads of references to classic episodes of the show along with quite a few nods to the recent Paramount Plus specials. The game may not be as narrative-driven as past entries in the series but this improves its overall replayability.

New to town

Just like in past games, you take on the role of the new kid in South Park: Snow Day. As someone new to town, Eric Cartman takes you under his wing and shows you the ropes. However, before that happens, you must create your character. From hats to sunglasses and even emotes you can use to communicate with your party, South Park: Snow Day’s character creation system is pretty robust but you don’t have the freedom you’ll find in a game like Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Customizing your character in South Park: Snow Day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Outfit and accessory options are limited at first, but you’ll unlock more as you play. At any time outside of battle, you can visit the bazaar run by Tweak and Craig to pick out a new look for your character. The same goes for Token’s armory where you can mix and match between three melee and three ranged weapons. While you can swap your existing weapons for new ones, you aren’t able to upgrade them. This might be  disappointing for some but I found it allowed me to focus on playing rather than spending excessive amounts of time in upgrade menus. 

There are two kinds of loot earned in battle: Toilet paper and dark matter. The former is used to upgrade special cards that grant new abilities and weapon bonuses, while dark matter is used to upgrade your character’s perks. These perks persist across runs and by the end of the game, your character can be quite overpowered, especially if you focus on collecting dark matter. 

Upgrading your perks with dark matter in South Park: Snow Day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Dark matter upgrades are handled by everyone’s favorite Christmas Poo, Mr. Hankey and they can give your party a serious advantage in battle. From moving more quickly in thick snow to boosting your health and weapon damage, these powerful perks can be really helpful when you’re having trouble with a particular chapter. 

For instance, during my solo playthrough, I struggled with the game’s earlier chapters and the only way I was able to proceed was by doing repeat runs, hoarding dark matter and upgrading my character’s perks before starting again. This isn’t explicitly explained but there’s no way to save your progress during a run. When you and all of your teammates die, you have to start from scratch.

Calling bullsh*t

Bullsh*t cards laid next to upgrade cards at the start of a run in South Park: Snow Day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Each chapter of South Park: Snow Day begins with a bullsh*t trial where both sides draw upgrade cards and bullsh*t cards. Your upgrade cards can be enhanced as you play but your bullsh*t cards can’t. Bullsh*t cards provide your team with a significant advantage over the opposing team by giving you temporary access to super powerful abilities like invisibility, laser eyes, moon jump and more. 

During combat, you wield daggers, a sword and shield or an axe as your melee weapon along with a bow and arrow, staff or magic wand for your ranged weapon. You can’t switch between them during a run but you can change your loadout before each of the game’s chapters. You also have eight different powers to choose from which range from a bubble shield to a powerful fart designed to propel your character out of the heat of battle to safety. 

The bullsh*t cards add extra fun to South Park: Snow Day’s gameplay but I found it frustrating that my enemies gained access to better cards.. While I was summoning minions to fight alongside me or becoming a giant to deal more damage to enemies up close, the opposing team was able to outfit their much larger numbers with laser swords or turn my team’s melee weapons into useless pool noodles. 

Henrietta explaining how bonus cards work in South Park: Snow Day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Although bullsh*t cards can only be used so many times each run, you can find the goth girl Henrietta during levels to refill their uses. Like when new upgrade cards are presented to you by Jimmy after completing a section of a chapter, Henrietta lets you pick from three cards related to the dark arts. These cards can refill the number of times you can use a bullsh*t card or they can grant you other perks like raising the level of all of your current upgrade cards or granting you dark matter.

Regular upgrade cards are an essential part of South Park: Snow Day’s combat but the bullsh*t cards further mix up the game’s combat. I just wish there was more variety when it comes to the ones that are available to your character.

To new heights

A character standing by themselves in South Park: Snow Day

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

Inventive level design is one of South Park: Snow Day’s greatest strengths Surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of verticality. I often found myself climbing up on rooftops to gain a better vantage point. At the same time, platforming plays a bigger role than expected and you frequently need to use ramshackle trampolines and catapults to traverse levels.

At first, I was turned off by how my character moved in the game. They made their way through both packed and thick snow quite slowly and this made traversal tedious. It wasn’t until I saw this video from South Park Digital Studios that everything clicked. Instead of moving as you would in other games, the developers of South Park: Snow Day were tasked with making the game’s characters walk and run as if they were in the show, all at the behest of Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Fortunately, a few trips to Mr. Hankey for dark matter-powered perk upgrades and I was able to cross levels with ease. 

A screenshot of a solo run in South Park: Snow Day with bots for teammates

(Image credit: THQ Nordic)

It wasn’t just traversal that felt off either. The game’s combat system took quite a while for me to get used to and unfortunately, I had to learn its quirks the hard way as I didn’t have any co-op partners to help me out.  I constantly found myself overwhelmed by hordes of enemies just as I was about to reach a boss fight and had to restart my run  from the beginning of the chapter. Sure, this made me a better player but it’s also why I wouldn’t recommend a solo playthrough unless you're a huge South Park fan that wants to experience the game’s story. However, in that case, I recommend turning down the difficulty. 

As for the enemies, I was impressed with the variety of foes to battle against and newer, more powerful enemies are introduced in each chapter. The boss fights were another highlight and I liked how some of them forced me to switch up my tactics. 

South Park: Snow Day: Verdict

South Park: Snow Day may not necessarily be the follow-up to Stick of Truth or Fractured But Whole that fans of the series wanted but tries a lot of new things and succeeds in many aspects Combat can feel a little wonky at times and the game’s friendly bots are no substitution for playing with friends Nevertheless, the single-player offline mode doesn’t feel tacked on and it’s a great way to experience an epic new South Park story.

It’s clear that both the developers as well as Stone and Parker have bigger plans for South Park: Snow Day than what we’ve seen so far. It could easily turn into a live-service game with new campaigns and chapters added over time. As of now though, South Park: Snow Day won’t be for everyone but fans of the show will appreciate its callbacks and inside jokes. Plus, at just $30, it’s easy to recommend to those who have played the previous South Park games, especially if they have friends to join them on this new quest.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.