South Park: Snow Day!

Posted:  Mar 31, 2024
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South Park: Snow Day! was provided by THQ Nordic for review. Thank you!

South Park: Snow Day! is an interesting game. After the successes of South Park: Stick of Truth and Fractured But Whole, I expected a continuation of this type of game, but instead, Snow Day! It goes in a completely different direction as a third-person action game with Roguelite elements.

South Park: Snow Day!'s version of Kupa Keep. It serves as the game's lobby in between levels.

Now, as a general rule of thumb, games in the Roguelite genre tend to be fairly short games but lean on their difficulty and progression systems to allow players to do repeat playthroughs of the game to gain power, try out new strategies, and sometimes visit new areas. South Park: Snow Day! is definitely on the shorter side, but seemed to miss the memo regarding difficulty and progression. The game is short; you can play through all 5 levels in 4 - 5 hours, even less if you're playing a co-op game with decent players.

As it was, I had to play single-player for my review with AI party members, who aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, often walking around and attacking the wrong enemy, such as focusing on a healed enemy instead of the one healing them.

In this situation I had progressed through the mission and become downed. However, my AI teammates had gotten stuck further back in the level. I waited 20 seconds and none of my 3 team members moved.

There are 6 weapons in total, 3 melee and 3 ranged, with the game allowing you to have 1 ranged and 1 melee weapon equipped. Melee consists of spamming the X button to do a repetitive combo against your enemies. the ranged weapon has you holding down LT and letting it go in the case of the Bow and Staff, or just holding down LT and aiming at enemies in the case of the wand. It's mindless, and combat doesn't feel satisfying, with melee attack sounds seeming quiet and having no impact.

There are "elements" to your attacks, such as being able to set enemies on fire or cause them to vomit, but once you get your weapon, you just kind of stick with it. There isn't a huge variety of weapons you can use, and I just found myself using the fire wand and holding LT while looking at enemies. That did the job just fine, so there was no need to experiment.

The combat is mindless, mostly consisting of holding LT and using LB/RB to activate your abilities.

You'd hope that the game would be difficult to prolong the length of the game and to allow players to improve their character and give it another go with a stronger set of skills or a new and better set of cards, but playing on the "Normal" difficulty setting, I wasn't particularly troubled by anything at all. As long as you keep moving/dodging and placing down the infinite healing totem you get, it's quite difficult to die.

There is an "Easy" and a "Hard" difficulty setting, and on "Hard," I could imagine finding things quite challenging. Still, I'm not the best gamer anyway, so being unphased by the "Normal" difficulty is quite concerning. I think some of my difficulties came from the incompetence of my AI partners. Had I been playing with a 4 player human group, I would imagine the game would become mind-numbingly easy. A case in point: when fighting against the 2nd boss in the game, I was only hit once.

South Park: Snow Day! uses a system called the "Pissed Off" meter to limit how often you can use your special moves. The problem is, it's nearly always full. I don't think there was ever a point where I tried to use an ability but couldn't. Your character gets pissed off at everything: dealing damage, taking damage, and even looking at snow. It makes the meter seem pretty pointless, and you can just spam attacks or heals because of it. Upgrade your meter to hold more and ensure you never run out!

The game's card system is one of the better points, allowing you to improve your abilities.

The card system is one of the only positives I found with the game. At the start of each "run," you'll get to pick a couple of starting cards, giving you a buff to one of your skills or weapons and an ability you can use during the run. The card's power adjusts depending on the rarity of the card, and you can pay to increase their rarity. Periodically, while playing, you can also encounter Jimmy or Henrietta, who will allow you to bring additional cards into play. This system was well made, and you certainly get excited when seeing what cards you're being dealt.

Many people complained about the game's transition from South Park's usual 2D approach to a 3D style; however, I wasn't too bothered by it. It may lack some of the charm of the 2D style, but I think the characters were transitioned fairly well into 3D, and the game world still maintains a cartoony feel. It's basically how you would imagine South Park would be in 3D.

I think South Park: Snow Day!'s 3D interpretation of South Park was executed as well as could be expected.

But surely the story is good. I mean, it's a South Park game, right? Well, things get a little confusing here. The writing and storyline are inspired by South Park and its humor, but at the same time, it feels a bit watered-down. I don't know if this was done to ensure the game received a 16+ age rating instead of the 18+ rating both of its predecessors received, but the somewhat off-color humor of South Park was toned down a bit for this game.

Certain jokes from the main series are referenced here but are slightly censored. While South Park is known for targeting certain groups, that doesn't seem to be the case in Snow Day!, simply preferring to use generic toilet humor for many of the gags rather than jumping on the bandwagon of disparaging certain demographics.

So, if you find the humor in South Park's TV series funny, you will probably be disappointed by the toned-down humor. And if you find the humor in the TV series distasteful, you'll probably still find Snow Day!'s humor, too. It feels like the writers chose the worst possible path of being inspired by South Park but were unwilling to follow it fully. Despite all this, I found the voice acting to be quite good.

South Park: Snow Day! - Steam Deck Performance

South Park: Snow Day! gets some things right when it comes to working with the Steam Deck. For one, it supports 16:10 aspect ratio resolutions, so we can run at the Deck's 1280x800 resolution. It also has excellent controller support, with all menus and gameplay elements fully accessible using nothing but the gamepad. There is no need to use the touchscreen or touchpads at any point.

We also have a nice array of video settings to choose from, although many of the settings seemed to have negligible impact on performance. The main exceptions to this are the Volumetric Lighting and Shadow Quality.

So, let's dive into my first and only settings preset for South Park: Snow Day!:

Recommended Settings - 40 FPS

The game may appear to run well at Ultra settings and is able to hold 40 FPS in some areas. However, once combat starts, it often runs in the low to mid-30s, and intense combat drops it into the 20s with a solid 25W battery drain.

So, for my recommended settings, set a 40 FPS / 40Hz limit and turn off your TDP limit. A lot of the game ran fine with a 12W TDP limit, but there are certain points when the screen gets busy with enemies and effects where the 15W TDP limit will have fewer frame drops.

We will set everything to "Low" or "Off," except for Texture Quality, which we can keep on "Ultra." I also set the Resolution Scale to 80% here. With the game's style, the resolution scale saves us a few FPS without being noticeably worse in quality.


With these settings, we get an almost constant 40 FPS. There's the odd dropped frame here and there, but it's mostly consistent. Towards the latter stages of the game (Level 3-5 in my experience), I did get dips in certain places to around 37-38 FPS.

The Level 4 Boss also has a lot of fire/explosions, which caused severe drops down to the low 30s and occasionally high 20s that aren't avoidable.

South Park: Snow Day! varies quite wildly when it comes to power draw, most of the time drawing around 16-18W. However, in intense combat situations, this can go up to 25-26W. I expect an average battery life of about 2 hours from a Steam Deck LCD and about 2.5 - 3 Hours from the OLED. Temperatures range around 70-75C when in light combat or just walking around the levels. I noticed a peak of about 80C in an intensive combat situation with 10+ enemies and many visual effects.

It's also worth noting that for whatever reason, there appear to be moments of intense CPU usage, at which point the FPS will plummet to about 15-20 FPS for several seconds, and there's not much you can do to stop it.

An example of the framerate drops that are occasionally experienced, particularly in Level 2 of the game.


There is an accessibility menu in South Park: Snow Day! which has a few nice features, such as subtitles and their size, color blindness modes, and the ability to skip certain button-mashing sequences that occasionally pop up in the game.


South Park: Snow Day! feels like it suffers from an identity crisis in numerous ways. It falls partially into the "roguelite" genre, with "runs" and different cards you can play to make each playthrough feel "slightly" different. However, it's too easy to require multiple runs, and the cards don't really change the gameplay all that much.

The writing adds further to its identity crisis, feeling like it's trying to bridge the gap between being as crass and edgy as South Park while trying not to offend. A lot of South Park's humor comes from its indifference to whether something is offensive or not; the two can't mix.

While performance on the Steam Deck is generally fine and perfectly playable, I can't recommend the game itself. If you can get it for cheap, like say, $10, then it might be worth picking up and playing with some friends in the co-op mode for an afternoon gaming session, but it's a one-and-done game, you won't be back for more of South Park: Snow Day! once you finish the 4-5 hour campaign.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

South Park: Snow Day! runs fine on the Steam Deck, it's a shame the game itself is a bit of a letdown.


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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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