Longtime South Park viewers will remember that the show has skewered both game shows (Randy Marsh’s unintentionally racist appearance on Wheel of Fortune) and Japanese pop culture (the classic Chinpokomon and Mecha Streisand episodes). An upcoming game from RealNetworks takes another swat at these two topics with a wacky Japanese game show starring Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny.
While it’s missing some of the more extreme humor of the show, South Park Mega Millionaire does attempt to be somewhat clever in its level design and challenges. You take control of one of the South Park boys, who must navigate a series of platforms and obstacles on roller skates. This bizarre twist (we’ve never seen the South Park boys wear roller skates in twelve years on the air) allows for some tricky tilt-based control.
On some levels, you have to perform humbling tasks like serving tea to old masters or wearing a turtle on your head. On others, the track is greased with slippery oil or lined with giant fans that blow you around wildly. Throughout the 25 challenges, you’ll also have to complete “misfortune challenges” that are randomly assigned by spinning a giant wheel, and include handicaps like reduced damage bonuses or slippery skates.
In Story Mode, your pink-haired host will berate you in broken English every time a misstep causes you to fall into a giant vat of soy sauce or green goo. To some extent, the juvenile South Park attitude is present, as the boys will snap right back at their host, except for Kenny, who just mumbles inside his parka.
In each challenge, you can pick up cash to achieve a high score by the end of the game, or collect up to three Yen tokens. The Yen tokens, if you collect them all, will unlock a bonus time trial mode, and in pass-and-play multiplayer mode, tokens will let you advance through challenges faster than your opponent. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be online leaderboards to share your single-player score online.
While the premise of Mega Millionaire is totally ridiculous, one feature stood out: achievements. Named after memorable moments in the South Park series, these could be a good way to encourage players to revisit parts of the game. One trophy is named after Mr. Garrison’s obscene mode of transportation “IT”, and another is named after the monkey with four asses.
While it’s not based on a particular episode, South Park Mega Millionaire is an original platformer, with quality graphics featuring characters that are very close to the show’s style. While we hadn’t ever considered these sarcastic boys roller skating before, the game offers a pretty interesting interpretation of such a spectacle. For the level design and achievements especially, this is a game that South Park devotees might want to consider when it comes out in September.