South Park is a first-person shooter video game based on the American animated comedy series of the same name. The game was developed by Iguana Entertainment and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the Nintendo 64 in 1998 for North America and in 1999 for Europe. It was later ported to Microsoft Windows in 1999 and released in North America only. The PlayStation port was developed by Appaloosa Interactive in 1999. A Game Boy Color version was in development, but it was eventually canceled by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators, because they felt the game wouldn't fit in a console marketed towards kids. However, they did keep a few copies of the Game Boy Color version to commemorate what was originally started as the first South Park game. The PC and PlayStation versions of South Park were very poorly received by critics. A spiritual sequel was in development for the PS2 and Xbox, but was never finished and only some footage of the beta has been released.
South Park is a first-person shooter. The game's single player mode places the player in control of one of the four main characters of South Park (Cartman, Kyle, Stan or Kenny). The player must defeat a variety of enemies using the various weapons found throughout each stage in order to reach the exit point at the end.
In addition to completing levels, the player must also prevent large enemies in the stage (dubbed 'Tanks') from reaching the exit before they do. If they fail to do so, they will be forced to defend South Park from the 'Tanks' in a short minigame after the stage.
In Head-to-Head mode, the players select a level, characters, and game style (time limited, damage limited, or unending). The Microsoft Windows version allows for online head-to-head play.
In the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions, upon reaching select stages in single player mode, codes are revealed. These can then be input into the "Cheesy Poofs Decoder" to unlock additional characters for Head-to-Head play. All characters are unlocked in the Microsoft Windows version.
A mysterious comet is approaching the earth, described by the opening narration as a force of concentrated evil that no force of good can stand against. As it comes closer, South Park is beset by enemies, including rabid mutant turkeys, deformed clones of the townsfolk, alien visitors, berserk robots, and sentient killer toys. Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny hear about the dangers from Chef, and take up arms to investigate their sources and defend the town.
South Park's reception depended on the platform. Overall, the game was met with mixed critical reception. The PlayStation and PC versions received poor reception due to the bad graphics, poor visuals and bad voice acting. The Nintendo 64 version received the best reviews upon release. Aggregating review website GameRankings gave the Nintendo 64 version 67.11%, the PC version 51.72% and the PlayStation version 41.22%.
GameSpot gave the PlayStation version a 1.4/10, stating that "South Park is definitely one of those games that is bound to come up when you start thinking about the worst game you've ever played." IGN called the PlayStation version "frustrating" due to poor graphics, repetition of the voice acting, and lack of play value for the head-to-head mode. GameSpot stated in the PC version that "A good license and good graphics aren't enough." The voice acting, done by the original voice actors, was criticized for being repetitive, isolated, and old. The weapons of the game were also criticized for being unprofessional.
Despite the negative reception from the Windows and PlayStation versions, the Nintendo 64 version was praised for its 3D graphics and storyline, with IGN calling the game "just as funny as the Comedy Central series." GameSpot stated in the Nintendo 64 version that the level design was "really not very good on its own, but given the license, it at least makes sense."