Game Over Online ~ South Park: Chef's Luv Shack

GameOver Game Reviews - South Park: Chef's Luv Shack (c) Acclaim, Reviewed by - Lance Strong

Game & Publisher South Park: Chef's Luv Shack (c) Acclaim
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 66%
Date Published Wednesday, June 17th, 1998 at 11:48 PM

Divider Left By: Lance Strong Divider Right

With the success of the motion picture, along with the new episodes appearing on Comedy Central, South Park has a full head of steam once again. So it comes as no surprise that Acclaim is taking advantage of it’s popularity by developing a number of PC titles based on the television show. We first witnessed a first person shooter naturally titled South Park. There are also two other South Park games on the horizon. Just recently released is South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack. The second is a racing game titled South Park Rally which isn’t quite ready yet. So without further ado, let’s take a peek at South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack.

So what’s the premise behind South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack? The Luv Shack is a game show hosted by Chef that appears on South Park cable access. A number of sexually attractive swimsuit models are supposed to compete for the chance to win a romantic weekend getaway with Chef. Unfortunately for Chef, no swimsuit models were available, so Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan are filling in. Obviously Chef has no intention of spending the weekend with the kids (or at least we hope not), but he still has to invent a game show for them to play. How do you like that, a trivia game with a storyline. Well folks, the storyline stops there.

Chef’s Luv Shack begins as you select one of the four South Park kids as well as the number of rounds you wish to play. After a short introduction, you begin by choosing a category and answering questions that pop up. The questions are all multiple choice and true/false in nature. Correct answers win points, while answering a question incorrectly will result in points being taken away. As the rounds progress, the value of a right answer increases. After each found, the player who answered the last question correctly gets to choose the next category. From time to time, the player who gets to select the next category will get a spin on the Wheel of Fortuitousness. There are also ‘Pressure’ rounds in which players must respond to a certain number of rapid fire questions in a short amount of time in order to gain points. Finally, there are also ‘Gameplay’ rounds in which players get to compete for points in mini games.

Some of the mini games packaged into these ‘Gameplay’ rounds inlcude: Bees at the Picnic, Chicken Lover, Eat This, Scuzzlebutt, Go Karts, Spank the Monkey with Mr. Mackey, Bad Kitty, and many others. Each of these mini games features a number of the famous characters from the South Park series, including Mr. Mackey, Jimbo, Ned, Terrance ‘n Phillip and several others. All in all, there’s a decent variety of mini-games ranging from arcade classics to original, and just plain silly, games.

The idea behind Chef’s Luv Shack is similar to that of Mario Party, and while the idea seems pretty appealing, it just fails to deliver the goods. Being a South Park title, I expected the game to mix a little humor in with the gameplay, but I was wrong. The questions aren’t clever, witty, or even consistent. Most of the questions are regular trivia questions you would find in any other trivia title. I would have liked to have seen some South Park trivia, or at least the perverse sense of humor that riddles the television show. The mini-games are loosely based on retro classics, so while they’re fun, they’re also simple and incredibly easy to complete.

In terms of presentation, Chef’s Luv Shack is similar to it’s television counterpart. The graphics and animations are notably basic in design, yet highly colorful. Fans of the South Park series won’t be disappointed in terms of the visuals. Chef’s Luv Shack also features hundreds of soundbytes created specifically for the game by the usual cast of South Park voice actors. The sounds and sights of South Park will only get you so far though, especially when the gameplay lacks the South Park attitude.

Chef’s Luv Shack doesn’t offer much in terms of multiplayer. You can play with your friends on the same machine, but that’s about as far as you’ll get. There’s no Internet, LAN, or modem support. Another gripe I had with the game deals with the commands and controls. The setup is bizarre in terms of selecting categories and answering questions. Instead of using arrow type keys in order to select categories, selecting letters (A,B,C, etc.) would have been much easier and natural.

It’s got the South Park name, but this just doesn’t seem like a South Park game. It certainly looks like the South Park characters but the famous South Park attitude and perverse sense of humor we all expect just isn’t present much of the time. Diehard South Park fans will probably be disappointed with this gaming experience, so if you can avoid it, I suggest you do. It's just not that much fun.


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