South Park: The Stick of Truth is a 2014 role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment in collaboration with South Park Digital Studios, and published by Ubisoft. Based on the American adult animated television series South Park, South Park: The Stick of Truth for Macbook and iMac follows The New Kid, who has moved to the eponymous town and becomes involved in an epic role-play fantasy war involving humans, wizards, and elves, who are fighting for control of the all-powerful Stick of Truth. Their game quickly escalates out of control, bringing them into conflict with aliens, Nazi zombies, and gnomes, threatening the entire town with destruction.
Development began in 2009 after South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone approached Obsidian about making a role-playing game designed to look exactly like the television series. Parker and Stone were involved throughout the The Stick of Truth for Macbook and iMac’s production: they wrote its script, consulted on the design, and as in the television program they voiced many of the characters. The Stick of Truth for Macbook and iMac’s production was turbulent; its release date was postponed several times from its initial date in March 2013 to its eventual release in March 2014. Following the bankruptcy of the original publisher, THQ, the rights to the game were acquired by Ubisoft in early 2013. The Stick of Truth was first released for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on March 4, 2014.
Stick of Truth for Macbook and iMac is a role-playing video game that is viewed from a 2.5D, third-person perspective. The player controls the New Kid as he explores the fictional Colorado town of South Park. The player can freely move around the town although some areas remain inaccessible until specific points in the story are reached. Notable characters from the series—including Cartman, Butters, Stan, and Kyle—join the New Kid’s party and accompany him on his quests, though only one character can be active at any time Stick of Truth for Macbook and iMac features a fast travel system, allowing the player to call on the character Timmy to quickly transport them to any other visited fast travel station. At the beginning of the game, the player selects one of four character archetypes; the Fighter, Thief, Mage (which represent standard fantasy types), and the Jew. The Jew class specializes in “Jew-jitsu” and long-range attacks. Each class has specific abilities; armor and weapons are not limited by class, allowing a Mage to focus on melee attacks like a Fighter.
The New Kid and his allies possess a variety of melee, ranged, and magic attacks. Experience points rewarded for completing tasks and winning battles allow the New Kid to level up, unlocking new abilities and upgrades such as increasing the number of enemies an attack hits or the amount of damage inflicted. Magic is represented by the characters’ ability to fart; different farts are used to accomplish specific tasks. For example, the “Cup-A-Spell” allows the player to throw a fart to interact with a distant object, the “Nagasaki” destroys blockades, and the “Sneaky Squeaker” can be thrown to create a sound that distracts enemies. Attacks can be augmented with farts if the player has enough magical energy.
“The New Kid” (top left) and his ally Cartman (bottom left) battle Nazi Zombies (right). A radial menu system offers an array of strategic choices, such as basic attacks, special abilities, support items, and the ability to summon powerful allies.
The player has access to unlockable abilities that can open new paths of exploration, such as shrinking to access small areas like vents, teleportation which allows the player to reach otherwise unreachable platforms, and farts which trigger an explosion that defeats nearby enemies when combined with a naked flame. Actions committed against enemies outside of battle affects them in combat; the player or opponent who strikes first to trigger a fight will have the first turn in battle. Combat takes place in a battle area separate from the open game world. Battles use turn-based gameplay and each character takes a turn to attack or defend before yielding to the next character.