South Park: The Stick of Truth



Audacious, satirical RPG with mature themes to the extreme.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game, like the South Park TV show, occasionally uses its crude humor to explore cultural hypocrisies, racial stereotypes, and societal issues -- including, fittingly, kids' love of fantasy role-playing. However, the satire and parody is filled with adult language, subjects, and themes. None of the messages here are intended or appropriate for kids. 

Positive role models

None of the children or adults depicted is a proper behavioral model for kids. They fight with each other, use racial and sexual epithets, behave greedily, and generally get up to no good.    

Ease of play

This is an old-school turn-based RPG geared for an audience of experienced adult gamers, and combat is appropriately challenging. However, unintuitive controls and poorly designed menus make things harder than they ought to be. Exploration, keeping tabs on quests and character developments, and upgrading the game's hero often are more frustrating than fun. 


Combat involves turn-based melee attacks. Characters -- kids pretending they're heroes in a fantasy game -- whack each other with a wide range of weapons, including swords, hammers, beer bottles, and sex toys. Magic spells are graphically less violent but take the form of powerful, explosive farts. Combatants' faces appear red and bruised, and blood occasionally spatters the environment (when Kenny dies he's torn apart and dragged off by rats). Players can kill small animals including birds, cats, rats, and dogs without consequence and are sometimes sent on missions to attack civilians around town, including homeless people. Adults attack the kids with guns, knives, and special moves such as curb stomps and gut punches.


Several sequences show full male and female nudity. Characters are depicted masturbating, having sex, and even engaging in bestiality. Some receive anal probes from aliens. Moaning sounds often accompany these acts. Sex toys such as vibrators can be found lying around environments (a quest actually requires players to retrieve a vibrator for a male sex slave). Some weapons and attacks involve sexual equipment, such as a rubber penis and a staff adorned with brass breasts. An izmel knife is used as part of a special attack in which enemies are circumcised. "Pubes" found lying around the world can be collected and added to the player's inventory. A mini-game requires players to tap a button as quickly as possible to make the player's character poop while sitting on a toilet. 


Spoken dialogue is filled with profanity. Strong language includes "bitch," "a--hole," "damn," "goddammit," "fag," "s--t," "f--k," and "motherf--ker."


This game is based on the popular and long-running South Park television show, which has spawned several other games, a variety of toys, and a film.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Illicit drug gear appears in some areas, including a ramshackle meth lab where players find syringes and drug ingredients lying around on the floor and tables. One of the game's settings is a bar. Beer and liquor bottles are lying all around town and in the sewer. A handful of characters appears under the influence of one substance or another, including a strange sentient piece of fecal matter presented as a housewife with a serious drinking problem. 

Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that South Park: The Stick of Truth is absolutely not for kids, despite its cartoonish aesthetic and cast of kid characters. Like the TV show that inspired it, it's filled with very mature humor. Jokes often include extreme profanity and explicit sexuality and represent a form of cultural, religious, and racial satire that kids are likely to misinterpret. The South Park children frequently fight, leaving each other bloody and bruised, and generally spend their time getting up to mischief, from vandalism to attacking small animals. Most of the grown-up characters are deeply flawed and irresponsible as well. They ask the kids to fight a gang of Mongolians, have a beer with them, and "deal" with the town's homeless problem. Meaningful and interesting ideas about issues such as commercialism, peer pressure, individuality, and religion are occasionally communicated amid the poop jokes, foul language, and questionable quests, but they're best received by a savvy, mature audience capable of sorting it all out. 

What's it about?

Based on the long-running Comedy Central animated show, SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH is a role-playing game packed with crude and satirical jokes. The script -- written and performed by show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker -- tells the story of a new kid in town who begins the game looking to make some friends. He stumbles upon Cartman and his pals playing a fantasy role-playing game around the neighborhood and is drafted into Cartman's army of heroes, where he must decide whether he wants to take on the role of a fighter, mage, thief, or Jew. Then he begins adventuring around town, where he makes friends by adding them to his Facebook account, gets into turn-based fights against other kids using weapons ranging from a police baton to an izmel knife, and completes a wide array of quests that range from escaping from a ship full of aliens intent on giving him an anal probe to helping Al Gore track down and slay the ManBearPig.

Is it any good?


Like the TV show, South Park: The Stick of Truth is definitely not for kids. And its sense of humor -- more edgy and boundary-pushing than ever, thanks to a lack of network censorship -- won't be to all tastes. That said, grown-ups attuned to South Park's unusual brand of comedy will find a season's worth of politically incorrect satirical jokes scattered through the game. Its animation and dialogue are so similar to what's seen on TV that the game is essentially an interactive version of the show.

Sadly, though, the role-playing isn't quite a match for the presentation. Turn-based combat is sloppy and unforgiving, and navigating the two-dimensional town can be frustrating. Making matters worse, the controls are hard to figure out -- especially when it comes to solving puzzles outside of combat -- and likely will leave many players stumped in some areas. None of these issues will be deal breakers for die-hard South Park fans, who'll likely keep moving along just for the laugh-out-loud jokes. But players hoping for a great gaming experience equal to the comedy are bound to be disappointed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concepts of satire and parody. Comedy often tackles hard subjects by making the audience laugh about things they normally wouldn't. Do you think this is effective? Are there certain subjects that should remain taboo?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Available online?Not available online
Release date:March 4, 2014
Genre:Role Playing
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of South Park: The Stick of Truth was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 3, 10, and 15 year old Written byagentmom June 28, 2014

Why are things that are so bad so good?

This might make me worst or best mom ever but I loved this game. I've never been a big fan of South Park but I picked this up after watching my stepson play the first part and laughing my head off with him. If you allow your kids to watch the TV show, it's only bit worse than that (the TV show at least has to abide by some TV restrictions). They certainly don't pull any punches and aren't afraid to go the extra steps for the "OMG did they just do that??" factor. Now, I don't want to be a downer or get to serious about South Park, but the issues they make fun of are real and people are sadly over sensitive, and while I'm sitting on the couch with my son busting up with him, I'm also turning to him and saying "Don't you dare go to school and repeat this!" I also made sure I called his friend's parents and get their okay to let them play it. Here are the worst things parents should know that are in the game: Full nudity, sex scenes, scenes of abortion and of dead fetuses, forced sodomy fully shown, depictions of gay/lesbian couples, drug/alcohol use, satanic cults (and finding Jesus), lots of violence (hilarious, brutal cartoon violence with horrible weaponry), and exposure to Al Gore. Other than that, it was a great bonding experience with my son, and maybe.. just maybe it may have taught him something about social issues. Just kidding.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent Written byUseCMUseMe April 21, 2014

Great for exploring

I have a son who is 12(March 23 2002) and he came to me and my husband Mark and he asked Mom could I get this game with my birthday money?!? Because it is a "M" rated game we needed to look into it. After looking into it we decided that ok son you can get this game if you are not always like they do in this game. So we drove down do the store and he bought the game I was wondering if this would as bad as the tv show, we let him watch the show it's not actually that bad, so then he played the game and there was only one or two bad scenes in this (no privates are shown are anything like that). So in the end my son has stopped talking about the wildest thing and is having a lot of fun. This game is probably 12 and up. The rating M is for the "Fantasy Violence" and the blood that shows in a "battle". I hope this helped you.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Parent of a 11 and 12 year old Written byTheHelpfulParent36 April 21, 2014

Good for a tween

This game is base on the show South park, so I think that since I let my kids watch the Simpsons it's not that bad actually. There is some swearing, but swearing isn't bad if you don't repeat it towards someone. This game has only really one bad scene and it's not even graphic (it's still only a cartoon). At the start I was a little worried but I watched my son play the first "mission" and it was not really bad at all. You get to pick what your character looks like and even I though that was pretty cool. Thank you
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use


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