Your least favorite Saturday chore is now an iOS game. Don’t curl your lip and turn away, though: Supermarket Mania 2 is a reminder that even grocery shopping can be a lot of fun if you combine kooky customers, espionage, star-crossed romance between food vendors, and throw the whole thing into a time warp that moves at fifteen times the speed of a cheetah with a lit rocket up its bum.
Supermarket Mania 2 is a time management game that’s very reminiscent of other games in its genre. Think Hotel Dash, Wedding Dash, and Supermarket Mania, the precursor to Supermarket Mania 2. In other words, you’ve played its kin before, possibly many times over, but blazing through the game will nevertheless make you feel giddy with accomplishment.
It’s important to note that Supermarket Mania 2 offers a chunk of its levels for free, but beyond a certain point, you must pay for the “full game” ($4.99) to keep on going. Granted, if you’re into time management games, you’ll get your money’s worth with 80 levels divided into six markets, each one more challenging than the last. But if you’ve had your fill of games that purposely make you scream “AHHHH” while jabbing at the screen, you might want to stick to the free version of Supermarket Mania 2.
Whether you spring for the full version of the game or opt to play through the free levels, the premise is the same. You are cast as a young entrepreneuse named Nikki, who has a talent for setting up homey mom-and-pop grocery stores in an era where the chill, clammy presence of Wal-Mart sucks the life out of neighborhoods. Nikki needs to attract customers to her little stores, and more importantly, she needs to keep them.
At the start of the game, Nikki is a one-woman retail machine. She must stock shelves, fill deliveries, bake pastries, mix juice and milkshakes, check out customers, and keep her store clean. Customers file in as the day endures, and they swarm shelves like locusts. If an item is out of stock, the customer will wait for Nikki to re-stock it– but their patience is limited. If Nikki doesn’t move fast enough for a customer’s liking (some patrons are more laid-back than others), he or she will storm out the door and presumably be consumed and digested by Wal-Mart.
As the game progresses, Nikki will have staff on hand to help cut down her work load. That doesn’t mean she gets to hide in the back office and surf Facebook all day, though: she still has to tend to customers and the disasters they inflict upon her humble store. For instance, an evil mustached rival might slither in and sabotage the milkshake machine, or a little kid might get overzealous with her scooter and knock food items to and fro.
Happy customers becoming unhappy customers.
There is, in short, a whole lot to do in Supermarket Mania 2, and that includes upgrading shelves and freezers so that they can hold more stock. If Nikki fails to meet a certain quota at the end of a workday, she’ll have to do the Groundhog Day thing and redo it. If she succeeds, she’ll be allowed to open stores in more lucrative locations.
It probably sounds like very familiar stuff, and frankly, it is. If you don’t want to waste any more of your time and sweat on a time management game, you won’t get anything out of Supermarket Mania 2. If you love hyper-paced games of these type, though, Supermarket Mania 2 is a good title to pop into your basket: There are lots of levels to play through, dozens of different challenges to meet, a funny script, and bright, colorful graphics.
Supermarket Mania 2 does suffer from some of usual troubles that plague other games in its genre, though. The game’s environments are often crowded, which can make it tricky to touch the precise shelf you need to re-stock. Given that time is not on your side, ever, the last thing you need is to deal with wasted food, but that’s what you’ll end up doing at least once.
Also, there’s little variety from store to store. The shelf placement starts to look pretty familiar after a few hours of gameplay, though that familiarity can admittedly be helpful when you don’t want to spend time hunting for the new location of the juicer or the coffee machine.
If you need another time management title and are attracted to the cut-throat business of food retail, you’ll have a good time with Supermarket Mania 2. If neither concept sounds a-peel-ing, make like a banana and split.