Frantically-paced time management game could benefit from more variety.
Studies and videos can prove that people become animals when shopping. (Just Google “Black Friday” to see what we mean…) Supermarket Mania 2 follows this entertaining premise for a second time. In this new time management title the player follows Nikki and supports her to make her uncle’s chain a success again in Tinseltown.
Supermarket Mania 2 features 80 levels split into six different markets. Unfortunately the game only features one mode and the player can’t choose between timed and relaxed, which might deter people who prefer a slower pace. Throughout the game the player is able to reach 48 achievements, which is a pretty nice motivation, although you will earn most of them automatically.
Nikki’s main tasks include stocking shelves and fridges with products, keeping the shop clean, preparing more complicated goods, and avoiding theft. The various tasks are definitely more engaging than in your average time management game and will keep you on your toes constantly. The incoming flood of customers have different needs, and a thought bubble above their heads indicates what they want to pick up next.
If a shelf or a fridge is empty the customer will wait for Nikki to refill it, but if you take too long, the happy smiley displaying the customer’s patience will turn red and he or she will eventually leave. The preparation of more complicated goods is nearly as easy as refilling shelves. In case of fruit juice Nikki simply has to collect two fruits or vegetables, put them into the blender, and deliver the juice to the fridge. In later levels you are also able to hire helpers who will work the machines for you.
The number of upgrades is very satisfying, and they range from bigger shelves, a larger cart, better machines to security cameras and decorative items that increase the customer’s patience. Purchased upgrades are still there when you replay earlier levels, which makes it easier to reach the expert goal in more challenging levels later on. It is also quite important which things you upgrade first, and in some levels the player might have to experiment quite a bit to find out which upgrade is the way to go.
The controls are without major issues, which is even more important for a game as hectic as this one. You are able to cancel actions (though only all of them at once, not particular ones), you can plan very far ahead, and wrongly registered clicks are a rare exception. The graphics of Supermarket Mania 2 are very clean and bright, though not too different from its predecessor. Goods and products are easy to differentiate and it is simply great fun to watch all those customers running through your shop and filling their bags.
Apart from the regular shopping business there are also a few special types of customers. The celebrity will visit your stores every once in a while, which will cause all your other customers to stop shopping. Sometimes you have to bring back a small boy to his mother, while you will get a nice chunk of bonus money when you catch a thief while he is trying to steal some of your goods. All those different tasks and details can become overwhelming, but fortunately there are power-ups that you can purchase at the beginning of each level. Those power-ups ease the moods of your customers, slow the time around Nikki, or clean the shop within one second.
The biggest flaw of Supermarket Mania 2 is definitely the lack of diversity from shop to shop. The upgrades and power-ups for each shop are the same, the shops do not look highly different, and the products remain the same without very few exceptions, which can be a tad disappointing after fifty levels. Fortunately there are themed levels in between the regular ones, for example a sale for milkshakes, or the Thankstaking Day sale, which at least add the feeling of change and prove that the game does not take itself too serious.
In the end Supermarket Mania 2 is without a doubt a decent game in need of some more variety between levels. The graphics are appropriate, the game includes a lot of different features, but the same challenges, upgrades and customers in each shop tend to get boring after two or three hours. Despite this one issue, the game is still worth a look if you liked the predecessor or do not mind the repetition of certain features.