Changes are few and far between in this time management game sequel
Now and then it takes some time to produce and release a sequel, and this is exactly the case with Supermarket Management 2, which was released two years after its predecessor. The player quickly learns that Kate, the hero of the first game, is now aspiring to be her own boss. She'll succeed thanks to the support of her family and help from you, the player.
Supermarket Management 2 features 49 levels in one mode, which feels a little short. In contrast to its predecessor, you now have to earn a specific amount of money before the shop closes to reach expert or normal goal instead of having as much time as you need to serve a specific number of customers and earning money. Veterans should be able to finish the game with expert goals in around three hours, and there are no awards, achievements, or more complex goals to warrant any replay value.
The gameplay can generally be compared to the Supermarket Mania series, although Supermarket Management 2 focuses more on mini-games and is less hectic. Customers enter Kate’s stores on a regular basis, take a cart, and pass the varying stands while deciding what to buy. Some stands have to be refilled permanently so that customers won’t get angry, while other stands involve well-known mini-games, players will surely recognize most of them from the predecessor.
Most of those mini-games only consist of choosing the correct option out of three or four possibilities, such as fish, cheese, or fruit. At other times you have to choose the correct product by observing the facial expression of a customer, or creating a snack by choosing the wanted ingredients in the proper order. All of those mini-games are quite fun and seamlessly integrated into the game, but unfortunately they get old pretty quickly and do not offer anything new or exciting.
The same can be said about the upgrades in Supermarket Management 2. They are exactly the same ones as in the predecessor, although purchased ones are at least carried over from store to store, which is a welcome change from the first Supermarket Management. Besides larger stands, more expensive products (which also complicate mini-games), and more carts you are also able to hire assistants who will perform certain tasks, such as cashing up, preparing cakes or refilling stands. Upgrades are not purchased by the money you earn in each level, but rather by coins, whose number depends on whether you finished a level in expert time and whether the carts are in their place and stands are completely refilled at the end of a level.
While nearly two years have passed since the release of the first part of this series we were quite surprised (and not necessarily in a positive way) by the extremely minor and shallow changes regarding game mechanics, features, and graphics. In fact Supermarket Management 2 could also have been called Supermarket Management Reloaded. Other series have already proven that it’s not required to reinvent the wheel, but that it’s still possible to create a fresh, challenging and entertaining sequel (or even six in some cases).
Changes are few and far between - the graphics have been slightly improved, the general gameplay feels a bit smoother, and a few of the stands including related mini-games have been added. Most of the other smaller tasks, occurrences and special levels have already been part of the predecessor in the same way, so that you might think to yourself “I’ve already done that” throughout the whole game. It also has to be said that genre veterans will very likely feel underwhelmed with the grade of difficulty of Supermarket Management 2, while newcomers might be put off by the possibility to fail.
All in all, die-hard fans of the first game will surely enjoy Supermarket Management 2, too, although it has to be said that you should not have too high expectations for this one. The graphics are slightly improved, and some very minor features have been added, but it’s basically still the same game, which was not that remarkable even back then. With that in mind there is definitely no harm in giving the game a try and see whether the changes might be enough to please.
- Decent graphics. Large variety of mini-games and upgrades. Smooth pace.
- Only minor changes compared to the first part. Plays and feels a little bit dated. Rather short playing time.