When it comes to supermarkets in real life, the only two things I want to manage my time over are: 1, Do I have time to swing by the Lego aisle and 2, How quickly can I get the hell out of there and recover from the experience. When it comes to virtual supermarket games though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past with Supermarket Mania 2. Now we have the very similarly titled Supermarket Management 2 which is also a time management game to take a look at.
You take on the busy shoes of Kate, who starts her own business by opening up a supermarket. Naively working on her own you must instruct her to keep the shelves stocked, collect trolleys and serve customers. The more efficiently you go about your tasks, the more money customers will spend and that leads to bigger bonus coins to spend on upgrades. As with all time management games in this style, you simply tap on each area and Kate will rush around in the order you set out to complete the required job.
Running a shop on your own is no easy task and so it’s a relief to earn enough upgrade points to hire in some staff. Having a sullen teen manning the tills or returning empty trolleys helps immensely and allows you to concentrate on slightly fewer tasks. However it comes as quite a shock when later in the game you learn that staff will fall ill, get married or take rest breaks leaving you to step back into the roles you thought you could forget about!
As you progress and you open new stores, you’ll start adding in various specialty counters such as a deli, fresh fish and bakery. When customers order at these counters, you are presented with a quick (literally a few seconds) mini game to complete. For instance, the fruit counter sees you matching the customers chosen fruit on your price list whilst the fish counter tasks you with quickly catching a desired fish. As customers come thick and fast you’ll end up running into a handful of these in quick succession. This gives the game an almost WarioWare kind of feel and really enhances the experience.
To help break up the repetitive gameplay a little, some stages are focussed on one counter where you will have to very quickly serve a large number of customers.
Along with hiring staff, you will have to upgrade your facilities such as shelf capacity, extra trolleys and staff efficiency.
It’s no real secret that games of this ilk are aimed squarely at the casual gamer, so the highest praise I can give SM2 is that it actually feels like a proper game. The quickfire minigames and constant on screen action keep you concentrating hard and add a lot of fun. This is tempered somewhat by the fact the game is undeniably repetitive and doesn’t allow for any real personalisation of your store beyond the order in which you purchase upgrades. There is nothing particularly special about any of the graphics or gameplay, but it’s a strangely enjoyable experience.
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