When I was a teenager, I worked in a grocery store. Now, I’ve done almost every job you can imagine at a grocery store and seen all kinds of different situations. It was a dark part of my life that I don’t really want to remember. Now, I get to play a video game simulating those five long years of my life. That game is Supermarket Mania.
Supermarket Mania is a time and task management game where you play a young girl named Nikki. She’s just jumped into the work force as a grocery store worker for a small store. Her competition is a large supermarket that has robots for workers. They never tire, eat or need food, just like Terminators. Well, grocery store terminators. All kidding aside, the game is a little light on the story. Basically, Nikki is trying to run a grocery store and keep up with her competition.
As said above, the game is a task management simulator where you must stock shelves, clean the floors from trash, and keep troublemakers out of your store. The game uses the touch screen to do everything. You tap on a shelf to fill it, tap on trash to pick it up, and tap on the trash bin to throw trash away. You are constantly moving to keep the shelves filled as the customers start to come in and pick up items.
Certain customers will wait a set amount of time for you to stock the shelf after the time is up, they will get angry and leave the store. Some customers will drop trash in the aisles. You have to pick it up and throw it away before someone slips on it, falls, gets angry, leaves the store, and sues your company for a broken neck. Ok the suing part is a joke. There are also mischievous children who will throw trash on the ground and thieves that will try to steal items off the shelves. Later on in the game, you will get a security guard that you can tap on to stop the children and thieves.
The story takes place in comic book scenes where you use the stylus to touch the screen and scroll along to read the dialog. The art style is nice, I guess. It looks like a tween cartoon show, and I think this is what the game is trying to target, so they got it spot on. The music is sort of boring. Although, I do have to mention that there is a song that sounds exactly like the Mythbusters theme song. It’s almost uncanny.
There is also an upgrading system that allows you to upgrade your cart to hold more stock, upgrade the items you sell so you can make more money, and other small upgrades to make maintaining your store just a little easier.
The game offers a story mode consisting of 50 levels. Some levels give you certain objectives and certain customers to tend to. It does offer a little more variety to the game. There is also an endless mode of sorts that will continually get more difficult the farther you progress. Even I can say that some of the later levels can get very involved and hectic.
Supermarket Mania is a quick, simple little game that offers a decent challenge and can keep you busy for about 3 or 4 hours. Its $5 on the DSiWare store, so you’ll get your money’s worth. Yes, the story is not for me, but that didn’t stop me from playing the game all the way through and have a relatively fun time. It actually got quite addicting. It’s not a bad game; it’s just not very deep. Then again, how deep can you get in a supermarket simulator? If you’re into the task management games, you’ll like this.
Review copy provided by publisher.