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Supermarket Management 2

Score: 84%
ESRB: 4+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Playful Age
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Time Management)/ Action/ Mini-Games

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Supermarket Management 2 HD are cute and colorful, but can be a little odd at times. Kate, a perky blonde, is your main character and she has decided to start her own supermarket. Sheíll get quite an assortment of regular customers, including the sweet old lady, the skeezy guy with the porn 'stache, the slightly plump gal who mainly likes to buy cheeses and sausage (huh?), the high maintenance lady who shops wearing a fur stole and insists on speaking with the manager often, the "tourist" who is a larger Asian guy who continuously snaps photographs, and finally, the basketball team member, an African American teenaged male who speaks his one-word comment with a Jamaican accent. You know, because all basketball players are from Jamaica. Again, I say, "huh?" Letís just say that Supermarket Management 2 HD has a few stereotypes represented amongst their customers and weíll leave it at that.

Sound effects are just as oddball as your customers, since each customer only says pretty much one word, such as "hey" or something similar. The slimy looking guy sounds like The Fonz (for those of you who remember Henry Winkler from the old days), the old woman sounds about right and the others, well, they are just as stereotypical as their appearances.

Things do look like they should, as far as fruits, veggies, fish and meats are concerned. Itís fairly obvious what stations are for which foods, so you wonít get mixed up. I will say that the octopus in the fresh fish aquarium is a little disturbing in appearance. Iíll leave it at that. Youíll get close-ups of your customersí faces during some of the mini-games where you must make the correct selection in order to please them, but I will go into this further in the Gameplay section.


Gameplay:

There are 49 levels to best in Supermarket Management 2 HD and you will have your standard monetary goal to meet, as well as an Expert goal if you want to really kick butt in the grocery business. Happy customers mean earning smiley faces and filling up the smiley face meter will earn you coins, as will having filled shelves and correctly placed grocery baskets (or trolleys, as the game calls them) at the end of the day. Youíll use coins to buy upgrades such as a checkout girl, stock boy, cake baker/decorator, deli girl, cart guy and a tasting bunny. Yeah, you heard me right. More on him later. He even gets his own mini-game.

Youíll begin your career with a modest store with three shelves, each holding a different type of product selections. When they run low, youíll have to tap them to refill them and tapping them in rapid succession makes Kate (or the stock boy, once you hire him) refill them quicker. Youíll also run the meat, fish and cheese counter until you hire a deli girl. The customer will approach and will have an icon for either meat, fish or cheese above their head. You will tap the correct icon at the station, then a mini-game pops up showing their face and the selection of four types of either meat, fish or cheese, depending on what they are looking for. Slide your finger until they smile widely and then tap this one to please them. Tap the wrong one or tap to place your finger and you get an angry customer who walks away. Later, customers will want you to slice their meat or cheese and a knife icon will appear on the left side of the station. Youíll again slide your finger along the food item until they grin, then tap there.

You will get a fruit and veggie stand where customers will approach and a mini-game pops up where the fruit they want is on the scale and you must tap the corresponding fruit from the selection of six types at the top of the screen. Itís pretty easy at first, but in the heat of the moment, a lime and a green apple can confuse the mind, as can purple plums and red grapes, at least at the plumís first appearance.

The fresh fish aquarium will contain three types of fish at any one time and the customer will indicate the type they want in a bubble above their head. You must use the net and catch the correct fish at just the right moment. You only get one chance to do this.

When a customer comes to the cake station, they will want a certain shape and it will appear over their heads. Tap the correct shape and the machine does the rest. Later on, a decorating station gets added and you must tap on the froster as the cake passes under it, then even later, tap again when it passes under the correct decoration. Itís all really easy unless you are in a mad hurry, which you always are.

Now we get to Happy Bunny. In between levels, Kate goes to a weird restaurant and gets an epiphany! Customers like to taste before they buy and a guy in a bunny suit makes people happy. Actually, it probably would scare more people than would make them happy, but she gets him to work the canapť stand. When a customer approaches, you tap them and see the type of canapť they want, then tap the three items in the correct order to create the canapť. Screw up on the first layer and you are done. These get more difficult and elaborate as you progress as well.


Difficulty:

Supermarket Management 2 HD is not hard, per se, but it can be maddening. Until you have upgraded your shelves to hold more items, purchased additional baskets, and gotten a speed boost for Kate, it can get pretty crazy. There arenít various difficulty settings, but you can always shoot for the Expert goal in each level for added challenge. As you queue up tasks for Kate and her compadres to do, you can accidentally kick off a mini-game and if you are still tapping to set up tasks, you can instantly lose that mini-game by tapping in the wrong spot. I never saw an anger timer during the mini-games, but from playing games of this type in the past, I am trained to do them as quickly and precisely as possible. Maybe slowing down isnít a bad idea, but as you are taking your time making the right decision, all hell could be breaking loose at another counter. Thereís even a "call the administrator" buzzer that goes off when a customer gets really angry and you must go over there for a set time to smooth things over. Sheesh!

Game Mechanics:

Needless to say, thereís a lot to do in Supermarket Management 2 HD. But in addition to all of that, youíll also have employees wanting to take breaks, so youíll have to tap the break icon and then relieve them at their station for a set time. Sometimes employees call in sick or get married, so again, youíll be filling in for several days at a time. The worst is when they all go on strike and you are left to run things all by yourself. Talk about crazy! And this is after everything has been upgraded, so you have a wide assortment of stations to run.

The levels that I found to be the most fun were the sale days. These were rapid-fire levels where your selected station takes up the whole screen in a half circle and people will walk up from all directions with orders needing to be filled. For the meat/ cheese/ fish sale, they will have thought bubbles containing one or two items they want and you must tap the items, which will then appear on the scale. Then you tap the customer and the items are delivered to them. Similarly, the fruit/ veggie station will appear just like the normal mini-game, just covering your screen with three scales going at once. Work quickly to earn the maximum amount of dough for those sale days. They are fast, furious, but lots of fun.

Thereís a lot to enjoy in Supermarket Management 2 HD. While I still prefer Supermarket Mania 2, Supermarket Management 2 HD is a fun simulation/ mini-game/ time management game and anyone who enjoys games of this type will get a kick out of it. While I only got Expert on about 75% of the levels, I was still able to beat it in a matter of days. Itís fun, but easy to burn through all 49 levels fairly quickly.


-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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