In Supermarket Shriek you tackle all sorts of challenges, all while being a man and a goat screaming in a shopping cart. Needless to say, this game has a lot of charisma. Between the screaming, Heinz beans and all of the cartoonish slapstick found in this game you can really feel how much passion is behind it.
But how is the gameplay? In single-player, you control both characters in the shopping cart, and their screams and by using that you can manoeuvre your way through the levels. This could be as simple as racing to the end, but it could be a level where you have to race something, collect items, or smash through towers of Heinz beans. There are also some secret levels which are amusing references to other games.
In co-op, which the game seems to be designed for, the characters are split between you and the game is much tougher for obvious reasons. There’s also a different ending depending on whether you’re playing single player or co-op and I’ll just say that the single player ending is somewhat sad. Other than the very beginning and end of the game there’s not really any story at all, but that’s fine for this type of game.
However, when it comes to progressing through the levels there’s a bit of a problem. There are several streets in the game and at the end of each street the game requires you have a certain number of stars to access the final level of the street to go to the next one.
So how are stars earned? Well, each level has up to three stars you can get per level. One you get by completing the level and the rest you can get by getting being faster and/or getting higher scores. The thing is, this only seems to exist to artificially extend your game time.
There is an argument that could be made that perhaps the developers want you the master the lower levels first otherwise you won’t be able to do the later levels, but I found that pretty much no matter the level it’s easier on the second try anyway.
You might also suggest that it’s so you can skip levels you’re not good at or don’t like, but the number of stars you need often require a majority of two stars from every level or three stars from some levels. Therefore, skipping levels doesn’t seem to be a good reason for doing this either. You can’t skip the end of each street’s level regardless.
The fact that you have to grind out stars wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t already have to play most levels more than once to begin with as you can often be blindsided by bottomless pits or walls you couldn’t see and hitting buttons when you couldn’t have known what they activate.
All this in co-op can be a pretty frustrating experience as you have to coordinate and both learn the levels and then replay them enough to get enough stars to proceed.
All in all, Supermarket Shriek is pretty fun, but there are just some pacing issues that will make it hard to go back to, because you’ve probably gone back to each level at least once by the time you finish the game. However, if getting better scores and times is your thing, then this game will be up your alley.