Back in February of 2009, G5 released the first Supermarket Mania on iPhone. What quickly went on to become both a critic and fan favorite has now spawned a sequel - Supermarket Mania 2, which will be launching on iPhone on May 12. I had a chance to go hands-on with the final version of the game, and can say that while the main gameplay ideology hasn't changed, there have been tons of upgrades released on these store shelves.
For those unfamiliar with the story of the first game, in this sequel, you continue to follow Nikki, grocer extraordinaire, who is invited to open a new chain of supermarkets in Tinsel Town after successfully defeating a robot army back home (of course the robots wanted to take over the entire supermarket profession, what else would they be interested in?). Now, Nikki is surrounded by the surf and sand and must start from the bottom once again by making sure her customers' every wish is taken care of, all in a level-based, time management format.
Supermarket Mania 2 sees Nikki taking on basically every job in the supermarket, except for perhaps security guard. Each of the game's chapters sees you taking over a new (and usually more complex) supermarket than the last, but throughout them all, you'll need to keep track of the stock on shelves so that your customers always have enough fish, bread, chips, and even ice cream to buy. Where that used to be the end of the story, in Supermarket Mania 2, there have been a ton of other features added.
For one, the floors now become dirty, and fast. You'll be given a mop, and by simply tapping on the mop, Nikki will automatically clean every aisle in the store. This is a time consuming process, however, meaning that shelves could be emptied while you're cleaning, and guests could even become frustrated and leave. Other features include a bread-baking station, a milkshake machine, a coffee maker, and a delivery grocer, among others.
For the milkshake and coffee stations, you'll have to first tap on the machine to transition to the "cooking" mode (she loses the cart), where Nikki can then either automatically grind coffee grounds, or you'll have to run out into the store and collect milk and ice cream to put the milkshake together yourself. This of course takes away some of the stock your customers could purchase, but if you manage to keep these luxury items available, you'll earn more money in the end.
The same can be said for the delivery grocer, who stands near a window outside and waits for you to gather three or four food items from your shelves and then deliver them, fast food drive-in style. The bread machine is the simplest item of the bunch, requiring you to simply tap on the bread shelf, wait for a loaf to be cooked, and then carry that bread to its shelf on the main store floor.
As you play the game, your cart will often become empty, forcing you to head back to the stockroom to resupply, and you'll even have to run up to the cash register to handle check-outs, along with resupplying the grocery baskets your customers use to shop. Each level has a timer and a base dollar requirement that you must earn before moving on (as in most every other time management game), and you'll be able to use these earnings to upgrade your store, allowing for everything from automatic store clean-up, to more stock being held on a shelf at once (so that you don't have to refill them as often). You can make Nikki a faster worker, hire a cashier, and can even use a security guard to chase off annoying teenagers.
As a big fan of the first game, I have to say that Supermarket Mania 2, while much more complex and hectic, still doesn't lose its charm or fun, at least from my time with the game. The final product will span 80 levels, across six new stores, and will be released on both iPhone and iPad on May 12. For more information about the game, check out G5's official website, or you can check out my hands-on gameplay in the video at the top of this post.
Will you purchase Supermarket Mania 2 when the game releases next week? Have you ever played the first Supermarket Mania or other time management games on iPhone? How do you think the gameplay handles on such a small screen? Sound off in the comments.