Price: FREE (with $6.99 in-app purchase to acquire full game)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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The casual time management genre is an addictive one, even for those players who don't want to admit it. Supermarket Mania 2 mixes up the concept enough that it feels like a more fleshed out game that requires more thought than many other games in the genre. This ensures that it feels as fully fledged as the PC version rather than being a cut down version.
Players must work their way through 80 different levels covering 6 different settings. In terms of value for money there's certainly a lot here. There's a loose story involving Nikki and her friends in their quest to control the best supermarket chain ever, all explained via colorful comic strips. It'd be easy to wonder just how enjoyable shelf stacking could be in a game (and believe me, it's not fun in real life!) but Supermarket Mania 2 makes a great game out of it.
This is mostly thanks to not being solely based around shelf stacking. The early levels ably guide players through the basics. At the start of each level, players get a quick moment to set up shop. This isn't just a matter of filling up the trolley and stocking shelves as the supermarket sells much more than that. Players will quickly find themselves needing to make milkshakes, croissants, coffee and eventually pizza. This is all mostly a matter of simply combining items but it's a heady combination ensuring that there's always something that needs doing.
The shop needs maintaining too with the competition coming in to trash machines sometimes, as well as the shop floor getting filthy and needing to be cleaned up. Different customers also come along with different expectations and demands. Fortunately, Supermarket Mania 2 has been designed in a way that means nothing is intimidating. Everything is gradually built up ensuring that players understand how to do everything before they're tested much.
As players acquire more money by successfully completing each level, upgrades become purchasable with up to 200 in all. These can make a huge difference to success and make the game much more satisfying too. There's also the ability to purchase items that distract customers from rushing out too fast, offering the player precious extra seconds to restock in time.
Ultimately, Supermarket Mania 2 is immensely satisfying for fans of the genre. The difficulty level is keenly set ensuring that it's challenging but never unfairly so (although achieving Expert scores might test a few people's patience), and it consistently offers that 'one more go' feeling. Casual players won't be disappointed by any means.