Is this game mad dash through the supermarket a clean sweep, or are there some missteps along the way? Find out in our Supermarket Shriek review!
Supermarket Shriek from PQube and Billy Goat Entertainment is an action-packed co-op game unlike any other starring a man and a goa. Yes, you read that correctly! In essence, this is a cart racer game, unlike no other. You’ll take control of an odd couple who are riding on a shopping cart as you traverse a variety of different time trial scenarios through an alternate reality. Is this unique take on cart racing worth a shot?
Supermarket Shriek is… unique, to say the least. Dropped in the middle of the shopping district, you control a man who is immediately run over by a shopping cart with a goat in it. After this, the game begins! The world is on fire, of a post-apocalyptic nature, and you’re racing through a variety of stores to presumably gather the goods needed to survive from this impending scenario. You’ll race through the shops in the aforementioned shopping cart with only the screams of your characters to propel you through the challenges.
Each trip into a store will present the player with a different time trial scenario. You’ll need to race to the exit while completing certain criteria to be rewarded with up to three stars depending on how well you do. There will be some levels that introduce new gameplay mechanics, such as using spinners and conveyor belts in novel ways or having to collect certain grocery items before exiting the level. Stars earned go towards unlocking new cosmetics for your character and his goat companion. This adds an element of replayability to the levels if you want to dress up your characters in outlandish ways.
To propel the shopping cart through these levels, you have to control the screams of both characters to navigate effectively. You use the ZL button to control the screams of the human character and the ZR button to let out a bellowing goat yell. That’s really all there is to it, as the player is left to attempt to master these simple but challenging controls. While the thought of screaming characters can seem like fun, the sounds are so grating after a short while that I found myself playing with the sound turned off. You will need to balance both of these voices to be able to effectively turn and navigate through each level.
Racing through these stores, it quickly becomes apparent that this game is not meant to be easy to control. Having to alternate between using either the ZL and ZR buttons to turn, pressing both buttons to sprint straight ahead can be incredibly frustrating at times. It does feel like this game was designed to be frustrating, a trend we’ve seen over the years from releases such as Goat Simulator, Octodad, and Surgeon Simulator. As you make your way into the later levels of Supermarket Shriek, mastery of your shopping cart is crucial as the difficulty does ramp up towards the end of the game’s 38 stages.
There is multiplayer in Supermarket Shriek in the form of co-op and party modes. The co-op mode has you and one other player each take control of one of the game’s protagonists. This is single-handedly one of the most frustrating gaming experiences I’ve ever had, which is like this by design. My wife and I were yelling at each other louder than the goat screamed as we tried to navigate these levels, with each one of us being in charge of turning left or right. It was a chaotic experience!
While frustrating by design, the challenges presented in this shopping cart racer are novel in execution. While the gameplay is fun, with reasonable difficulty spikes, the sound design does wear out its welcome rather quickly. If you’re looking for a game designed with clunky controls and a pair of quirky characters, then this one could be a good option. Supermarket Shriek is out on Nintendo Switch for $19.99.
This Supermarket Shriek review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PQube.