Supermarket Shriek – Nintendo Switch Review

Overview – developed by Billy Goat Entertainment and published by PQube, Supermarket Shriek is a unique puzzle based racing game, featuring a man and a goat who must navigate obstacle courses in various retail environments via the power of screaming. This release is available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows. Links to purchase the game will be at the bottom of this review.

Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank PQube who provided the copy of Supermarket Shriek that was used for this piece. The provision of this title has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.

Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be omitting the story section as there is little in the way of plot and move directly to the gameplay portion of the release.

Gameplay – Supermarket Shriek is a unique title, with all actions controlled by the screams of the man and goat. In the trolley, the screams of the man will turn left and the goat will turn right, with both screaming at the same time pushing the trolley forward. This unique method of propulsion is the only way to control the trolley, with the triggers and left stick used to control the two characters.

The main game is made up of 32 hazard filled stages to play through, with a variety of objectives to complete, earning up to three stars depending on the result of each stage. Here are some of the objective types that you can find in the game;

  • Obstacle Course – dash through the stage, trying to get to the goal as fast as possible. Dodge swinging pendulum blades, sound activated obstacles and deadly pitfalls to reach the checkout as quickly as you can.
  • Canned Carnage – smash through stacks of canned beans, collect time ups and avoid obstacles to earn the most points you can. A time bonus is applied at the end of the stage depending on the performance of the player at the end of the stage.
  • Shopping List – run around the store, collecting items on a shopping list as quickly as you can before heading to the goal. Navigate the dangers that surround you, avoiding harm as you head to try to get in and out with the goods as fast as possible.

The game is made up of streets with each one containing a set number of stars to earn in the stages, with a preset number required to access the final store of each zone. The stars also unlock cosmetic items that the player can use to dress up the characters, adding more reasons to clear each stage as quickly as possible to get the maximum number of stars.

To get used to the way that the characters function with the screams, the game provides a tutorial to practice maneuvering the trolley through each of the twists and turns of each level ahead. The variety of locations, traps and hazards is refreshing as new obstacles are introduced gradually, building up the challenge gradually during the course of the game.

This release also features parodies and references to stores, video games and even a tribute to a deceased television personality. The introduction stage is called Winton’s General Store, a reference to the late Dale Winton, the host for the UK version of the game show Supermarket Sweep during its initial run in the 90’s. The game also features secret stages based on other video games, including a parody of the special stage from Sonic 2 and a Micro Machines style race.

The gameplay is frantic, fun and very engaging, with a lot of content on offer. There is also a co-op mode for two players using a single Joy-Con per player and a party mode that can accommodate up to eight players simultaneously. I was able to play some of the co-op mode and can say it is both frustrating and fun, with chaos ensuing while trying to get around corners and even going in a straight line. Unfortunately, I was unable to try the party mode and so I will be unable to discuss that here.

With the gameplay covered, I will be moving onto the other aspects of the game, starting with the controls.

Controls – the controls are simple and work well, using only the triggers and left thumbstick to control the trolley if steering assist is active. Playing with both a pro controller and Joy-Cons is comfortable, with responsive controls that work very well. The single Joy-Con set up works just as well, with the ability to control the characters relying on the skills of the player.

Difficulty – there is a moderate curve to the challenge of Supermarket Shriek, gradually increasing with difficulty over time. The core aspect of the game that influences the level of difficulty on offer is the star system, as the stricter time limits and scores required to earn the full three stars can be very tough to reach without practice. However, the game can get even harder if playing with another person, as the ability to communicate between each other will have a knock on effect on the difficulty level.

Presentation – the visual style for this release is quite pleasing, with rendered models and creative environments for each stage used. The character models, shop fronts and locations are humorous, with the screaming models that appear on the HUD reacting when colliding with obstacles and walls. There are also humorous fail state animations, with the shopping trolley exploding and censor blurs appearing if the characters fall into a grinder, which is funny as there is zero blood in this game.

The sound is done very well, featuring catchy melodies and cheerful music that fits well with the stages that the player encounters, giving an exciting and upbeat pace to each challenge presented. The only issue I have with the sound design is the screaming itself, with the constant loud noises becoming grating over time. The overall performance is satisfactory, however, there were instances of graphical bugs causing full visual blackouts with only the HUD being visible, requiring a full software restart to fix.

Final Thoughts – overall Supermarket Shriek is an entertaining and fun experience. The unique control method implemented was a lot of fun to use and while it may be difficult to control with triggers at times, this is eased with the thumbstick assist system. The stages have a lot of diversity to them with thematic designs for each location, ranging from the simple supermarket, to a dim neon soaked arcade and water filled fishmongers.

I will state that the game may be a little rage inducing, but I can happily recommend Supermarket Shriek as it is a fun game at a modest price. The content on offer and diversity of objectives provide many hours of entertainment, both in single player and the multiplayer modes. The only issues I found while playing were the graphical bug that required a full restart, and the screams becoming a minor irritation over time. The graphical issues that I experienced were a frustration, but hopefully they are not a common occurrence and can be fixed in the future.

In the end, I give Supermarket Shriek a final score of 3.5/5. The unique gameplay style, diversity of objectives on offer and the humorous references/parodies featured all come together to create an entertaining experience that can be enjoyed by everyone. If you want to check this game out for yourself, links to the game on all platforms will be available below.

Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

Link to PlayStation 4 version (HERE)

Link to Xbox One version (HERE)

Link to Steam version (HERE)

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