iPad Game Review: Supermarket Management HD
Reviewed by JadeDragon
With two supermarket time management games that sound similar, you'd think that G5 is milking this grocer-themed cow. But in reality, Supermarket Management HD, just released for the iPad and also available for the iPhone/iPod touch, looks and plays like a more polished and refined version of Supermarket Mania HD. The game has a broader view of supermarket stores with more elements tightly integrated together to add more frenzy to the gameplay, yet the difficulty level is very balanced. Graphics also have more elements and look more mature in Supermarket Management. If you are into time management game, this is a worthy title to check out.
The biggest difference in gameplay between G5?s two supermarket time management titles is the additional staff. In Supermarket Mania HD, you?re pretty much a one-woman show with a NPC cashier. Here in Supermarket Management HD, you get to hire a cashier, a seafood/meat counter manager, a food tasting booth manager and even a stock person. Time management veteran players will love this new element of delegating some of your tasks to other characters in the game. Supermarket Management does this well with a balanced workforce against the amount of workload, and you never feel that you don?t have enough to do nor too much.
The back story in Supermarket Management HD is similar to the one behind Supermarket Mania HD: your heroine Kate, a new college graduate, gets an opportunity to learn managing supermarket business. You will help Kate manage and grow four supermarket stores with upgrades in staffing, shelving and more. Gameplay feels meaty with 49 levels littered with mini games and consistent opportunities for upgrades. Each level you complete brings coins to buy more shelve space, hire assistants, add more shopping carts and increase filling and moving speed around the store. Adding assistants in different department is a great way to add gameplay elements without overwhelming players. For example, you can add a food tasting booth where customers can line up to taste your latest grocery items. Kate doesn?t have to man the booth, but you will need to assemble the food creations for tasting. You must pick what the customers want to taste from a selection of available items, and even use the right tooth pick or cocktail umbrella. It?s a fun way to run down the clock while your other assistants are busy taking care of things in the store. There is also a cake stand that Kate must man personally and a seafood/meat counter with an assistant. As you upgrade various departments in the store, the items for tasting and cake creations get more and more complicated (three layer cake takes a lot longer than a single chocolate bar) and will take more time to assemble.
To make things even more interesting, Supermarket Management HD offers mini-games where items in the store will go on sale, and customers will line up to either at the cashiers or meat/seafood counter to buy the on-sale items. There are no upgrades and no assistants in these mini-games, it?s just you and your fast finger to fulfill customers? orders. They bring the rush and pure fun of time management games, but thank god these are pepped in the game and not the main gameplay. One very important achievement Supermarket Management HD has is the balanced gameplay: you have plenty to do in the game, but you are never too overwhelmed that you want to give up and start the level all over again. As long as you keep a cool head and fast finger, you shouldn?t have to replay any level due to an empty clock.
If the balanced gameplay is the hero of Supermarket Management HD, the graphics are the shiny metal around his neck. There is nothing better than using highly styled and sharp graphics to show off delicious cakes, yummy sausages, fish and fresh produce. If you think the graphics in Supermarket Mania HD were good, the graphics in Management HD have gotten even better. The grocery items have their close-ups that look irresistible. Don?t play this game with an empty stomach! Store design also got a make over with a sharper look and the layout makes the gameplay even more accessible.
The iPad?s large screen provides a perfect canvas for your masterful tap, slide, drag and drop controls. The game has smooth touch controls and we didn?t experience any glitches or bugs.
Supermarket Management HD has relaxing background music and plenty of sound bites. BGM has an island music feel to it that?s crisp and relaxing. It provides a contrasting calm to the frenzy of supermarket?s busy scenes. BGM doesn?t come with a great variety however, and if you wish you can play your own iPod music by turning off the BGM in Options. Along with background music, the game has many sound bites that are integrated well into the music and gameplay. All actions have their own sound FX, and the voice bites are particularly helpful as they provide reminders or cues for your actions. In a crowded supermarket, you might not see a small lady waiting for your help, but her voice tells you that she is waiting for your help.
If you are a time management fan, Supermarket Management HD provides a lot of gameplay with nice presentations in graphics and audio. If you?ve played Supermarket Mania HD, Supermarket Management HD has enough fresh elements to entertain you. If you haven?t played Supermarket Mania, go straight to Supermarket Management as it has more refined gameplay, graphics and improvements in nearly all aspects of the game.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Sharp and delicious graphics.
Sound: - 4 - Great sound bites integrated with gameplay, music could use more tracks.
Controls: - 5 - Touch controls work flawlessly.
Gameplay: - 5 - 49 levels take a while to complete. Mini-games keep the gameplay fun and fresh.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Watch out for the staff?s break/happiness meter to plan your actions.
- Hit the shelves fast when restocking.
Developer: G5 Entertainment
Release Date: Aug 24, 2010
Price: $4.99 (iPad version), $2.99 (iPhone version)
Buy App: Supermarket Management HD, Supermarket Management
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