Take the charm of Rabbids, splice it with the chaos of Super Monkey Ball, and top it off with the level structure of Super Mario 64 – the result? Supermarket Shriek; a mishmash of all the greatest hits that doesn’t disappoint.
Controls-wise, the closest scheme to this shopping cart star-collector is Katamari, as one trigger gauges the left thrust (shout) whilst the other handles the right, meaning that both being pulled propels you straight forward. It can take some fiddling to get used to, especially with the tighter, more pixel-perfect obstacle runs, but it’s mostly intuitive and responsive in nature.
At first, there’s a relaxed ease as you breeze down the aisles, avoiding Scooby Doo axe-traps in a gauntlet of metal testing that puts Sen’s Fortress to shame, but the difficulty ramps up the further you go on and eventually, the fun boils into tedious teeth-grinding challenge, but there’s that incentive to plough on and beat the level because I’ll be damned if I let it beat me. Supermarket Shriek nails that difficulty-to-reward ratio and manages to come off as a serotonin-rich high with its unlockable stars that open doors to new areas, letting you stumble through the neon-clad street in search of more zany stores to trample through. However, these levels can get a touch repetitive, but that’s forgivable given their slick designs that manage to feel filled-to-the-brim with obstacles whilst avoiding that cramped nausea.
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However, avoiding a literal conveyer belt of traps, shenanigans and tight jumps isn’t all that’s on offer, as there’s a wealth of fun little timed challenge maps that vary from smashing over a display of canned goods to collecting items like a stark-raving mad Black Friday shopper in Walmart. In terms of the open world, the developers haven’t went for an iconic castle but rather a left-to-right laid out street where the shops get more and more fancy as you meander down, but the desolate, abandoned feeling of it all gives off some slightly uncomfortable Raccoon City vibes.
Story / Personality
There’s a certain novelty to the design, with a luxurious strip to wander down in search of levels with a light cartoon-y touch and some quirky art. However, the novelty of the playable characters screaming as they zoom around avoiding certain death wears off fast and suddenly, you’re left with grating noise best drowned out by means of headphones and some upbeat funk. The cartoon visuals and the over-head camera that lets you peer over the chunky walls and into the backrooms of the weirdly structured stores is perfect for a game of this nature and the effects are a gorge with satisfying splatters and mayhem aplenty.
Graphics / Art Direction
When it comes to handheld, Supermarket Shriek looks fantastic, with crisp lines and HD visuals, retaining that sharp feeling of the cartoon-like world and its enriched character designs, but when the Switch is plugged into a TV or monitor, the blur and fuzziness comes out, and the game doesn’t look quite as good as it does on other platforms. However, the developers did a bang up job at keeping as much integrity as possible at higher resolutions, so your best bet is to expect the level of visual fidelity you’d find in a title like Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3 if you decide to plug and play – it’s not quite an Xbox or PlayStation, and isn’t up there with the likes of Animal Crossing, but it’s not so noticeable as to put you off. Still, I stuck to handheld most of the time, even if playing something as chaotic as this was a little rougher on a smaller screen.
Final Score: 74%
There’s not a whole lot of titles like Supermarket Shriek on the market, and despite it featuring a horned, loud-mouthed animal, it’s not quite the superficial blatant streamer-bait that Goat Simulator is, as it offers enough to keep you entertained without you having to force the fun out of the seams. Still, it can get a little on the repetitive side, and it runs fairly short, but the challenge is there and the rewards are enticing, so it hits the nail on the head with what it runs for.
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