This review is a long time coming because I had to muster up the courage to actually admit to playing these games.

They came free (big surprise) from Gamehouse, so, being the time management fiend that I am, I decided to try them. They look the same from the outside; both are second instalments of very easy-sounding games and feature peppy, blonde protagonists. After playing, they’re a world apart.

The least disappointing of the two was Supermarket Mania 2. I recommend this to very young children who love time management. It’s actually hard not to do poorly at this. Anyone who watches television wouldn’t be surprised at the competition slant, one that ended up confusing me because the characters in the game aren’t actually on a show in the game’s script. They’re just overly competitive about selling basic necessities to people, which confused me even more. The biggest thing to happen in the game are the moves to new locations and the occasional visits from spoiled celebrities who throws fits when their temper fizzes out.

Notice the sparkly trail of the Dalek.

Notice the sparkly trail behind the Dalek.

There are some pretty cool upgrades you can “buy” throughout the game, some of which do more than others. The security camera to help prevent theft does nothing, but I appreciated GLaDOS’ pretty face looking over the customers. The floor sweeper upgrade is by far my favourite, as it creeped me out the first time the “automatic” upgrade was used.

This fairly simple game is filled with day-to-day annoyances that might happen to the typical retail/customer service employee. The biggest annoyance, albeit slightly realistic, is the mother who continues to lose her child and stands there looking stupid rather than walking around to look for him. Maybe this does happen in real life. Or maybe I expect pre-programmed people to have common sense.

Either way, this game runs very smoothly and is very addictive. In short, it’s a boring win-win.

Supermarket Management 2 sounds like the same thing, and it is—but it’s really not! The basic premise is the same: keep the stocks shelved so you can keep customers happy and buy upgrades. The difficulty level, however is so much higher. As a matter of fact, I found it difficult to get past the first third of the game until I returned after a harrowing day of working retail at Christmastime. Or maybe I’m stupid.

Creepy Granny is haunting you.

Creepy Granny is haunting you.

The biggest difference between this game and the one just reviewed above is that you are actually managing a grocery store, rather than stocking shelves and running errands on your own. You can hire employees for every station of the store (if you have enough money), resolve any issues that come up with the customers, and replace employees who are randomly out sick throughout the game.

Other annoyances include the repetitive sound effects of customers trying to call your attention to them, the various glitches that occur (see left), the poorly edited story, and that idiot dancing bunny in the upper righthand corner.

Through all the madness, you’ll have much more fun with these customers than any other game I’ve encountered. Much of my time was spent either yelling at them or reeling at their creepy laughs.

Best "Supermarket Management 2" error: I pity the full who doesn't keep his shelves fool!

Best “Supermarket Management 2” error:
I pity the full who doesn’t keep his shelves fool!

I’m so glad I can finally get these games off my computer.