Released a couple of years ago, Supermarket Shriek went a bit under the radar but over times its become one of my favourite party games to enjoy. Its a 1-8 player obstacle course game where players can drive or co-drive supermarket trolleys around supermarkets. Its barmy, silly and full of English cheeky humour and it stands out as a one of a kind experience.
The controls are the first thing that stand out because you use the trigger controls to either push the trolley forward on the left or right hand side depending on what trigger you press. You can only go straight forward by pressing down both triggers on the controller. This means you can share 4 controllers and have 8 players taking control of one side of the steering each and there is a ton of fun and carnage to be had as you try to work together. Equally, up to 4 players can just battle it out controlling both characters stuck inside a trolley. With shriek being part of the title, you can also use voice activation to scream into your controller to trigger movement too. This gimmick is the best thing ever for a few minutes and then quickly gets old so its good to switch to more traditional controller inputs as Supermarket Shriek contains a lengthy and meaty challenge.
In campaign mode there are over 40 levels that take you down various high streets with knock offs of various well known UK stores. There are a couple of types of level that take place inside them but the basic one is an obstacle course to just survive the route and reach the checkout and exit door. Some involve you picking up various items to buy on the way and others are like race tracks where you battle an AI boss. There are also levels to knock over as many cans of beans as possible or to create as much or as little mess. Since every level is a new layout even levels with the same objective feel vastly different. Variety is the spice of life with Supermarket Shriek and it stays fresh throughout.
Initially levels are about learning the controls and trolley physics as the trolley spins like a top, has a skiddy drift and wheels that act like Bambi legs at times. You can be precise but there is definitely a learning curve. After the first few levels, the game introduces more and more deadly traps as the game turns more into a violent Its a Knock Out. Giant meat carvers, electrified swimming pools, giant bowling balls, robot sweepers, mines in the isles – there’s tons to look out for. Levels have medals for speed or precision depending on the goal and that unlocks more levels to play or new characters or customisation. The campaign is an absolute treat and actually very hard in the final tier of levels. Getting to see everything will require skill, patience and poise but its incredibly satisfying to get things right.
Whilst campaign can be played with a couple of players, the minigames area can have up to 8 playing. These operate like either arena brawler battles or supermarket sweep races to grab certain items and get to the checkout first. These are fun additions and they have some longevity and are viewed from a single zooming in/out camera angle to keep everyone on screen. They aren’t quite as well developed or as addictive as the main game though. That said some of the bonus hidden levels you can unlock are great fun such as a Sonic Special Stage inspired long tube of beans level.
Supermarket Shriek has only grown in stature within my game collection over the years. Its cheeky fart and scream filled humour can be muted if you don’t care for it but it reminded me of the early scrappy charm of 90s Codemasters games. This has become a regular staple of my multiplayer game nights because its easy to pick up, hard to master and totally stupid to watch. From that standpoint, its one of my favourite party games of the last few years to come out. Don’t sleep on it.
Supermarket Shriek is one of my favourite party games of the last few years. A staple of my local multiplayer carnage nights.
Uniquely themed obstacle courses that require skill and precision despite carrying all the fun of a party game.
Absolutely loads to do.
1-8 player modes allow you to have a true Co-Op, Versus or Teams approach to most of the game.
Additional mini games for party modes are nicely done.
Has a unique Its A Knock Out meets Saturday afternoon cartoon for adults humour and style.
Easy to pick up, difficult to master.
Intentionally loud and brash (although I found it funny) and the optional screaming controls are very gimmicky.
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