It’s happened to all of us, hasn’t it? You’re just off to do the weekly shop, get your shopping trolley and then suddenly you find yourself in said cart next to a goat. You’re going to scream, right?
That’s about as much plot as there is in Supermarket Shriek (outside of a bunch of punny shop names like Winton’s, Pidl and The Fish Bucket, and jokes about £350 million on the side of a bus), but it doesn’t need much more. Here’s a game where you navigate perilously designed shops and supermarkets, while shrieking with goat and human to propel your trolley forward and turn it.
The controls are pure and simple: yelling with both makes you go forward, yelling with the goat turns the trolley to the right and with the man to the left, and that’s about it. For a spot of co-op play, you can each take control of one of the two characters, but for absolute immersion, you’ll want to grab a pair of USB microphones and starts yelling down them. Outside of some death metal tracks in Rock Band, this is almost certainly the only game where you can control it by screaming.
While the controls are simple, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to control, and there’s a finesse and nuance to getting the turning circle right and weaving in and around the wacky obstacles in your path on your way to the end of the level. There’s flame pits, bouncing floor panels, giant turning blockades, swinging axes and even triggers that react to your in-game yelling. Different stores having different themes, so while Winton’s is going to be your classic supermarket look, there’s a neon-infused video game store, fishmongers, and more.
It’s a lot of silly, nonsensical fun trying to beat the various times and scores to hit the three star rating, with several different game types that might have you going on a Supermarket Sweep-style collect-a-thon, have you race against a little RC car, or knocking over stereotypical towers of beans, gradually covering man and goat in a tomato sauce. The masochistic can try and get a fourth star on each shop by beating secret dev times and scores, but if you just want to cut loose with a bit of social screaming, there’s always the party modes that mix things up with different shared screen game modes.
I think what’s most surprising isn’t that Supermarket Shriek is a good bit of fun, it’s more that there’s so much variety stuffed in a game about a man and a goat screaming their way through supermarkets.