Developer: Billy Goat Entertainment Ltd
Release: October 23, 2020
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
It’s amazing the concepts video game developers come up with, and Supermarket Shriek is in a category of its own. From Billy Goat Entertainment Ltd, Supermarket Shriek is an off-the-walls kart racer where you navigate a shopping cart through various obstacle courses and challenges. Piloted by an unlikely duo (a man and a goat), your copilots shriek at the top of their lungs through 38 campaign levels as you dodge saws, jump fire, and smash baked bean towers in pursuit of a 3-star rating on each level.
The controls are simple and hilarious.
Pull left Trigger, man screams, cart turns left
Pull right trigger, goat screams, cart turns right
Pull both triggers, both scream, cart goes straight
Don’t be mistaken. This game is challenging. The progressive difficulty of the game is designed very well, with earlier levels easy enough to teach you the mechanics while later levels requiring precise execution in order to survive. I enjoyed the level design, which sets each level in different super markets and boutiques. Levels are divided into blocks, and you must navigate up and down a city block and drive into a store’s front-door to start each level, which I thought was a really great alternative to selecting levels from a list.
The graphics are crisp and look great on the Nintendo Switch. Levels are colorful and vibrant, and subtle details can be noticed while playing that add to the overall experience. Burn around a tight turn and your shopping cart will leave skid marks. Slide through a pile of baked beans and the man’s face is now covered in sauce. As you complete levels, you’ll unlock cosmetic hats and glasses that the man can wear.
Campaign can be played as two-player, where each person controls left or right turning. Couch co-op is challenging and requires good communication to coordinate when and where to turn. A party mode also introduces 3 additional levels for 2-8 players and will have you burning through the course in Race, collecting items around the store in Shopping List, surviving as long as you can in Elimination, or dominating the arena in Sumo. If you're playing on PS4 or PC and have a few microphones, co-op can be controlled with your voice. Yes, you and a friend can yell into mics to control your cart, just as you would with a joycon.
There are a few downsides. First, the shrieking. Although absolutely hilarious at first, it's non-stop and quickly gets old. You can easily adjust the volume of the game’s sound effects in the settings menu, though you will lose some of the collision effects by doing so. However, I didn’t feel that this impacted my ability to enjoy the game. The level design does get repetitive at times, and you’ll find yourself navigating the same obstacles. Instead of introducing more difficult obstacles, the game’s levels just get longer or the time limits get shorter. I’d like to have seen a bit more variety in those obstacles.
Final Grade: B+
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this game.Unlike anything I’ve played on the Switch before, Supermarket Shriek is, and will continue to be, a challenging go-to for me. From the first level, I was laughing at the concept and couldn’t believe a game like this existed. However, I continue to find myself picking up the Switch and playing a few levels. Sometimes I struggle returning to a game after having taken a long break from it, but the simple controls will ensure it’s easy to revisit without having to relearn the controls. In a future update I hope to see some new levels and obstacles introduced to keep gameplay fresh, but for now the goofy gameplay is enough to keep me entertained for a few hours at a time. This is one kart racer you’ll want in your library.