Time to shop!


Along with hidden object games, match-3 puzzle games, and point-and-click adventures, one genre which has enjoyed increased popularity over the past several years is that of time management games. While these games are hardly what you would call relaxing, they tend to provide a deeper challenge than many other casual game genres. Great time management games can blend all sort of gamestyles into one satisfying whole

One of the latest is Supermarket Mania HD, a port of the popular PC title and popular iPhone/iPod Touch app. You play Nikki, a fresh-faced blonde working at the robot-controlled Torg supermarket. While the storyline is a bit silly, the goal is simple

Well the problem is not really the shelves, but the constant stream of customers taking things off of them. Each level has a set number of customers that will pour in and start shopping. The food item each customer desires will appear in a thought bubble above their heads, which assists in planning a strategy for which shelves to stock first. A customer who finds an empty shelf will slowly lose patience until they storm out of the store

Speaking of goals, each level has a minimum goal to pass the level, and an expert goal which will award you an Excellent rating and some bonus cash. Typically earning Excellent on a level will require you to avoid losing any customers while making a substantial amount of money over the minimum goal.This extra cash can be made in a variety of ways, some of which must be unlocked through the course of the game. One is a gumball machine that can be placed at the register, and another is a super sale icon that can be used once per level. This super sale icon will cause all your customers to grab whatever food they can off the nearest shelf. This will make you a ton of money, but will strip your shelves bare and leave you scrambling to catch up.


All this cash you

Not your typical supermarket…


Supermarket Mania clearly approaches the subject of supermarket management with a tongue-in-cheek style. Customers are mostly comical stereotypes. On the positive end there are little old ladies who have the patience of Job, and on the negative end there are shoplifters who will skulk through your store in a robber

I did have a few nitpicks with the game. While the touch screen interface is by and large excellent, I did run into occasional times in which I just didn