All week this week, Kotaku UK is live from the show floor at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, and we've been racing around haphazardly trying to see as many weird and wacky games as possible.
Back in January of this year, Kotaku UK published a huge list of British developed games which were due to release in 2018 that we thought were worth keeping an eye on. While Supermarket Shriek (geddit?) got pushed out of its 2018 release window to Q1 2019, it's still one of the games that we were most excited to check out when the year began, so we made sure to give it a try at Gamescom.
The idea of Supermarket Shriek is that you play as a scared and confused man and goat, stuck in a shopping trolley together barrelling down a British high street. You control your wayward trolley by making the odd duo scream, the man to turn anticlockwise, and the goat to turn clockwise.
The game can be played with a controller, in which case it's a fun goofy game where you bumble through environments as fast and safely as you can, grabbing shopping list items, knocking over tins of beans, and trying to make it out of the shop as fast as you can. In controller mode the game uses one trigger to make each character scream, and it's funny watching copious amounts of screaming as you bumble through environments, but the real joy is playing the game with a pair of USB microphones.
So, picture the scene: It's the business area of Gamescom. There are men in suits having meetings, interviews being recorded, and then suddenly me and the developer just start screaming at each other. I'm screaming, he's screaming, the man and goat on the screen are screaming, and we're trying not to die as we race around these levels. There was some awkwardness at first, but quickly I just found myself laughing. It was an excuse to just let out some of the tension and stress of the busy and crowded event, and really did work as a viable way to control the trolley through the levels.
Supermarket Shriek is full of nods to life in England, from mockeries of store names to a bus boasting "something something £350 million", and discovering these positive homages to well known parts of British life gave the world a really nice sense of reality.
While I don't know yet if the novelty will wear off before the end of the game, or if my neighbours will let me get away with the screaming mode, I do know I had an awful lot of fun with Supermarket Shriek, and am really pumped to give it a go again when I am not surrounded by disapproving business people who don't want to let me existentially scream my way to victory.