There's plenty of games available on DSiWare which are nothing more than glorified Flash games, which you could find playable for free online if you searched for just a few minutes. At first, we suspected that Supermarket Mania would join their ranks, but thankfully it offers a little bit more.
As a single player-only experience, Supermarket Mania offers two modes of play. Like most games, the Endless mode is just a high-score affair where you try to last as long as possible and get as many points as you can, but Story mode is where the bread and butter is at.
As Nikki, a new employee at a large supermarket chain, your job is to run around the supermarket and restock all the empty shelves, so that the customers can get what they need and subsequently make their way to the register to reward you for your hard work.
Of course, you can't carry an endless supply of foodstuffs on you, so after every five refills,Nikki will have to run to the storeroom in the back and refill her shopping cart. If you still have some food left, this process is faster, so it can sometimes be strategic to run to the back before you're even out of items. After only a handful of levels, Nikki finds out that the supermarket chain is run by a stereotypically evil guy with a moustache hellbent on wiping out all competitors, so she instead seeks work at smaller, honest stores run by kind old men and the like.
From that point on many more game features open up to you. After each level, you will be able to purchase store upgrades: a coffee machine you can use every few seconds to get a speed boost, or a gumball machine next to the register which into which every customer will be forced to plug some coins.
As you go through the stores, you'll also get more and different types of customers. Each has a particular type of food or drink they tend to purchase, so you may want to memorise what everybody likes, and of course you may not even need a particular type of consumable if there's nobody who likes it. Eventually you'll also come across people who may cause a ruckus, for which you'll need to alert the store guard.
Things quickly start to get hectic, but keep in mind there's no need to be completely perfect – you only need to make a certain amount of cash within the time limit to progress to the next stage, and the worst that could happen when you don't let customers get what they want is that they'll storm out of the store without paying. There's plenty of other fish in the sea anyway.
The Story mode has 50 stages so is quite lengthy and will take you a good two or three hours to finish. As new things are constantly introduced (or you can introduce them yourself by upgrading the store) things stay fresh and don't really get boring, so it's a fun ride throughout. Every now and then you'll also get a comic-book style sequence furthering the story, and although it's a bit corny it does add some extra flair.
In the graphics and music department the game doesn't really shine, but it's really not too bad. The graphics indeed practically resemble a Flash game, and there's some upbeat, moderately catchy tunes that play while the stores are open, with a different song for each one.
Supermarket Mania seems like something you'd be likely to find in a free Flash game, but it adds plenty of stuff to warrant its 500 Point price tag. If you're looking for a simple, fun game, then you might be at the right address here.