Game Reviews

Men's Room Mayhem

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| Men's Room Mayhem
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Men's Room Mayhem
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| Men's Room Mayhem

Imagine a cross between Flight Control and Jetpack Joyride. That is set in the entirely tasteful environment of a public toilet. Ta-da! You've got Men's Room Mayhem.

In truth, though, that particularly simplistic description completely undersells the Men's Room Mayhem - ahem - experience.

So, while the subject matter may seem silly, the sheer depth, variety, and entertainment on offer in this Sawfly Studios game are anything but.

Caught short

As patrons enter the men's room, you need to drag your finger across the screen to draw a path for them straight to a urinal or a stall. Once they've finished their business, you direct them to the exit. Leave it too long, and they'll empty their bladder / bowels on the floor in a none-too-charming fashion.

But there's a catch. If two men collide with each other, they'll start a fight and get kicked out. If too many fights ensue, or if too many men decide to use the tiles as in impromptu latrine, it's Game Over.

This is where it gets interesting, though. No, seriously.

Patrons may need a number one or a number two, you see. If a punter needs to spend more than a penny, you must ensure he visits a stall rather than a urinal. Once he's done his business, you can then direct him to the sinks for bonus "Hands Washed" points and send him on his merry way.

But - and this may involve a big butt - you might not actually want to send him on his way. This is because you get a bonus multiplier for every person left in the room when the time runs out. Hence, it makes more sense to keep your patrons around and bouncing off the walls for maximum score.

Of course, this isn't always possible. Should there be too many men in the room, they'll collide, causing fights all over the shop. Balancing your and their needs is crucial, then, so make sure you hold back some men in the room towards the end of the time limit.

Rimshot

Don't think that's the last of your strategic considerations, either.

When a patron has finished his business, he'll stand still in front of the sink, urinal, or stall he just used. The newcomers to the room or the ones you've directed, meanwhile, will continue to bounce around the place aimlessly.

This can be used to your advantage, as you can position stationary men ready to receive bonus points at the end. There are also special visitors in each scene who will act in a strange way: the drunk's speed will randomly change, for example, while the hippie might decide to ignore your orders.

And this is without even mentioning what happens in between rounds. You're given ten seconds to quickly mop up blood and mess, and clean the room for bonus points. It becomes a mad, hilarious dash to rub the screen down as quickly as possible.

Oh, there's even an "etiquette" bonus if you can get patrons to use non-adjacent urinals. Comical, life-affirming stuff.

Hit or miss

There's one element to Men's Room Mayhem that isn't so slick, mind: the Jetpack Joyride-style challenges. In one of these mini-missions, for instance, you're asked to serve five patrons in one round. Upon completion of these challenges, you're awarded medals.

There's one big problem: after you complete these missions, you don't get new ones until you either lose or quit. It quickly leads to a situation where you're purposely quitting levels over and over again just to unlock the next challenges.

It would make much more sense if you unlocked fresh challenges on the fly so you could continue onwards in the same round.

Furthermore, I managed to 'break' the game a couple of times. The action continued on in the background even after the Game Over screen, and I was able to continue playing and upgrade my score.

Overall, though, Men's Room Mayhem is a lovely surprise. And I'll no doubt be battling it out with others on the online leaderboards for a long time to come. The best part about it, though, is that you can play it while on the loo. How apt.

Men's Room Mayhem

As Men's Room Mayhem proves, the awful reality of a trip to the toilet on a night out makes for a fantastic video game
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