Jul 17, 2013
Sometimes when reviewing a game it’s best to get right to the heart of the matter. No need for an introduction or a witty metaphor – some games just need to be explained and what happens next is down to the reader. With that in mind, let me explain Men’s Room Mayhem.
It’s a game where you control the movement of men as they enter a public restroom. You have to direct them to a urinal or stool whilst also making sure they don’t bump into anyone else otherwise a fight breaks out and you’ll be left with a puddle of blood to clean up. How does that sound?
A slightly odd concept to begin with, it might be easier to understand how the game plays when you realise that Men’s Room Mayhem is similar to a recent classic called Flight Control. Just with more urine, fighting and blood.
What helps make this game stand on its own two feet is its humour and great design. The very concept of controlling a busy restroom is fairly absurd to begin with, but the game throws in interesting characters that aren’t only worth a smile but also affect gameplay. There’s a drunk who changes speed at random, a woman who got fed up queuing for the ladies who will cause the men to freeze in place and an older gentleman who’s painfully slow at everything. These characters that mess up the ‘flow’ of the restroom are dangerous as they cause characters to bump into each other and consequently fight.
Each wave of visitors is punctuated by a cleaning round. This means rubbing the screen to clean up puddles of blood, urine or to scrub the toilets for some bonus points. The game only ends when there’s been 6 fights or ‘accidents’ within the round.
It’s not just points that are the incentive here. The game has a series of challenges for you to complete and doing so will unlock extra restrooms to play in. Whilst it may not sound like much, keep in mind that each new restroom introduces a new type of patron and the layout of the levels affects the game hugely. One level is a real pain as the sinks are right by the door, which constantly means people washing their hands end up fighting with those bursting through the entrance.
There’s a surprising amount of depth to what’s going on here. Bonuses for ‘close calls’, multipliers for having loads of people in the bathroom at once and extra points for ‘near misses’ mean this is a game that requires real skill to get the seriously high scores.
This is a great little title that hides a number of clever design ideas under its pee-soaked humor.