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Review: Men’s Room Mayhem

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Title: Men’s Room Mayhem
Price: $1.99
System(s): Vita (Also available on Android and iOS devices)
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Publisher (Developer): Ripstone (Ripstone)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Blood, Crude Humor and Violence

Once upon a time, you may have heard of a game called Flight Control. In it, players would use their fingers to draw paths on a touch screen to ensure planes safely landed at an airport. A similar premise is shared by Ripstone’s latest, Men’s Room Mayhem, but the situation is… different. Still, while Men’s Room Mayhem may look at a darker, stinkier side of society and time management, it offers gameplay just as addictive and frantic as the more santitary game that inspired it.

men's room mayhem

The job of a bathroom attendant is never done.

Players in Men’s Room Mayhem are a bathroom attendant. Well, technically, they’re all just janitors, but given everything they have to do, I think attendant is more accurate. Their goal is to get bathroom visitors to the place they need to go, depending on what “business” the icon above their head suggests, and out of the bathroom without soiling themselves or getting into any fights.

If you want to get all fancy, you can also have the patrons try to observe basic rules of bathroom etiquette. You know, like leaving a space between urinals. Perhaps trying to make sure everyone washes their hands. That kind of thing can earn you more points.

However, these are no ordinary patrons. Based on the way they walk when left unattended, and their tendency to get into fights the second they run into another character, I’d say most of them are drunk. Another fact asserting my position is that the visitors, if they aren’t directed to a urinal or toilet in time, will have an “accident” in the middle of the room.

So, the Men’s Room Mayhem janitors/attendants have to be on top of everything. You’re allowed 5 messes or fights within a wave, depending on whether you managed to clean up residue from the last fight between waves. Go over the limited and you’re fired.

men's room mayhem

Men’s Room Mayhem‘s title is self explanatory.

Let’s go through an average Men’s Room Mayhem session. First, you choose where you’ll be working. There are 7 locations, though initially only one is open. The rest must be unlocked by meeting up to 32 objectives during normal play. Also notable is, after the first Ripstone Inn area, there’s one “unique” patron in an area to gum up the works. For the Hotel, there’s a terribly slow old man in a robe and bathslippers. MRM Club has a woman wander in occasionally, because the line is too long for the women’s restroom, and she has a sphere of influence that will temporarily freeze any man who sees she’s in there. Players have to be aware of these extra characters and know how to handle them, usually getting a trophy for their efforts.

Men’s Room Mayhem areas start out pretty simply, and gradually each wave gets longer and more difficult. For example, the first two waves will probably only have about 4 patrons enter and leave the bathrooms. This allows people to grow accustomed to the new layout of entrances, sinks, urinals, toilets and exits. Between each wave is a brief, cleaning time that lasts about 5 seconds, to allow the “janitor” to clean up any blood stains, “messes” and refresh the fixtures for extra points.

The main core of the game is touching a patron and dragging along the touch screen to the destination they need to reach. If there’s a yellow drop above a man’s head, they must be dragged to the urinal. When done, they can be sent to the exit to leave or to the sink, then exit for a “Hand’s Washed” bonus. Etiquette comes into play as well, as maintaining a comfortable distance between other patrons when at the urinal can earn extra points. The goal is to do this for every patron, while avoiding fights and accidents, for every wave. It’s more difficult than it sounds, as the longest I’ve ever been able to survive is about eight waves.

This concept holds true for Men’s Room Mayhem unless you’re playing the Blitz Mode. In this variation, players pick an unlocked location from the normal mode and then try to survive for as long as possible, getting as many people as they can in and out of the bathroom. There are almost 3 minutes on the clock and patrons are constantly coming in and out, so etiquette goes out the window. Just keep people coming and going without running into each other.

Men’s Room Mayhem works. It seems silly, and it is, but it’s surprisingly never offensive, just entertaining. The controls are perfect, as it’s easy to direct men, or even temporarily adjust or halt their advance. The music is lighthearted, festive and fits each area. (MRM Club’s music even gets temporarily louder whenever a patron enters or leaves the bathroom.) Not to mention the objectives, like no fights for a wave, or get a hand’s washed bonus for an old man, are an effective motivator.

men's room mayhem

The most charming bathroom simulator I’ve ever played.

Men’s Room Mayhem amuses me. I know, there are some out there who would argue I’m easily amused, but regardless of that, I can’t recommend this Vita app enough. It is a perfect little timesink, providing plenty of motivation to keep returning to the restroom to help people relieve themselves without causing any trouble. It looks fantastic on the handheld, is quite easy to play, offers plenty of extra goals to reach to unlock new locations and, most importantly, offers a gradually increasing challenge that lets players slowly master the game. I have had so much fun with this game. It’s simple, but engaging, and offers the perfect bite-sized distraction. It’s definitely a game to own.

Site [Men's Room Mayhem]

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