Seeing as I’ve never bought a video game fresh off the press, I was in a bit of a jam here with the review. So I headed over to the Google Play Store to the new games section and picked the one that sounded the most entertaining to me. I picked Men’s Room Mayhem because my maturity clearly hasn’t developed enough to disregard poop jokes. Men’s Room Mayhem takes toilet humor to an entirely new level and actually makes it competitive and nerve racking.
It is very similar to the hit IOS game Flight Control, where the player has to draw a line of travel for incoming planes and land them without collisions in the air or destruction on the runway. In Men’s Room Mayhem, you play the role of a janitor for the bathroom of several different venues and you must get patrons to their desired urinal or toilet stall, then out of the bathroom without collision with other patrons. Unlike flight control, the game is not over when two characters happen to come together. What occurs was quite humorous to me the first time I witnessed it. Tensions are high and tempers are short. When two characters come together a cartoonish cloud of dust arises with fists and legs coming out of it, accompanied by the punching sounds commonly found in a cheesy 90’s karate movie featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The player must quickly tap the cloud to dismiss the fight, which zips them to the exit leaving behind a comically large pool of blood in which other patrons step in and leave bloody footprints everywhere. I found myself muttering ‘well you don’t get to poop now because you were being an ass hole’. If this happens, you get a strike in one of the five boxes at the top of the screen
The other way to lose the game is if you don’t fulfill the needs of your patrons. They come through the door with a either a little yellow droplet above their head (symbolizing number 1) or a toilet roll (symbolizing number 2). If you do not direct them towards their desired urinal or toilet stall soon enough, a timer will begin counting down next to the symbol. If the timer runs out, they leave a rather messy situation right there on the floor and exit with a smug smile as if they are proud that they have made your life that much more difficult. Every time this happens, you receive a strike. When you give up more than 5 accident or fighting strikes, you lose the game.
What fun is an addicting little Android app without a points system? The player receives points for, obviously, getting a character successfully to the toilet to do their business and then out the door without running into anybody and picking a fight. There are also several opportunities to receive bonus points. If two characters are heading towards each other on a collision course for battle, and at the last second you veer them away from each other, avoiding conflict, you get a ‘Near Miss’ bonus. Personal hygiene is also rewarded. If you can direct your characters to the sink, wait for them to clean up, and then point them towards the exit, you get a ‘Hands Washed’ bonus. Another one that I thought was pretty clever and funny it the etiquette bonus. This one only the guys will understand. If two characters must use urinals in the same row, if you space them so that there is an empty urinal between them, you get the etiquette bonus.
There are five different levels to the game, each being a new bathroom setting of course. During each level, there are waves. The first wave of each level starts at one minute in length and gradually gets longer and longer, giving the player’s fingers less time to rest. In between the waves there is a bonus clean, because you are the janitor, during which you must ferociously rub your phone screen where the blood spots or toilets are. Each spot successfully cleaned gains bonus points. Each consecutive wave is more difficult than the last in that more people crowd in. The first level contains people of all the same type. The second level throws in an old man. The old man is painfully slow and the player must carefully work around him as he makes his way from one place to another (although I thought it was funny when the old man got in a fight). Each consecutive level comes with its own unusual character which makes it more difficult to complete your tasks.
Also, with each level there are objectives which need to be accomplished in order to unlock the next level. For instance, the objectives for the second level are 1. Get a cleanliness bonus with the old man 2. Get 5 cleanliness bonuses in one wave and 3. Get through the entire first wave without any fights. Every time you get all three objectives assigned, a new slightly more difficult set is given to you. This adds another exciting and difficult element to the game that keeps the player occupied on one level longer to try and beat it. It also adds longevity to a small app. Another aspect that adds difficulty is you have the option to play in normal mode or blitz mode. This elongates the wave time to three minutes, making it ever harder to keep those five strikes from filling up.
The music during the waves is sort of a jolly hustle and bustle type melody, one you can easily move your feet around to. It goes along with the game’s think and act swiftly attribute. However, it never changes. This can get quite annoying as you start to get better and better and play for longer periods of time. Luckily, there is an option to turn off the music in the settings tab on the home screen.
All in all, it’s a pretty fun game. However, it isn’t going to be a classic like Tetris or Pac man. It is a good way to kill twenty minutes, but it just does not have that addictive aura about it that so many other great games have.