Review: Men’s Room Mayhem, PlayStation Vita

Available as from today on the PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android stores is the first game developed by Sawfly Studios, an indie start-up comprising four ex Sony Liverpool senior employees. So, what’re we to expect from the guys that bought as Wipeout?

Probably not this.

Sawfly have joined with Ripstone Games, a publishing powerhouse on the Vita as of late, to release their altogether different title Men’s Room Mayhem. Different is a good thing.

Ripstone’s Men’s Room Mayhem is a game “inspired by men’s room etiquette”. I know, the idea sounds questionable at best, but don’t wash your hands of it just yet.

Men’s Room Mayhem is actually really good fun.

Gameplay is based around the chaotic line-drawing genre, made famous by Firemint’s Flight Control, which saw players guiding planes to their respective runways and became an instant mobile-gaming sensation and best seller upon it’s release in 2009.

In Men’s Room Mayhem, you are tasked with the job of janitor – primarily responsible for guiding males, who may or may not be called John, to the, well, you get the idea.

Using your device’s touchscreen, you must lead numerous characters to their required destination, be that the urinal or the cubical. If you want to keep your job, however, the unwritten rules of the men’s room must be observed.

First and foremost there’s no touching. At any point. Ever. That is to say, unless of course you want to be breaking up a fight and subsequently mopping up a pool of blood.

Aside from letting the waves of potty patrons relieve themselves on the floor, these collisions are the only way you’ll be fired, but then there’s a whole host of secondary etiquette which must also be observed if you want to rack up a high score. Ensuring each John or Thomas doesn’t peek over to a neighboring urinal or directing each little chap to the hand-wash basins after their business will accrue bonus points, all of which are multiplied based on the number of men on screen.

With any title in this genre, the core gameplay doesn’t stray far from these ideas, but as you progress there’s a variety of different locations to unlock and the different bathroom layouts and unique characteristics of their locals keep things feeling lemon-fresh.

Men’s Room Mayhem’s level progression is objective based, although the way these work in real-terms is akin to dropping your pants and then realising there’s no paper – they don’t – you just abandon all plans and start again.

You’ll be presented with specific requirements, such as ensuring 3 people wash their hands during a certain wave of gameplay, but because said objectives don’t update during gameplay you’ll be forced to quit and restart, subsequently breaking your high score, should you wish to attempt a new challenge and progress through the game any quicker than in 10 minute dribbles.

With global and friend based leaderboards, this isn’t how the game was designed to be played, but it certainly makes unlocking objectives and, as a result, rewards or PlayStation trophies faster.

All in all, Men’s Room Mayhem is a mobile title with it’s own distinct style and humour; The game’s clearly not going to be sat on any porcelain pedestals, but it’s a well presented, fairly priced and most importantly fun little game for those moments on the throne.

Ripstone and Sawfly have crafted something which makes loitering in a grotty men’s room far more enjoyable than it should be. I’ll see you in there soon.

Men’s Room Mayhem is available on iOS and Android now for the more than reasonable price of £0.69. [Players on these platforms can enjoy 5 stages and the standard timed game mode, choosing later to upgrade to the “complete” version, which will include a further 2 stages, extra characters and an endless “Blitz” gameplay mode, for a further £0.69]

The PlayStation Vita version includes all extra content at launch, and is £1.99, or £0.99 for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Review: Men’s Room Mayhem, PlayStation Vita

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