Mayhem: Slot Overview
Fresh off reviewing ELK Studios' post-apocalyptic slot Nitropolis 3 comes Mayhem, another dystopic thought experiment, this time from software provider Red Tiger. In books, movies, and slots, post-apocalypse is hot. We have to admit that done right, the dusty lawless future of anti-heroes, clans, warbands and scoundrels à la Mad Max can be tremendously enjoyable on the reels, taking the rugged individualism of the Wild West to its extreme. Is Red Tiger's contribution the sort that could thrive in a lawless society or be crushed by something more badass?
An exploding mushroom cloud sets the scene when Mayhem loads, leaving players in no doubt as to what sort of game this is. From there, Red Tiger has used a comic book approach for the visuals, which lightens the mood, vaguely reminiscent of Aster of Pan or The Spire graphic novels. From an iGaming perspective, there's a Nolimit City vibe going on, with a bit of Cash Truck thrown in there for good measure, amongst others. Wherever any influences may have come from, Mayhem's fun look accentuates its gameplay and got the session on a good footing from moment one.
Mayhem is more simply set up than many of the previously alluded to games, played on a fairly standard 5-reel, 3-row game grid, using 20 fixed paylines. Winning lines are comprised of three to five matching symbols, landing in neighbouring reels from the leftmost side of the panel. This leads into a return to player value of 95.71%. Any device is suitable for experiencing the mayhem on, where stakes of 10 p/c to £/€100 can be selected.
Turning our attention to the paytable, we find nine rather random pay symbols, divided into low pay 10-A royals and four premiums. Premiums include a set of lips, grenades, helmets, and crowned dollar signs. Though you wonder how useful cash would be in this place. Hitting five of a kind wins pays out 0.1-1.5x the bet for the lower value symbols and 0.40-7.5x for five of the high pays.
Mayhem: Slot Features
Two more symbols you may encounter in Mayhem are the Cash Queen wild and the scatter, which both trigger their own feature.
The futuristic lady bearing a resemblance to DC's Harley Quinn is Mayhem's Cash Queen symbol. The Cash Queen is a 1x3 wild symbol that appears on the middle reel only and substitutes for all paying symbols. The Cash Queen always lands fully in view, and when used in a winning line, she locks to the middle reel. The winning symbols also lock in place, while the remaining positions respin. If new winning symbols hit, they are locked, and another respin is awarded. Respins end when no new winning symbols land or the whole game grid is filled.
Anarchy Spins symbols appear on reels 1, 3, or 5, and when all 3 of them are in view, 10 free spins are awarded. For the full duration of the Anarchy Free Spins bonus round, the Cash Queen symbol is locked in place on the middle reel the whole time. This means she triggers the respin feature every single time a win line is produced in free spins. There is one more important twist, too. After the first round of respins, the Cash Queen symbol gets an x2 multiplier which is applied to all win lines produced during the free spins bonus round. From then on, the multiplier grows by +1 after each subsequent respins sequence, up to a maximum value of x10. Lastly, each free spins symbol landing in the feature adds +1 extra free spin to the remaining amount.
Mayhem: Slot Verdict
Players intrigued by future visions of a planetary reset can add another solid slot to the pile. Mayhem might not be as sophisticated as some in this category, like those mentioned above, or others like Play'n GO's The Last Sundown, but its high-octane sass gives it more than enough energy to compete. The visuals are neat too, and while Mayhem might not have the cracked humour of an xWays Hoarder, its graphic novel presentation packs bags of personality.
A lot of the personality is down to the Cash Queen symbol, and she evoked memories of Red Tiger's Hustling slot, but with more mushroom clouds. This is partly due to a shared underlying punk/rap attitude, partly due to the extensive use of sticky, full reel multiplier wilds. The Cash Queen is different in that she lands in the middle of the grid, in contrast to the East Coast, West Coast, either side of the grid feature Hustling had. This centrally locked wild is not only handily located for linking wins together, it also syncs nicely with the respin feature as well. This type of locked winning symbol respin mechanic pops up in slots every now and then; NetEnt has displayed a particular fondness for in the past, though rarely is it matched with a sticky, full reel wild.
Symbol values in Mayhem suffer due to a reliance on respins, though the Cash Queen feature did trigger rather frequently during testing. More than initially expected for sure. The finishing touch is the addition of a progressive multiplier in free spins, which can technically create full screen wins of up to 1,200x the bet, meaning the game is solely aimed toward recreational gamers. Overall, Mayhem is a well-built slot that looks incredibly good but is ultimately let down by its disappointing potential and somewhat thin gameplay.
Visually stunning, Mayhem had the potential to become an entertaining apocalyptic blast but is let down by low potential and repetitive gameplay.