After recently discussing the post-apocalyptic slot Nitropolis 3 by ELK Studios, developer Red Tiger has released Mayhem, another dystopian thinking experiment. The post-apocalyptic genre is now trending in a variety of media. Taking the rugged individualism of the Wild West to its logical conclusion, the dusty lawless future of anti-heroes, clans, warbands, and scoundrels à la Mad Max can be enormously exciting on the reels if done well. In a lawless society, would Red Tiger’s contribution survive or be crushed by someone more powerful?
When Mayhem loads, players are greeted by an exploding mushroom cloud that immediately establishes the tone and genre of the game. After then, the images are comic book inspired, lightening the atmosphere in a way that is evocative of Aster of Pan or The Spire comics. From an iGaming point of view, it’s hard to deny the resemblance to games like Nolimit City and Cash Truck. Regardless of its inspirations, Mayhem’s zany visual style perfectly complements the game’s mechanics and set the tone for a fun session right away.
Mayhem’s setup is more straightforward than that of many of the games referenced above; it consists of a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with 20 fixed paylines. Three or more identical symbols landing in adjacent reels starting from the left side of the panel constitute a winning line. As a result, the value returned to the player is 95.71 percent. The chaos may be experienced on any gadget, with wagers ranging from 10 pence to £/€100.
The payout schedule consists of nine symbols, including low-paying 10s through A royals and four premium symbols. Lips, grenades, helmets, and crowned dollar signs are just some of the premiums available. You have to question if currency is even helpful here. Five of a kind wins pay out anything from 0.1x the wager up to 7.5x the stake for the highest paying symbols.
Slots Featured in the Mayhem
Mayhem also has the Cash Queen wild symbol and the scatter symbol, either of which can initiate a different bonus round.
Mayhem’s Cash Queen logo features a futuristic woman that looks a lot like DC’s Harley Quinn. Whenever the Cash Queen arrives on reel three, she expands to cover the entire reel. When part of a winning combination, the Cash Queen stays on the middle reel and expands to fill the entire screen. All of the winning symbols will stay put while the other symbols re-spin. If further winning symbols appear, the current set will be frozen, and a respin will be granted. When the game grid is full or no more winning symbols appear, the respin feature ends.
Free games (10) are granted if three or more Anarchy Spins icons appear on reels 1, 3, or 5. The Cash Queen icon remains stationary on the center reel during the Anarchy Free Spins bonus round. For the duration of the free spins bonus round, she will activate the respin feature if a winning combination is formed. There is also a crucial additional twist. All wins generated by the Cash Queen symbol during the free spins bonus round are multiplied by x2 after the initial round of respins. After then, each successive respins sequence adds one to the multiplier, up to a maximum of x10. Last but not least, the number of remaining free spins is increased by one for every free spins symbol that appears throughout the bonus round.
The Slot Verdict: Mayhem
Future thoughts of a planetary reset offer another solid option for anyone interested in such scenarios. Mayhem’s high-octane snark provides it more than enough energy to compete, even though it may not be as nuanced as some in this category, such as those described above or others like Play’n GO’s The Last Sundown. Even while Mayhem lacks the cracking comedy of an xWays Hoarder, its graphic book style packs lots of personality, and the aesthetics are attractive to boot.
The Cash Queen symbol is responsible for a lot of the game’s character; she reminded me of the woman from Red Tiger’s Hustling slot, but with more mushroom clouds. This is in part because of the widespread employment of sticky, full-reel multiplier wilds and in part because of a similar underlying punk/rap mindset. In contrast to Hustling’s East Coast/West Coast/both-sides-of-the-grid design, the Cash Queen appears smack in the middle of the board. This locked wild is not only conveniently placed for stringing together victories, but it also works well with the respin feature. It’s not uncommon for slots to have a locked winning symbol respin function, something NetEnt has shown a penchant for in the past, but it’s unusual for such a feature to be paired with a sticky, full reel wild.
Mayhem’s emphasis on respins reduces the value of its symbols, albeit the Cash Queen feature triggered regularly throughout our testing. Certainly more than was first anticipated. The game is intended mainly at casual players, with a progressive multiplier in free spins that may theoretically yield full screen winnings of up to 1,200x the stake. Mayhem is a well-designed slot that has a lot of potential, but it never quite lives up to that promise due to its underwhelming gameplay.