Review: Lawn Mowing Simulator
Once again I find myself reviewing a simulation game where I’m not a fan of doing the activity in real life (see my fishing and hunting reviews), but put it into video game form and I thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Lawn Mowing Simulator tasks you with, surprise surprise, mowing lawns. A necessary chore which I’m sure most of you will agree is not something you’d ideally pick to do for relaxation.
However, Skyhook Games has made cutting grass a zen-like experience, while also throwing in a management angle to it which keeps you thinking and planning head.
Beginning with the choice of buying 1 of 2 motorised lawnmowers (thankfully you don’t have to push an old rotary mower around like my Grandad used to have), your cashflow management begins by accepting your 1st job from the map screen.
With only 1 mower, 1 business property, and just yourself at your small company, you set off to mow your 1st garden.
All the gardens you’ll encounter vary in shape and difficulty. This could be because of the gardens irregular terrain, plants and garden ornaments in the way, paths crisscrossing the garden, and more besides.
The 1st job to do (and recommended to get that bit extra cash in) when you arrive at a property is to walk the garden looking for any objects that could mess up the mower.
You have a set time to do this and are shown how many objects there are to find.
Once you’ve cleared the area of garden tools, gnomes, etc, you can jump onto your mower and start to cut the grass to the required height that the customer wants.
Mowing can be done in either 1st or 3rd person view, and swapping between both helps when getting to tricky parts and overhanging foliage can obscure your view.
How you decide to mow the lawns is entirely up to you, though in separate challenges where there are time/fuel restrictions, planning ahead can make all the difference.
The actual mowing is surprisingly enjoyable, and with no narrative to follow or dialogue to miss, it is the perfect game to play while listening to music or podcasts (our own perhaps?). With each run up and down the lawn giving you an ever increasing feeling of satisfaction as you see an eye catching neatly cut surface uncovering itself to you.
At the end of the job you’ll see a monetary breakdown of everything, including your payment for the job (plus any bonuses for clearing the lawn, etc), as well as any deductions for breakages and other damage. You’ll also have to plan for fuel use and repairing your lawnmower. This gets ever more management intensive as you buy more business properties and mowers, as well as hire more staff whom you can send out on jobs instead of you having to cut everybody’s lawns in the area.
You also have experience points to use as well as money, with your popularity amongst your potential clients making a difference to what you can earn, along with the reputation of your business and how well you manage to advertise yourself.
The management system isn’t as in-depth as a dedicated management game, but it does add an extra layer of thought and immersion to the whole experience which helps to keep everything that bit more interesting.
The career mode is the bulk of the game, and while repetition can certainly become a factor in how far you’ll progress, the challenge mode and free play mode give you a bit more to do…all while still sat astride a lawnmower of course.
Simulaton games are always a hard sell to those players who prefer the ‘twitch gaming’ of Fortnite and Call of Duty, but I continually find myself far more immersed into them, and more often than not glance at the clock to find that I’ve been playing them a lot longer than I thought I had been…which was certainly the case with this.
Lawn Mowing Simulator is the video game experience that you might think you’ll not enjoy, but give it a chance and you could well discover that it is a cut above what you were expecting.
Review by Dave from an Xbox review code.