Lawn Mowing Simulator
10th August, 2021
Platform PC, Xbox Series S/X
Publisher Curve Digital
Developer Skyhook Games
I’ve got to admit that I’ve never been interested in cutting grass. Would I like to ride one of those monstrous mowers, recreating a scene from the classic film Caligula? (the link isn’t wholly SFW, the film is highly NSFW) Yes, I would like to do that. However, Lawn Mowing Simulator doesn’t offer me the chance to behead people, just weeds. Is that enough to carry the game?
Simulator games will always be a strange breed, but they are certainly ones that have come into their own over the past ten years. I can’t honestly remember them being as big as they are before the hit that was Euro Truck Simulator 2. Still, now you find addictive titles like PC Building Simulator, Car Mechanic Simulator, and of course, the fantastic return of Microsoft Flight Simulator.
We’re not talking about building PC’s or Cars, nor are we talking about driving trucks or flying; we’re here talking about cutting grass. Lawn Mowing Simulator is undoubtedly a game that cuts the grass, and I found myself having a strangely enjoyable time. The same sort of time in the same way that I can have a strangely relaxing time just laying down, staring at the ceiling. I know it doesn’t sound like great praise, but hear me out.
Games like this are best as a relaxation tool, and Lawn Mowing Simulator certainly fits that bill. There’s something inherently enjoyable about sitting on a machine with the same power as my favourite vibrating toy, listening to the birds sing as the blades trim the grass, seeing the new line of shorter grass standing out among the towering blades where you have yet to cut.
It’s all OK explaining how this is relaxing. Maybe that’s all you want out of the game, just floating around as you would in Flower, watching the environment change. Simulation games also need something to challenge yourself, an argument I made in my review of Skater XL. Lawn Mowing Simulator offers that in the form of business building. Before we talk about that, let’s talk a little more about the cutting of grass.
I don’t honestly know a massive amount about lawnmowers, but what I do know is that the ones featured here do feel different. Not only that, you have mowers that do other things with the grass once it’s cut. Do you want to blow it out of the side, sending cuttings flying to the side or rear? You have that mower. You can also get a mower that leaves the cuttings laid on top of the grass you’ve cut. Maybe you’d prefer to collect it in a tank on the mower, dropping it off part-way through the cut to return and finish off, the advantage being that there aren’t cuttings everywhere.
While cutting, you also need to be aware of your surroundings. Before starting a job, you’ve got a few minutes to run around the garden and pick up any toys, stray bricks, furniture or tools that happen to be lying in wait, ready to cripple your mower. Then it’s a case of going back to your mower, setting the cut height to meet the job description and get going. Of course, when you get going, you need to make sure you don’t cut the flowers – those aren’t grass – and I’d recommended you don’t hit any walls or trees.
It’s all pretty systematic. That’s the best way to do the job. While doing the job, keep an eye on the motor of your mower. Also, keep an eye on your speed, particularly when going through long grass. The other things to keep an eye on are the trimmings in your collector because I’d much prefer to use a collector than throw them all around and your fuel level. Your overall goal is to cut a little under 100% of the grass. It gives you a little leeway.
Twelve mowers. That’s what you’ve got available to purchase. You can upgrade each of these mowers to give additional functionality and counter some of the negatives found within each mower. You’ll also need to keep up with their maintenance, which is imperative as one break can completely ruin a job and, frankly, a sizable portion of your day in the real world. The core aim, though, is to build up and run your grass-cutting empire.
Eventually, you’ll be able to hire some staff, upgrade your headquarters to allow you to stock more mowers and letting you take on ever-increasingly larger jobs. At this point, you’ll be sending your staff off to do some of the jobs, multiple jobs running simultaneously, and the money starts coming in. The problem is how slow it can be. There’s a bit too much grind, even at the best of times.
Though I do have to say the variety of places you visit in a job keeps it interesting. Outside of the career mode, you also have options of challenge mode or simply going out and cutting for the fun of it, with no real constraints. The only issue here, you need to be at a certain level for challenges or have already cut an area to be able to visit in free mode.
Still, I can’t help but find it somewhat enjoyable. It looks good, it’s simple and easy to play, and there’s a reasonable amount to keep you occupied. Sure, Skyhook Games could improve things; there are a few bugs here and there, and there is a little too much grind, but overall, Lawn Mowing Simulator offers a decent enough time, even if it isn’t up there with the best of the genre.
PC version reviewed. Copy provided by the publisher.
Lawn Mowing Simulator does what it says on the tin, and much like Euro Truck Simulator 2, it’s more than just mowing lawns. You’re building a business empire and mowing lawns across the land, something that’s both surprisingly engaging, and very relaxing. There are a few issues, such as poor balancing leading to grind, but if you like those simulations that offer you just enough game and something to call your own, this is worth considering.
- It is a genuinely relaxing experience.
- Great visuals and audio quality.
- Finishing contracts and developing your business is genuinely enjoyable…
- … though it can feel like a grind, the money requirements being too high.
- Lawn Mowing Simulator, due to the nature of the game, gets repetitive quickly.
- Despite the strong visuals, can suffer from a few pop-ins and other bugs.