Release date: 2021
Version played: Xbox Series X in 2022 (via Game Pass)
Published by Curve Games, and developed by Skyhook Games, Lawn Mowing Simulator is a simulator video game about mowing lawns. Players create an avatar, and grow a business from a self-employed single worker to a business of up to six, completing contracts to earn money to buy mowers and expand the company.
+ this game is absolutely one of the most satisfying experiences I have ever had. Finishing off a 45 minute cut of an orchard, reaching the 99.9% threshold as I complete my final line is up there with some of the most pleasant things in life. I love it when a plan comes together
+ all of the mowers are different, and useful in their own ways. The zero turn mowers are great for precise movements in residential garden and around flower beds in the park, and the heavier, bulkier 4WD mowers are must-haves for the larger paddocks and orchards. These must all be maintained, in terms of engine quality, blade sharpness and fuel levels, which is only a small amount but can add up. The three edge trimmers (whippersnippers for the Aussies reading) are essentially identical, but incredibly useful to get those final percentage points of grass
+ there is some very light management stuff between missions where you can hire, dismiss, or train up randomly generated (?) AI employees. These can then be sent off to complete other contracts, but you – the player character – will always have to complete one of your own
+ aside from the career mode, the game presents a large handful of challenges involving fuel limits, time limits, or extra long grass to tend to. They were a nice distraction, but it was frustrating not to get rewards as if you had spent that same time in career mode
– this game is absolutely one of the most stressful experiences I have ever had. Getting to the end of a 45 minute cut of an orchard, reaching only a 99.8% threshold as I complete my final line is up there with some of the least pleasant things in life. Losing time to find one final clump of grass can be heart-breaking, and every time you accidentally mow over a single flower feels like a stab to the soul
– this game is about mowing… and that’s it. This is a ‘simulator’ for a reason, and if the idea of mowing lawns doesn’t appeal to you there is not really anything else to offer
– the game boasts 31 locations to mow, ranging from garden lawns to public parks to fruit orchards, but these are all essentially the same. I would have liked some missions involving trimming hedges, or maybe having to do some mowing at night for an additional challenge. I know that’s unrealistic, don’t @ me
> in writing this I remembered that you can take out a bank loan in career mode – but I never did that, so I have no idea how it works. Maybe it’s really fun, and maybe it sucks. It will have to remain a mystery.
Should you play this game: This is a slow game by design, and contracts will certainly not be quick (at least at first). If you have a podcast or Netflix series to watch at the same time, this will easily be one of the most gratifying games you can play. Just don’t expect any high-adrenaline moments.