Lawn Mowing Simulator Review
Dear Reader: we don’t know each other, you and I. Aside from our presumed shared interest in video games, we know nothing of each other’s triumphs and challenges, joys and disappointments, dreams and cherished memories. Beyond that, we have in common a poignantly short and sweet time on the planet. Barring catastrophe or illness, our heartbeats and inhalations are finite and yet I have spent several, never-to-be-regained hours not engaged in self-edification or good works for my fellow humans, but mowing virtual lawns in real time. And I don’t regret a minute of it.
Although it sounds like a joke game along the lines of Goat Simulator, Virtual Snow Melt or Returnal, Lawn Mowing Simulator is actually a full-featured economic management and landscaping simulation that goes well beyond the attention-grabbing title. We all know there is something deeply and inherently satisfying about human activities that involving making and doing something, as proven by millions of YouTube videos that illustrate the manufacturing process, people crafting items of beauty or just expertly mowing their lawns. Knowing this, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the relaxing, Zen vibe that driving a name brand mower around a beautiful English country yard induced.
The core of Lawn Mowing Simulator is its career mode, where you start as a struggling business owner with one riding mower and take whatever jobs happen to pop up. Each job earns you cash which you can invest in your equipment, your garage or hiring employees who can then take on additional jobs, keeping the cycle going and the business growing. Along the way you can add to your stable of mowers, choosing from twelve, branded riding mowers, plus a wide selection of add-ons and specialized tools to make the end product more attractive or to tackle a specific situation.
Hey Mister, Can I Mow Your Lawn?
Every job starts with a timed, walk through phase where you clear the site of detritus and human-made junk that can foul the equipment and result in expensive repairs. Then, there is the mowing phase, also on a timer. Generally, you have a choice about how you want to approach a mowing job, but the client will often give you specific instructions as to lawn height. Your equipment has limitations, too, so you need to pay attention to not overtaxing your mower’s engine and keeping the cutting blades sharp. Just like in real life, there are a hundred ways to screw up, from taking chunks out of the lawn or knocking over the garden gate, to running over the client’s favorite petunias. Every mistake takes its toll on your final payout. As relaxing as the act of mowing can be, trying to play by the rules in Lawn Mowing Simulator can be a bit stressful too. You can avoid some of the technical limitations of the Career mode by happily mowing away in the Free mode, or you can double down on the restrictions by trying one of the jobs in the Challenge mode, which is divided into three levels. There is really a considerable amount of content to keep you busy and most critically, locked away indoors and actively avoiding mowing your actual lawn.
Avatar creation is pretty basic, but Lawn Mowing Simulator is far more successful when it comes to rendering outdoor environments. Its wide selection of English country gardens and urban estates includes all sorts of landscaping challenges as well as attractively rendered lawns, trees, plants, shrubs and other decor, with its visuals marred only by some pretty egregious pop-in, surprising on current gen systems like the Xbox Series X/S. Of course, the branded range of equipment is authentically modeled and, I assume, paired with the actual sounds of the gear. Other than the roar of the mowers, there isn’t a lot of audio design in Lawn Mowing Simulator.
In one sense, spending hours mowing virtual lawns in a game could be considered a ridiculous waste of time. But aside from being a satisfying management sim, the act of mowing lawns in Lawn Mowing Simulator can be surprisingly relaxing and maybe even a little inspiring. This isn’t a lawn mowing version of Formula One, where you play a plucky kid with a push mower dreaming of glory on a shiny, souped- up John Deere. But it’s also much more than a one-joke game. Lawn Mowing Simulation is a full-featured product with a very specific focus, and a pretty well-made one, at that.
***Xbox code supplied by the publisher for review***
Substantial management components
Beautifully rendered landscapes
Driving controls work well
Relaxing to play
Lots of scenery pop in
Underwhelming avatar creation
Minimal sound design beyond mowers