Gardening is one of those pastimes that you either love or hate. The thought of ripping up weeds, cutting down trees, and removing the waste can be daunting. But, there is an enormous amount of people who adore the challenge that yard work brings. They spend hours cutting, preening, and mowing the lawn and then they sit back and admire the fruits of their labour. Lawn Mowing Simulator taps into this market while introducing a business management twist.
Developed by Skyhook Games and published by Curve Digital, this is an addictive gardening game about pristine lawns and balancing the books. You take control of a gardener who starts a fledgling business with only one small mower to their name. You must take on contracts, maintain your equipment, and leave your clients’ lawns in immaculate condition. With a variety of missions to undertake, several game modes, and the chance to expand your empire, this is one sim game that ticks many boxes for a range of gamers.
Lawn Mowing Simulator will take over your life.
I’m a massive fan of simulation games! I love the in-depth qualities that the genre brings and I enjoy the escapism that each role affords me. Lawn Mowing Simulator is no different, and I quickly realised that it was taking over my life. Once you switch the game on, there is no such thing as one short mission. The hours melt away as you take on contract after contract and your business expands. It captures all the fine elements from other simulation games, and cutting each lawn to the exact specifications is oddly satisfying.
My wife rarely understands the enjoyment that I get from the variety of games I play, and this one was met with laughter and disbelief. I have a massive garden that requires “real life” attention, yet I’ve spent hours mowing a virtual lawn. I guess I best get some fresh air and cut the grass for real, but somehow it’s not as desirable or profitable as my virtual endeavours. When I get the call to take care of Mavis’ unkempt front and back garden, I jumped at the opportunity. No one likes a messy bush, and she pays handsomely! As the contracts keep rolling in, you can invest in better equipment, a bigger headquarters, and staff to earn you more money. You quickly corner the lawn mowing market and you’ll love each new mission that arises and the difficulties they bring.
New mowers, hiring staff and maintenance are key.
It’s not until you can afford the improved equipment that you realise how appalling the starter machines are. A small yard takes around 20 minutes of painstaking precision to complete. The tiny blades, miniature collection box, and slow speed are a real hindrance, but this soon becomes a thing of the past. You can select from an array of professional brands, each has a unique cutting method, speed, fuel capacity, and so on. You can purchase additional tools for some, and not every job can be completed with each type. As you expand, you must consider the jobs you wish to undertake and purchase your equipment wisely.
To make your business successful and to maximise your cash flow, you must hire staff to complete additional jobs. To do this, your company must be reputable, you must have spare mowers and a headquarters that is big enough to house them. You’ll be spinning many plates as you try to balance the books and make more money. It’s tough, but it’s very enjoyable and the more successful you are, the more RP you earn and the bigger the jobs you can undertake.
Buying new tools and hiring staff is just the start. If you don’t train your employees correctly or forget to maintain your vehicles, the wheels quickly fall off. Blades lose their edges, engines break, fuel runs low, and grass cuttings must be removed. If you don’t keep on top of the little things, your profit margin is reduced and your reputation takes a bashing. To keep the jobs rolling in, you must have the best staff available and this is achieved in two ways; hire a top-end employee, or train them in an array of skills. Either way, it’s essential and ridiculously expensive. The adage: spend money to make money is key, and your business will flourish under the correct management.
More RP = better jobs and more challenges.
The developers were clever in their approach to the challenge mode. There are three categories to try, but they are locked until you increase your reputation in the career mode. This was fantastic as your progress was rewarded and the challenges offer a well-deserved break away from the demands that the business brings. You will face time trials, limited fuel jobs and more as you take on increasingly harder events. The career RP also enhances the tasks that are offered and a well-respected company has its pick of whatever job is available.
Alongside the career and challenge mode, you can enter a sandbox world that allows you to cut, clean, and work as much as you wish. I wasn’t a fan of this option, however, as I enjoyed the focus and drive that the aforementioned modes offered.
Lawn Mowing Simulator looks great but lacks custom options.
I loved how small details matter in Lawn Mowing Simulator! Unkempt lawns look rich and wild, and then you rock up on your ride-on mower and the grounds quickly become a lush green landscape. With so much grass to cut, it’s easy to miss small patches as you rush to complete each job. Luckily, “pro view” allows you to highlight missed areas. Combining this with the well-designed free camera allows you to navigate the tight gardens and vast fields. I can’t fault the look of the game, but the lack of custom options for your character was disappointing. It doesn’t impact the gameplay, but when you spend so much time looking at your business logo and person, it would have been nice to have more input into their design.
The audio is restricted to mainly the sound of the mower’s engine, the grass being cut, and mother nature. This minimalist approach was fantastic and though the roar of the motor was distracting, it wasn’t overpowering. You could easily hear the birds chirping and cows mooing and enjoy the sounds of the countryside. You are treated to an upbeat soundtrack when flitting through the menu, and this was a welcome distraction from the sound effects. The audio brilliantly combined a rough and hardy industrial edge with the soft, relaxing sounds of nature.
Well-labelled controls make this a pleasure to play.
Any job that involves heavy machinery can be challenging to master, luckily Lawn Mowing Simulator takes it easy on you. With a well-labelled UI and a cleverly mapped controller layout, it’s great to play. You’ll have the basics down in no time and your only concern will be to stay out of the flowerbeds and not crashing into the ornaments.
When a game keeps you playing until the early hours of the morning, you know that it’s stupidly addictive. The career mode is moreish, the challenges will push you, and the sandbox mode gives you freedom. I never thought I’d find cutting grass addictive, but this got me hooked from the first lawn.
Lawn Mowing Simulator will get under your skin.
Every aspect of Lawn Mowing Simulator works in perfect harmony. Learning the fundamentals is easy, managing your business is enjoyable, and completing each contract is addictive. The weak point is the sandbox mode, but this is a personal issue rather than a problem with the gameplay. It’s a title that’ll tick many boxes, and fans of the genre will fall for its charms. I loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Jump on your mower, fulfil the contract criteria, and build the gardening empire of your dreams.