The phenomenon of slow TV is somewhat recent—who knew that people would enjoy watching mundane things like fires burning or the countryside from inside of a train. Video games have somewhat adopted this concept, too, with games—often simulators—that task you with jobs that can be considered mundane, or even boring. I’ve gotten a kick out of some of these games, especially those that are mechanically satisfying. Lawn Mowing Simulator is a game that requires patience, but offers a strangely serene lawn care experience.
Lawn Mowing Simulator is a game where you mow lawns. In it, you start as a single person with a lawnmower, but if you keep at it you’ll eventually have a fleet of lawnmowers and extra employees to help out. The whole idea of Lawn Mowing Simulator is to give you an authentic lawn mowing experience, something developer Skyhook Games manages to deliver in earnest. You’ll get the chance to mow stunning yards while avoiding obstacles, flowers, and making sure your cutting height is set to the correct height, and you aren’t taxing your mower’s engine—among other considerations. But it’s about as exciting as it sounds.
Before you mow each lawn, you are given a set amount of time to scour the grounds for any items to pick up. It’s also a way to quickly assess how you’re going to tackle whatever lawn you’re mowing. It’s not as easy as driving over grass, however. Thicker/longer grass can tax your engine, so you’ll have to drive through it slower or dole out for expensive repairs later. Fuel is a consideration, as well, and while you’ll eventually get the option to refuel your mower, running out of fuel as a new lawn care business owner can be disastrous to your bottom line. So can mowing things you’re not supposed to, like gardens. Even turning too hard can tear up the lawn, incurring monetary fines. These fines are never for too much, but it can be like death from a thousand cuts. Mowing these lawns take a while, too, especially since you have to watch out for the motor’s tear. It’s possible to spend over an hour on a single lawn. Luckily, once you starting expanding your lawn care business, you can have hired help to get some of the jobs done for you.
The business simulation in Lawn Mowing Simulator is probably the only thing that kept me playing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, driving a lawn mower in Lawn Mowing Simulator feels decent and realistic enough to be a chore. But with the carrot of better and bigger lawn mowers and a bigger HQ to store them in, I persisted (with an audiobook playing to keep me entertained.) If you can’t wait to grind out the cash to get what you want, you can get a little money injection in the form of a loan—but you’re stuck with a strict repayment schedule that might bind you up in the long run. But sometimes getting a better mower can be the difference between money trickling in with smaller jobs versus tackling the large jobs with higher payouts. And I have to admit, some of the mowers are pretty damn cool, and Lawn Mowing Simulator is the only game to have officially licensed lawn mowers from the likes of Toro, STIGA, and SCAG, with these mowers recreated with precision based on their real world counterparts.
Low Mowing Simulator is dedicated to being a simulator, and it actually does a decent job. There is even driving wheel support for those who are extra serious about their lawn mowing endeavors with a number of wheels supported. It’s too bad mowing lawns can feel so damn boring, no matter how well put together the experience is.
As far as fun factor is concerned Lawn Mowing Simulator’s is low. In fact, I found Lawn Mowing Simulator to be an extremely boring game. But it’s a well-made boring game, and while I found myself wanting to pull my hair out, it might be another person’s catharsis. Perhaps a version of me is in another universe enjoying spending long hours cutting grass meticulously, but it’s just not my cup of tea. But damn, it’s pretty high quality tea, with decent graphics, admirably tight driving mechanics, and a business simulation that is interesting and always has you reaching for better equipment and locations. Overall, if you think you’d be interested in spending hours riding around a virtual lawn mower, you can’t really get better game to do it in.
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