I don’t think I have to tell anyone how boring mowing the lawn is. When I first heard of the fact someone was actually making a game based around this exhilarating chore, my first impression was disgust. My second impression was, “Huh, they’ll obviously put a twist in order to make the game less boring.” Law Mower, a new indie game released on Steam, surely delivers on this second aspect.
The premise of Law Mower is as simple as it could possibly be: you’ve got to mow the lawn. That’s it. Mow the lawn in each level in order to go to the next one. At first glance, this might sound like the dullest idea for a video game ever since I Am Mayo, but not long after beating the first level you’ll realize there’s a bit more of sadism and entertainment in this game than you would expect. You see, there are a few enemies throughout the levels, and if you go past them in the right direction, you can shred them to pieces. You see a dog coming at you? Mow it down just like ground beef. PETA won’t like this game at all.
In terms of gameplay, the closest I can associate Law Mower to, for better or worse, is Pac-Man. The premise is quite the same in that aspect: treat the lawn as the pellets, and the animals as the ghosts. If you look at Law Mower as a simple and fast-paced arcade title, you’ll probably enjoy it. Controlling your lawnmower is so easy that you can just use the left hand on your keyboard. Despite its simplicity, I have a few minor gripes with the gameplay. For starters, the turning responsiveness needs to be tweaked a little. Furthermore, the fact your lawnmower doesn’t instantly turn 180 degrees, but walks backwards just like a moonwalk instead, wasn’t something I thought very helpful gameplay-wise, especially in higher difficulties where a fast pace is mandatory and you can only kill enemies by facing them head on.
Law Mower‘s graphics and sound department are worthy of a lot of praise. Its 8-bit visuals are very charming and reminded me a lot of both the Earthbound games as well as the Zelda games for the Game Boy Color. The lighting effects, while rudimentary at first glance, fit the 8-bit aesthetics perfectly as well. When it comes to the sound department, Law Mower features great and catchy chiptune compositions. Sadly, they’re not that varied, which is a shame given the fact that the few of them in the game are actually pretty good. It left me craving more. All in all, Law Mower did a pretty good job in its artistic department.
And in the end, Law Mower is a flawed but enjoyable little title. While its controls still need more polishing, its sheer simplicity, nice visuals and nice graphics sort of make up for it. It also features a simple but neat online multiplayer, as well as a map creator, increasing replayability. It won’t be a game you’ll play for countless hours in a row, however. Law Mower will best be enjoyed in short bursts, due to the fact that, despite its interesting level of difficulty, there’s just so much lawn I can mow before it gets a bit repetitive.
Just like I’ve previously mentioned in my Lode Runner Legacy review, Law Mower is a concept that would have been better fit for the Switch or the Vita. For the time being, and for the reasonable pricetag, however, it’s not a bad option at all for your Steam library. It’s most certainly the best lawn mowing game I’ve ever played.