Review – Lawn Mowing Simulator
I’ll be up front with you right away here and tell you that if you’re looking for a super highly detailed review from someone with actual landscaping experience, this is not that review. I currently don’t even have a lawn to maintain as I live in an area that takes care of that through an HOA. However, when I was young I did mow my fair share of lawns from reel lawn mowers to motorized. I have never used any of the behemoths featured in this game, but I did do a bit of research to see if my complaints stemmed from my lack of experience or if Lawn Mowing Simulator was a bit light on the simulating.
This is typically where I’d do a quick breakdown of the games premise and story setup, but I think you get the gist. You’ll be mowing lawns in the Great British countryside, either for fun or to build up your business. There is a Career mode, challenges, and a Free Mow mode for when you don’t want the stress of being paid for your time. Lawn Mowing Simulator features thirty-one maps and a dozen real licensed mowers from some of the top brands.
Career mode offers you a chance to start and operate your very own lawn mowing company with a name, logo, and color design. You start of with a basic setup with one mower and a small single bay storage for that mower. The storage building can be upgraded to expand more bays, but you’ll eventually need to buy an entire new building if you need to hold more lawn mowers. This becomes a necessity as you start building a reputation as a trustworthy company, and as you build that reputation, people will apply to be hired.
Building your reputation is done so by completing contracts with the less penalties the better, and by advertising. Eventually, you’ll be able to hire employees to go do other contracts for you on your extra lawn mowers. There is also the ability to train your employees in time management, precision, and vehicle management making them much more reliable on contracts. As you increase your reputation levels you’ll also unlock various challenges that get more difficult as you rank up.
Let’s get into the actual functions of the gameplay here. Each contract will provide information on the average height of the grass, and the length the owner wants it to be. There are recommended deck widths for each lawn, but these can be ignored if you don’t mind it taking you sixty-two minutes instead of the recommended thirty to finish Adam’s Apple Orchard. Then you run out of gas when you’re at 99.7% completion and you’re stuck on your mower for ten minutes trying to figure out how the hell you get off the thing because the game never tells you that. Yes, this happened to me. Yes, I found out that if you hold “B” for a few seconds you can get off and refill the tank (thank you random Reddit user).
Anyway, once you start your contract you’ll need to do a ground check which involves you running around the area picking up any objects that will be in your way and destroyed. These range from newspapers, toys, garden tools, and garden gnomes. If you don’t do this you’ll get some fines, but to be honest the fines are really not that much of a deterrent. Now it’s time to hop on your mower, turn it on, crank up the RPM’s, lower the cutting deck, and off you go.
Once that mower starts doing its job, its time for you to do yours. Essentially, you just need to adjust speed using the right trigger so you don’t bog down the engine, and steer away from gardens and furniture. If you do bog down the engine by attempting to go too fast through tall grass, you’ll get a choppy cut or stall the mower. This is where some of my gripes begin. I understood the stalling, bogging down, and even having to control speed all the time on the smaller mowers. However, I saved up and got me the STIGA Park Pro 540 IX. This thing is a beast in real life and its still giving me grief on some of these cuts.
Now I did some research on this thing and in doing that I also realized that Lawn Mowing Simulator doesn’t offer the fraction of features this thing really does. There is no RPM control, you can’t set speed control, which would help with the annoying trigger finger adjustment, and there are so many attachments that made me think, “why aren’t these things featured in game?” It has a leaf collector or shredder, a hydraulic rake, brush cutting, a spreader for seeding, and so much more. Some mowers in the game do come with a small selection of attachments for striping and mulch collecting, but nothing intricate.
I realize it’s called Lawn Mowing Simulator and not Landscaper Simulator, but what company are you paying hundreds to thousands of pounds to just for a quick mow? If there was more in-depth gameplay here, I think it would have went a long way. Being able to maintenance the grass, use edge trimmers, weed eaters, and such would go a long way to keep contracts more involved.
Visually, Lawn Mowing Simulator is a mixed bag. The lawn mower models are extremely well crafted with plenty of accurate details from their real world counterparts. The way they handle also are all different, which helps give each one their own unique feel. The mowers are definitely the stars of the show as they should be. However, what is a lawn mower without a lawn? The levels are laid out nicely, and they do render each individual blade of grass which with the right lighting can look good.
Unfortunately, there are massive framerate issues, low quality surroundings, the draw distance can’t even cover the full length of the lawn, and detail pop-ins happen right next to the player. Not to mention the character models you get to pick for the company are not anything to look at. Also, there isn’t any grass mess left on the yard or tires of the mower, and not even a single leaf will be in the area.
Sound design is a tough one for me to grade because there isn’t much to it. The main menu has a light inviting sort of generic lobby style music, while in game there isn’t any soundtrack. For the most part you’ll just be listening to the mowers engine that can fluctuate as it bogs down or backs up. Each mower does have its own unique sound which is nice and the ambient sounds of birds chirping and cars driving by are done well enough.
Lawn Mower Simulator actually ended up being less than I expected. I was really thinking this would be a full simulator with real to life actions for these well crafted mowers. It’s unfortunate that there wasn’t more done with the general gameplay, as well as more polish to the visual and framerate department. However, for what it does do, it does well enough. Mowing can be relaxing at times, however, with the annoying engine throttling and no speed control I found it more frustrating than therapeutic.
While the lawn mowers are high quality replicas of the real life versions, the character models, draw distance, and pop-ins are not the same caliber.
The general act of mowing and building a company with employees works fine, but there are a lot of missing features and added annoyances.
Not much to describe here other than the lawn mowers sound realistic enough and the menu music is there. Ambient noises from birds and cars driving by are fine.
There is a good amount of content to be had here with a full career mode, challenges, and free mow. However, I felt the game often became more frustrating than relaxing.
Final Verdict: 5.5
Lawn Mowing Simulator is available now on Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Reviewed on Xbox Series X.
A copy of Lawn Mowing Simulator was provided by the publisher.