Okay, let’s not beat around the bush here; the fact that these realistic simulator-type games exist and blend seamlessly with the incredibly inventive and creative indie titles on the market will never cease to baffle me. How these games managed to penetrate the gaming space and remain relevant for the best part of a decade now is incredible. While they have their critics, it’s easy to see the appeal.
These games have this inherent ability to offer an experience that is so true to life and so meticulously crafted that they make the mundane feel interesting. These games ‘Gamify’ ordinary tasks and vocations. As a result, it offers those who would never dream of following these specific career paths a way to live the lives of these workers. For some unknown reason, it’s riveting.
Take games like Euro Truck Simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator, or Farming Simulator, to name a few. These games have a huge cult following, and it’s because they are made with care and offer gameplay that is as true to real-life as possible.
I have my personal favorite in the form of Skater XL. This skating simulator offers no story mode, no progression, and no semblance of structured gameplay. Just some maps to skate and a board to ride, and despite this, I poured 159 hours into this game last year, and I bought the damn thing in August.
I believe this makes me a qualified candidate to review Lawn Mowing Simulator, a game that puts you in the shoes of a lone worker who aims to start a lawn-cutting empire and will stop at nothing until the entire community has well-kept and immaculately groomed lawns. Maybe I’m overselling it, but if I don’t, who will.
In this review, we take a look at the gameplay and simulation mechanics present in this game, the visuals and musical score, the overall gameplay, and the adaptions made for the console adaption of this game.
Allowing us to say whether this breakout simulation title is worth spending your time and money on. So hop on your ride-along mowers, engage those blades and join us; here is our Lawn Mowing Simulator PS4 Review.
Far From Cutting Edge Visuals
Let’s start with the presentation here, and I don’t want to be too harsh here, as the game presents itself reasonably well, with lawns that are picturesque and unique, vehicle models that are true to life, and an audio score that offers ambient noise to each area you visit.
However, if I was to be a little critical, which I am, I would say that these graphics are a little behind the times when compared to other simulators on the market released around the same time.
We need only point toward the likes of Microsoft Flight Simulator to prove that, but perhaps that is a fair comparison. To offer some explanation, I think the game could have done more to refine textures and enhance assets used in the gardens to steer toward hyper-realism.
I also feel that the lighting could be a lot better. Perhaps I’m nit-picking here, but that’s just the way I see it. Overall, it all looks good but doesn’t hit the heights that it perhaps could have.
Turn Your Brain Off Gaming
Now moving on to the gameplay, I have to say I have only got praise for this aspect of the game. Sure, the game is limited because it is a very niche game appealing to a very niche market, but for what it is, it’s great.
The player will work their way through various contracts, mowing lawns, making sure they achieve all the job-specific criteria and then using the funds they earn to scale their business, buy better machinery and become the go-to mowing service in town. To do this, there is only one thing you can do, start mowing.
The grass cutting mechanics are simple, you get on your ride-along, and you gradually mow the grass until you hit the required completion percentage, and this may require racing against the clock, getting the grass strimmer out to get at those tricky areas, and doing on the job maintenance to your equipment. It doesn’t get much more complex than that, and to be honest, that’s the beauty of this game.
This title allows the player to switch off, go through the motions, turn off their brain and simply do this mindless task to completion. If you need constant stimulation in games, this will sound like a nightmare, but for me, someone who absorbs podcasts like a sponge and plays most games with the sound off, it’s bliss.
Surprisingly Deep and Replayable
Despite the simplicity of this game which I praised above, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. The player can be as strategic, efficient, and dedicated as they like here.
If you want to pretend that you are a groundsman at Wembley preparing the pitch for the FA Cup Final, and you want to change your grass cut heights to make unique and aesthetically pleasing patterns in the lawn, you can do that. If you want to take on super-specific contracts with lots of strange demands, you can.
Then if you want to dig into the numbers and create a super-profitable and efficient business that employs tons of staff, you can also do that. The game is surprisingly deep and caters to all types of players, from those that just like the novelty of cutting a lawn and zoning out to those who want to become the biggest name in the grass-cutting game. It caught me off guard how rich the gameplay is here, which alone deserves praise.
Cold and Clinical UI
One thing I couldn’t get on board with was the UI within this game. There is a trend with all simulation games of this nature that the UI has to be very formal and clinical. To the point that the game can’t have even the tiniest bit of whimsy or poke any fun at itself.
For goodness sake, this game has a player mow lawn, and that’s the whole game. Then markets itself amongst a field of creative and outlandish indie games. Why wouldn’t you try and be a little self-aware and add some humor to the whole operation?
In short, the UI feels rigid, and the text as default is super small, which can make learning the mechanics of this game tricky unless you squint real hard. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s not ideal.
Immersive Dualsense Functionality
Then lastly, I do want to touch on the Dualsense functionality here, as it does a lot to add to the overall experience. The haptic feedback is superb and aligns perfectly with the things happening on screen.
Whether it’s the slight resistance of the blades as they initially begin cutting long grass to the strong vibrations of the trimmer as you get into those hard to trim nooks and crannies in those huge manor house lawns, these may be small details. Still, each of these culminates in offering a much fuller and more realistic experience.
Pros and Cons
- The gameplay is cathartic and satisfying, allowing players to relax and cut grass for hours and be quite content doing so
- The simulation aspects offer some nice touches, adding some strategy to the game.
- The progression system and ability to build your lawn-mowing empire are surprisingly gripping.
- The licensed vehicle models and specs of each are incredibly accurate and offer different playstyles.
- The Dualsense functionality is super, adding immersion to proceedings
- The visuals, while acceptable, feel a little underwhelming amongst other modern simulators
- The UI is cold and clinical. Plus, the text is tiny, and instructions can often be unclear
- As you would expect, the gameplay gets repetitive very quickly
- It almost goes without saying, this game is the realistic simulator that it is, is not for everyone, and certainly not traditional gamers who crave action and substance
Question: Is Lawn Mowing Simulator A Popular Game on Twitch?
Answer: While Lawn Mowing Simulator might not be the most popular game on Twitch, it did have a brief stint at the top of the charts after its initial release on PC. The game achieved higher viewing numbers during this period than the highly regarded live service game, Call of Duty Warzone. However, this view count has wained quite a bit since, but with the console version of this game, you might see this name hit these lofty heights again; stranger things have happened.
Question: Who Makes Lawn Mowing Simulator?
Answer: Lawn Mowing Simulator is a game made by Skyhook games, a British indie developer based in Liverpool. They are primarily known for their ability to make true-to-life simulation games. While Lawn Mowing Simulator is arguably their top performer, they are also the creators of the modestly successful Train Sim World series.
Question: Does Lawn Mowing Simulator have DLC?
Answer: Yes, this game does have DLC, and while it isn’t anything groundbreaking, it is a fun addition. You can purchase the Dino Safari DLC; you will be able to mow the lawns of large open areas where you will encounter some prehistoric creatures and help keep their homes spick and span.
Overall, we aren’t going to stick our neck out here and call this one our game of the year, and the guys at Skyhook Games probably won’t be shocked at that at all. However, despite going into this game expecting a novelty experience that would become labored and boring pretty quickly, I found myself stepping away from this game and suddenly having an urge to hop back in, which was a welcome surprise, to say the least.
The game offers cathartic, relaxing, satisfying, and low-effort gameplay that is just perfect if you want to turn your brain off, listen to a podcast, and mindlessly do something to keep your mind ticking over.
I often find these games are in short supply within the gaming space, hence my ridiculous hours dedicated to Skater XL. Still, I can see this game being one I will come back to now and again.
It’s a detailed simulator, and the dual sense support is surprisingly good. The gameplay allows you to be as creative and dedicated to your craft as possible. Essentially, you get out what you put into this game.
I may not have understood why so many gamers heaped praise on this game upon its initial release. Still, I sure do now, so if you want something mindless to do in the small hours of the morning, this is the game for you.