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Lawn Mowing Simulator VR Review: Choppy Cutting

Lawn Mowing Simulator VR keyart

It’s a beautiful summer’s day and there’s not a cloud in the sky. This makes a great time to enjoy the garden, or more accurately get some work done. Lawns need constant maintenance to look immaculate, with a sense of satisfaction once the job is finished. But can you get that same feeling from a VR simulator? One that specialises in lawn mowing? On Meta Quest, all you grass aficionados out there will find Lawn Mowing Simulator VR cuts a choppy edge.

I’ve never been one for this work simulator trend, driving trucks across America or hauling freight on a train through Europe. Yet these simulator games have become hugely successful with gamers worldwide. So it was with some trepidation that I began reviewing Lawn Mowing Simulator VR, a VR port of Skyhook Games’ flatscreen cousin.

Just a little off the top

There are no real surprises here, the name describes exactly what’s in the tin. You work for a lawn care company and it’s your job to fulfil contracts with your handy mower and strimmer. Yes, that’s right you’ve got all the tools necessary to create lawn nirvana. You might be building a company but most of the gameplay concentrates on mowing and tool maintenance, unlike the flatscreen version which was more focused on the management side of things.

This means less time in menus and more time sat on one of the officially licensed mowers. Every job starts off in the maintenance bay, where you can charge your Stiga and Ego mower batteries and sharpen their blades for that pro cut. Thankfully, the simulator doesn’t stick to actual charging times, they only need a few seconds to top them up to full.

All your tasks are displayed on your watch, making it easy for first-timers to get into a routine and suddenly wonder what to do next. First and foremost, once the strimmer and mower are in tip-top shape they need to be loaded onto your truck ready for each job. You even need to drive the mower onto the flatbed. There’s no quick function here!

Get cutting

Every job starts with a ground check, making sure the long grass isn’t hiding any tin cans or any other objects that could damage your tools. Then it’s onto the main event, whizzing around the customer’s lawn, cutting it to their desired height. Each mower has a variety of cut heights but even better are the drive mechanics. Go full immersion and grab the steering wheel or take a more relaxed approach and use the joystick. I preferred the hybrid setup, using the stick for sharp, tight turns and the physical steering for the longer lawn sections. In fact, there is a huge array of accessibility and comfort options to tailor to most needs.

The mowers can bash and break garden ornaments, which is where the strimmer comes in. Perfect for detailing, the strimmer has to be used to get a perfect 100% finish on the garden. Looking back over a job well done can be quite a satisfactory feeling.

A twitchy mower

However, Lawn Mowing Simulator VR isn’t 100% idyllic. Firstly, it’s easy to notice how grabbing items can be extremely finicky. A white donut shape appears when something is selectable but it doesn’t always show. Early on, trying to get the batteries out of the Stiga was a lesson in patience. It kept sitting me on the mower rather than grabbing the battery under the chair.

Then there were the occasional glitches, like when I dropped the spanner and it fell through the shop floor. Eventually, it did return to its starting position, but before it did the mower lift wouldn’t lower. The biggest, however, required an entire game restart. Whilst going about my merry way I hit a hedge and was catapulted into a sea of blue. Getting off the mower returned me to the garden but sans the Stiga. All that remained were four floating batteries on the trailer, with the game unable to return back to base because I needed to load the absent mower!

Lawn Mowing Simulator VR Review Summary

Is Lawn Mowing Simulator VR one of those games that sells VR, in short, no? But it is an unusually tranquil experience in a sea of action-focused content. So it’s nice to have something different to play. There are a number of issues that desperately need addressing, but when it worked I’ll happily admit I enjoyed it. The graphics are decent enough, just don’t expect too much from the audio unless you love the sound of grass being cut.

When not glitching out, Lawn Mowing Simulator VR provides one of those VR experiences that are best in small doses, coming back to do a garden here and there.

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