It’s rare that a game developer reaches into our psyches and pulls out our in desires. It’s equally rare for a publisher to release something as unique as Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns, but hey, Sometimes You only went and did it.
What is this game that appeals to us all on a high level? It’s a puzzle game on the Nintendo eShop about cutting grass. It’s in the game. I mean, it’s in the title. You control a lawnmower that mows grass to combat a genuine threat: mutations on the lawn that strive for world dominance! The only way to beat them is to join them. If not, mow them down. Yeah – that’s what I’m talking about.
You see, these science bods have invented this new uber potion that enhances growth in lawns. Retirees and lawn care experts rejoice. Did you know that there are so many species of grass found across the world? My expertise in the field is keywords like green, overgrown, dead and smokeable. Fascinating. Nonetheless, this miracle growth has severe side effects as hedges now come alive, and the evil blades of grass are determined to set up their own political party… using force.
It’s just a spoonful of miracle growth
Nobody has sworn you in or anything, but it’s your duty as a lawnmower to cut grass. The world is counting on you – that, or the same scientists find an antidote, the government use napalm or simply talk it out. I don’t know about you, but I want to cut them. Cut them deep and down to the root (is it deemed a root?). Let’s talk lawnmowers.
It would be a sad affair if you were limited to just one lawnmower. Thankfully there is an abundance of choice, so stop looking so sad, silly bollocks. There isn’t a driver involved – the lawnmower has a mind of its own and runs on pure determination and battery power. Run out of battery, run out of determination and game over. Later in the game, you can achieve bigger, better lawnmowers that come with go-faster stripes and flames. Even better, you can also use animals to cut the grass as that’s better for mother nature, eh?
But for the evil machinery, how do you run out of batteries? Hard work. As you control the lawnmower, you cut the grass. Finishing cutting the grass and you complete the level. It’s merely controlling the direction of the lawnmower up or down, left or right via a top view playing area. You don’t need to press any buttons to mow, just move as you would in a game of Snake on your trusty Nokia 3210.
If this were realistic (heaven forbid, Euro Lawn Mower Simulator) lawns would be relatively easy to navigate. The only real obstacles would be birdbaths or rockery. In Lawn Cutter: Mutated Lawns the obstacles are both inanimate and animate. The former includes small streams to cross, hedges blocking your way or having to hit a switch (not your console) to open a pathway.
For the animate obstacles, these are those pig-ugly mutations. Damn you science. They’re usually quite predictable; moving in a set path you can generally avoid if patient, but with a lot of them, they can’t be permanently destroyed. Sometimes you can set up a trap, usually involving a turd (you read that correctly) but the majority of the time they respawn so you need your wits about you. And need to wash your hands afterwards.
Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns is like Bomberman meets Minecraft. The first reference is the gameplay style – almost a bit like Pac-Man, where Minecraft is purely a visual aspect. The game is very green and uses simple block-like designs which is all very simple and effective. As for the sound, the effects are ok, but the music is a little annoying – a bit overly positive and reminds me of The Sims.
Building the perfect lawnmower
We all aspire to own the best lawnmower – it’s one of the greater things in life. Again, this is catered for by having unlockable vehicles and animals. These are paid for in part by, erm, parts, or gears, that you find throughout each level. Some of these lawnmowers have additional perks like lasers. These immobilise the baddies and can be pretty useful, but I was quite hopeful and naive in having a nuke strapped to the front.
The variety of levels is excellent – there are loads of different maps(!?) to play throughout Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns and you won’t complete this in one sitting. One reason is that there are quite a few levels crammed into such a small game, but also because it’s bloody hard.
In fact, the difficulty levels are all over the place. Small increments of challenges should be introduced, but Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns pulls the lawn from under your feet and turns the heat up all of a sudden. So much so that it’s off-putting. Once I finally got past the tricky bits, it would be super easy for a few more rounds, then ludicrously difficult again. Either that or I was experiencing erratic moments of low self-control. I mean, they did find me eating flies that evening under the railway bridge. Maybe it was another episode. If you’re taking that fo’ real, you’re a fool. Railway bridges aren’t safe to loiter under.
Needing miracle growth for my patience
I enjoy playing this game – ok, I’ll type the title, again: Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns. The premise is simple, which often mean the most appealing – look at mobile games. Each level is a quick runaround, but in reality, there are times when you play over and over to get past tricky areas. It will test your patience.
Variety is a little limited too as you can’t really go anywhere with lawns. Well, perhaps there could be bonus stages that are in castles or stately homes that include big bastard bridges and enemies that don’t fit on the screen. That would work, don’t you think? The new lawnmowers and animals to unlock is fun, but for about a few minutes. Thankfully the game is good enough to play, but not something I’ll be coming back to regularly.
Disclaimer: owning a rear garden has not been without problems. In heavy rain, there is a spot that floods a little, and there’s a restriction on how high we can make our fence to block out all the neighbours. Other than dog eggs, I’ve never encountered strategics poos or the grass stomping around in a predictable circle; blocking me from cutting the grass.
For that, Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns makes me grateful that this is only fiction, and I must notify the interwebs that this game may be worth a look if you are in the same position, don’t have a garden and want to see how The Others live or just like grass.