In October 2004, I created a video game based off of what my friends suggested would be “the most boring video game ever” – one that involved cutting grass with a lawn mower!
I entered Virtual Lawn Mower into a worldwide amateur video game development competition hosted by The Game Creators (thegamecreators.com) as a remake of the game “Snake”. It won 1st place out of 76 games entered by other game designers and developers, and was featured on the cover of the Website’s monthly newsletter.
Here’s what the judges had to say about it:
Ok, we love this game! It’s a superbly simple idea, a variation on the snake theme, but done extremely well and it’s very good fun to play. You start the game by selecting one of three different types of lawn mower, the Super Snail, the Mini Beast or The Tractor. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, mostly to do with how fast they can shift it and how much damage they can take. With your mower selected you’re placed in the garden. It’s a simple (but overgrown!) affair, square in shape and fenced around the edges. There is plenty of tall grass to mow through, but more importantly the place is overrun with bugs! From small worm like creatures to beetles, they are all charging around the place. Your objective is to squish 30 of them to get to the next level.
The mower however is chained, the chain grows longer the more bugs you squash. There are other hazards such as rocks which cause damage to your mower, too much damage and you explode in a pyrotechnic puff of smoke and bug guts! One of the great features of the game is that the mower CAN take damage, i.e. you can run over the chain (or rocks) in pursuit of the bugs, and providing you don’t do it too often your mower can survive the level. Damage it too much and smoke billows out and performance drops. The bugs are speedy little critters, moving around the place and more often than not dodging out of your way just as you’re about to send them to the ‘blades of death’, but when you do hit you get a satisfying ‘squelch’ and pile of bug left on the ground. Excellent! 🙂
Here are some screenshots from the game:
And here’s a video someone uploaded many years after I released the game!