When playing Lawnmower Kids, you get to control and direct the movements of kids in a neighborhood as they mow lawns. That may not sound particularly exciting, but it really is a lot of fun. The game actually puts a very interesting spin on the classic concept of real-time strategy games. Instead of planning and executing vast military strategies featuring battalions of soldier and Panza tanks, though, this game isn’t at all violent and is a lot more relaxing.
Each player has three kids to control, and each kid operates a specific type of mower. The kids race against the clock to get all the lawns of a typical suburban neighborhood mowed, while avoiding obstacles such as cranky old people and unfriendly dogs.
The controls are easy to use, and make the best out of the touchscreen of the iPhone. You choose a kid by tapping him, and then use your finger to drag a path, to show him where to go. On the screen, the path you’ve drawn will appear as a line that’s translucent. Making a change is a simple matter of tapping on the kid again, and then drawing a new path for him. There’s not a lot of hand-eye coordination needed, but you will need to have pretty good multitasking skills.
Every kid has a unique skill, such as avoiding nasty dogs or flying football, or having an impressive turn of speed, or being able to destroy flowerbeds without incurring the wrath of the homeowner. To score well, you’ll need to be aware of the location of all your kids at any time, and matching up the right kids with the potential challenges presented by a lawn.
It’s challenging as well as fun to become familiar with the ability of each kid, and figure out strategies for using them best, but it would also be nice to have the ability to take the game a step further by introducing more characters with different skills, providing some variety and even more of a challenge.
On the whole, the developer has taken a rather silly premise and turned into into a game of strategy that’s interesting and fun to play, and far more relaxing than more violent counterparts while still being a good challenge. The multitasking element might be a bit much for younger kids, but apart from that Lawnmower Kids is addictive and fun to play, and certainly beats having to actually mow a lawn.