Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Since the early days of 8-bit gaming there have been many attempts to take a menial chore or type of housework and turn it into a game that people will have fun playing. Apple iOS devices have their own vast swath of chore/work related games. Cooking, parking, auto repair, gardening, farming, and so many other tasks of the like have been converted into iOS games. Mower Ride is another in a long line of games that take the chores we play games to avoid, and turn them into a game themselves. Granted, Mower Ride isn't focused so much on mowing the lawn as it is living out some fantasized suburban rage ride through countless backyards on a riding mower.
The goal of Mower Ride is to guide a rider on a lawn mower as far as possible through obstacles by tilting the iOS device forward and backward and from side to side. Tilting forward and backward causes the mower to speed up or slow down and tilting side to side moves it left or right on the screen. Using these tilt controls, players guide the mower from backyard to backyard, crashing through hedges and fences on the way and avoiding things like chairs, rocks, pools, and trees. Every once and a while a rival mower will join the fray and the player must knock him off of his mower before he knocks the player off of their own mower.
The mower starts with a full energy bar which drains as the mower drives on; draining more when larger obstacles are hit. Picking up little lighting bolts on the way will refill the energy bar and allow the mower to continue forward. There are also power-ups like boosts and magnets that will attract energy to help players along the way.
There is only one mode in this game, and the goal is always to travel as many meters as possible before running out of juice or crashing. The terrain is randomly generated, so each play through is different from the last. This keeps things from going too stale, but the overall game play doesn't change or progress much from game to game. Mower Ride is fun, but really only makes the cut as a quick diversion.