There are plenty of iOS games that are all about racing as far as you can in order to rack up a high score, but only Mower Ride lets you do it while riding a lawnmower. That’s not necessarily a good thing, though. Except for the new mode of transportation, Mower Ride offers up nothing we haven’t already seen before, and better.
The goal is to race as far as possible before crashing out. Mower Ride uses tilt controls exclusively, so you’ll be tilting your phone left and right to turn, and forward and backward to speed up and slow down. The controls feel just right without being overly sensitive.
In addition to avoiding obstacles, which range from swimming pools to train tracks, you’ll also need to collect energy to keep going. Little energy bolts are littered all over your route, and if you don’t continue to collect them, you’ll run out of power and grind to a halt. In some ways, it feels a lot like collecting coins in Mega Jump, right down to the way the energy bolts are laid out. But since you’re driving forward instead of jumping, and moving at a pretty slow pace, Mower Ride doesn’t have the same thrill-inducing excitement as Mega Jump.
Get off my lawn!
Even the power-ups feel lifted from other games, like a magnet that gathers up nearby energy and a fireball that lets you speed through obstacles unharmed. It all feels very familiar. The only relatively interesting feature you’ll find in Mower Ride is the inclusion of other riders, who are incredibly aggressive and will stop at nothing (short of smashing into a boulder) to run you into trouble and steal all of the energy and power-ups along the way. They’re incredibly annoying, but do add a nice boost in difficulty for an otherwise simple game.
There’s just the one game mode, though the inclusion of Game Center leaderboards does somewhat enhance the replayability. There’s also a paltry five achievements that will likely take you less than an hour to complete.
Mower Ride attempts to coast by on its wacky premise, but this isn’t the next coming of Robot Unicorn Attack. From the plain visuals to the painfully generic rock soundtrack, the game is desperately in need of a personality. Nothing about it feels over-the-top. Somehow it’s only marginally more exciting than actually riding around on a lawnmower.
Without any new gameplay mechanics or even a distinct sense of style and personality, there’s little here to recommend Mower Ride over other, better games. It’s not bad, just painfully late to the party. That must be what happens when you travel by lawnmower.