Lethal Lawns, by Melbourne-based indie developers Dime Studios, was one of the many games showcased at PAX Aus this year. From what I saw, it was also one of the most consistently popular on the PAX Rising floor. There was always a crowd of people hovering at the booth, either waiting to play the ‘competitive lawn mowing bloodsport’ for themselves or laughing at the carnage that was occurring on screen. And for good reason – Lethal Lawns is not only immediately accessible, making it an ideal party game, it is also just heaps of freakin’ fun.
The aim of Lethal Lawns is simple – up to 8 players compete in 3 one-minute rounds to see who can make the most coin (at PAX, the game only allowed for 4 players, which seems like the perfect amount). Mowing lawn generates income, and the more you mow, the more you make. The only thing you need is a joystick or directional keys to steer your mower – double tapping in the same direction gives you a little burst of speed. The person with the most amount of money after the 3 rounds is over is the winner.
Of course the game isn’t just about mowing lawns with your friends – the real fun comes from the glorious deaths! As the name suggests, by hitting other players from behind or the sides, you can literally mow your competition down, temporarily slowing their progress. A kill results in a brief slow-motion, close-up death animation that never stopped being hilarious to watch. Dying also makes players lose money – and their loss is your gain, as they die in an explosion of coins that you can collect to generate more income. And to add some flavour, your characters will constantly trash talk each other, with comments such as “Lol scrub”, “Git gud” and “GTFO” appearing on the screen whenever a collision occurs.
The game has various modes – with the ‘main’ mode being the above mentioned Mowing Payday, where the goal is to earn as much money as possible. The other modes consist of a King of the Hill mode (aptly titled ‘King of the Lawn’), a ‘Last Mower Standing’ elimination mode, and a simple death match where the aim is to wrack up as many kills as possible.
There are also a number of different arenas for you to have your mow-down in. The one available at PAX consisted of 4 lawns, with one busy road in the middle with cars aplenty (which, of course, can also kill you). Others include a rooftop where you can push competitors off the edge, and a graveyard with fog that masks where the grass is.
“If you’re looking for a new party game to play with your friends, I can’t recommend Lethal Lawns enough.”
I spoke to the developers at Dime Studios, who mentioned that while the game was originally made for local multiplayer (it’s been available on Steam since March this year), they were in the very final stages of implementing an online multiplayer function with their upcoming patch – which has since launched this week!
If you’re looking for a new party game to play with your friends, I can’t recommend Lethal Lawns enough. Not only is it incredibly accessible right from the get go, but the colourful art style, hilarious animations and never-ending slaughter means you are guaranteed a good time. And with it just having been updated with online multiplayer, and it being less than $10 on Steam, there really is no greater time to engage in competitive mowing bloodsport than now!