PAX East 2019: Mowin’ & Throwin’ – First Impressions

Playing this game was a happy accident. If you’ve been to a gaming con, you’ve likely had a similar experience—you’re wandering around the show floor, perhaps fresh off another game that you couldn’t wait to play, biding time until your next appointment or panel. What to do with yourself? There’s hardly enough time to wait in line for a game, and getting food will mean you’re not hungry at dinner… but what’s that? Like a shining beacon in the darkness, it’s a free controller.

You pick it up without thinking, because that’s what you do when there’s a chance to play a game and not wait in line. Will it be co-op? Sudden death? Puzzles? Adventure? No, this time, it was… lawn mowing. Competitive lawn mowing.

And it was ridiculously fun.

Mowin’ & Throwin’ (on Steam now, coming to Switch later this year) divides players into two teams. Each team is aiming to have the least amount of grass on the lawn before the clock runs out, all while avoiding traps and sabotage set by the other team. One team member jumps on the mower to start cutting grass, while the other grabs rocks and fertilizer and throws them over the barrier onto the other teams’ lawn. The mower eventually runs out of gas and has to be refuelled, and in a pinch, players can try pulling the grass out with their bare hands.

The three rounds we played we frantic, absurd, and filled with laughter—we played with a group of total strangers, but still managed to have a fantastic time. According to the booth team, that’s the whole point of this party game: To have fun with family, friends, or strangers. The simplicity of the concept also means that the gameplay focus can be on expertly navigating the mechanics of each match—and as we experienced and noticed from other groups, competition heats up rather quickly.

While we didn’t get to experience beyond the basic game, there are eight different lawns to choose from, each with varying obstacles and mechanics. For example, one lawn is Stonehenge-inspired and players have to mow in the dark. Another is set in the jungle, where players toss items at a totem to cause a bridge collapse.

A simple idea, a zany execution, and a worthwhile investment on release.


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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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