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Advanced Lawnmower Simulator
Gardensoft £14.95 Apr 1988 YS28
Graphics: 9/10
Playability: 9/10
VFM: 9/10
Addictiveness: 9/10
9/10 Overall
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Classic simulation game from an exciting new name in Speccy software. Guaranteed number one!
Duncan Macdonald
'The most advanced domestic chore simulation yet to hit the home micro,' claims the advertising blurb. 'Awe inspiringly realistic with a near infinite number of randomly generated rural and suburban lawn scenarios! Hollow advertising rhetoric? So much insincere profit chasing hype? ...Not on your grass-box, matey; this game is ACE!
    You, a humble YTS junior gardener, start off with a very small tool-box, one can of petrol and a standard issue Campari 'Lawn Master' motor mower. Your first randomly generated garden is guaranteed to be camber free and generally straightforward in design, so do a fast but neat job and you will be awarded points (in the guise of sandwiches), by the incredibly grateful home owner.
    In the age old tradition of 'Points Make Prizes,' you'll be able to start upgrading your equipment: more tools for your tool-box; extra spacers for the flymo (if indeed you have one); more cans of petrol or oil and, in general, more power to your grassware.
    You'll need all the extras and add-ons you can lay your little green fingers on, if you want to climb the gardening hierarchy. The gardens get progressively bigger, have increasing cambers, hidden 'traps' such as stones and old wire coat-hangers, and grassy banks sloping into ornate but potentially ruinous duck-ponds. Probably most dangerous of all, on higher levels, are the rose gardens; you won't make head gardener after you've accidentally totalled three square feet of Lady Talbot-Smythe's prized pink-perpetuals!
    Gardensoft is a brand new publishing house that looks set to carve quite a niche for itself in the simulations market. Its press release promises several follow-up games, to be blanket released within the next month or two, such as a spring cleaning game in which you have to rifle through the cupboard under the stairs before you can even start the game proper; a washing-up simulator (which incorporates a drying-up simulator); and best of all, a launderette game in which you have to clean ten large bags of assorted colours and materials. Sounds easy? Well not really, because most of the clothes have missing labels.
    All these games sound absolutely ber-illiant, but we'll have to wait and see. As for now? Well,we do have the Advanced Lawn-Mowing Simulation, and that IS brilliant.

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