Advanced Lawnmower Simulator
Gardensoft - 1990
Machine: ZX Spectrum, and many others
Advanced Lawnmower Simulator is more of a joke than a game. There is only one control, the M key which makes your mower mow, once the lawn is mowed you get a random comment on how well you mowed the lawn. So why is such a game a Game-Star Hero at all? Simply because the game is one of the most significant pieces of ZX Spectrum culture. It was given away free with a 1988 issue of Your Sinclair having been programmed by one of it's staff writers and caused quite a sensation. Due to it being programmed in BASIC anybody playing it could press the BREAK key to get into the code and tinker with the game. This prompted many YS readers to create piles of altered versions and sequels including ALS2, ALS3 - Revenge of Mow and Football Janitor (programmed by yours truly). It didn't stop with the Spectrum either, people are still making new versions today, if you skip over to Unsatisfactory Software you will find the game available for download on platforms a varied as Java, Psion 5 and many PC versions . In short ALS is perhaps the most enduring of homebrew game phenomena and it embodies the humour of Your Sinclair which remains the best of all game magazines.
Jakey 10 Nov '02
SPIN - Use the site's below to find the tape image.
Advanced Lawnmower Simulator - A Celebration - Celebrating the game with history and downloads for nearly any machine you can think of and links to play online!
Your Sinclair Review - The original YS review of the game.