Based on the 1992 feature film, The Lawnmower Man
is a collection of minigames based on the revolutionary virtual reality sequences seen in the movie. The plot parallels the central conflict - the player controls Dr. Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) as he heads into cyberspace to confront the psychotic digital god Jobe (Jeff Fahey) he has created.
As the ruler of his digital domain, Jobe shifts and manipulates the virtual world into a series of challenges to test the player. These range from digital IQ tests, chase sequences requiring precision timing for jumping and ducking, and a tunnel flight as one of the virtual jets from the movie. Characters from the movie are also digitized by Jobe into willing henchmen, and must be defeated by the player in a series of quick time events.
All of the sequences are pre-rendered and streamed off the disc as movie files. Despite the computer-generated visuals, the game itself technically functions like an interactive movie (i.e. the graphics are not being drawn by the player's computer in real-time). Therefore, all the limitations of an interactive movie are still in play. Controls are extremely basic for each minigame, and failing to hit the right button at the right time generally switches to a lengthy "game over" video with no branching paths.
- "Der Rasenmäher-Mann" -- German title
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The Lawnmower Man
was originally released as a single CD, 32-color game. The game was mostly rendered in 'draft' mode, having ragged edges on all the 3D models. The full 256-color, 2 CD version was later released featuring movie clips from the movie running in-game on boards floating around the levels.
The reason they released the first version with 32-color graphics: the development team thought that a 1x-speed CD-ROM wouldn't load fast enough if the files would be larger. What they overlooked was that at the time of release, there were nearly no single-speed drives anymore.
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #42 Worst Game of All Time
- PC Player (Germany)
- Issue 01/1995 - Worst Programming in 1994