Wreckfest Goes Lawnmower Racing

All I know about sit-on lawnmowers comes from David Lynch’s The Straight Story and Hank Hill. They seem sedate, pleasant things. I do not consider them high-speed deathracers. Well, I didn’t, until I saw Wreckfest [official site] developers Bugbear added lawnmowers to their smashtastic racer in the latest big Early Access update, along with ragdoll physics for riders flung from their mowers in the carnage. Now I’m fascinated by this muddy karting.

I believe they remove the mowers’ blades before racing, though. Babies.

Mower racing actually arrived in Wreckfest with an update last week, but only now comes to my attention. The update also brought improved physics, a new mode, new tracks, and other things – check the notes.

Unfortunately, Wreckfest’s tracks aren’t very dynamic, so while you can’t get bogged down in mud which turns to a hellish quagmire as more racers charge in. Does Spintires have mower racing yet? Spintires should get mower racing. Also spinny cutblades. Why do so many games lack cutblades?

Wreckfest is half-price in the Steam autumn sale, down to £12.49. Still no firm word on when it’ll leave Early Access.

Here’s that crash montage you were looking for, by ‘Insanegaz’ on YouTube:

18 Comments

  1. The First Door says:

    While the mud isn’t very dynamic, I do remember the track furniture being really rather dynamic on the gravel and sandpit tracks. The tracks end up littered in broken fences, signs, tyres, and cars by the end of them. Although, that might just be me crashing through all of the things!

  2. IcyBee says:

    Unfortunately, this update has brought the new career mode with it. This means you have to start with a rubbish car and have to earn money to buy new cars and bits before you can race properly – even online. And the parts wear out as you race.
    This slightly spoils what has been up until now the best online racing experience (even with a very limited track and car selection).

    • Smoof says:

      I’m quite excited to hear about the career mode, as I’ve been looking forward to that since I bought Wreckfest many moons ago.

      Odd decision to include it into multiplayer and force players into it.

    • tiltaghe says:

      Thought the same at first. I was launching the game after the update and, not being able to jump straight in, I just disconnected to play something else…. But! When I tried again, I realized you have an initial budget that allows you to buy the car you want, and there is no problem sustaining it with new parts as you play (in multiplayer) unless you never finish a (banger)race.
      In fact I’ve quickly came to like the feeling of fiddling with your car in the garage and to sometimes make the choice to run with a sub-par car or even a wreck on dirty racing servers.
      It also gives a more natural incentive to play clean if it is your inclination. Also, now all the cars on the grid have slightly different performances, even among the same model. I am not expert but the simulation of the internals of the car seems awesome and with my fat American3 car this is very cool to witness the variations in injection or whatever that you can clearly hear and feel changing as the parts deteriorates over time.

  3. Darth Gangrel says:

    The alt-text “Alvin, no!” is also a line uttered by Geralt in The Witcher 1, but that’s probably unrelated to everything, because why choose a reference to The Witcher 1 in a game like this?

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Well okay then!

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Okay to what? I’m really glad that my comment was acknowledged, but that doesn’t say anything about how close/far off the mark my guess was. Did you just pick the name Alvin at random or was there some other reason behind this particular alt-text?

        • Alice O'Connor says:

          Alvin Straight rode his mower 240 miles over six weeks to visit his brother, as dramatised in The Straight Story. His mower did not, however, explode in a fireball and send him flying.

          • Lord Zeon says:

            Two fun facts: I used to live (and went to school) a stone’s throw from Laurens, and it’s illegal to drive any motor vehicle (lawn mowers are group under all-terrain vehicles) on a state highway without a driver’s license.

          • Neurotic says:

            *mic drop*

          • caff says:

            Cool film! Thanks for the context :)

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            Okay, thanks for the explanation. I’ve heard about the movie The Straight Story, but never watched it and didn’t know that the main character’s first name was Alvin. I’m a pretty big Witcher fan, though. I also like making far fetched associations.

  4. Blackcompany says:

    I come from Florida originally, where summer lasts 9 months and it rains every day during that season for at least one hour.

    We had to mow the grass twice a week, most weeks. And our grandparents lawn. And our uncles lawn, too.

    Trust me, you aren’t missing out. At all.

    • skyturnedred says:

      I mowed lawns for living during the summers as a kid. On the weekends I mowed my parents’ lawn.

  5. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Ah, nostalgia! I used to go around popping wheelies on one of these bad boys back in the day, and then I would actually mow a lawn or two with it. It totally had spinny cutblades.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Well, that was weird: ESO chat this evening included talk of lawnmower wheelies, and I didn’t even start it. Assisted push mowers these days apparently have preset speeds, but another person in the chat has an one that “goes faster the harder you push it”. The implications of that are staggering. Either it does nothing more than a normal push mower, or it breaks the neighbors’ windows with a sonic boom and shoots a hole in the universe when it crashes into a tree moments later. There is no middle ground.

      Thanks, physics!

  6. caff says:

    I’ll have to re-install Wreckfest. I backed it originally because I thought they were going for an insane, fast action physics game, but recent multiplayer experiences left me cold and bored.

    Maybe they are learning that their players just want fun.

  7. Arexis says:

    Interesting update. Is it worth the jump in price by ten dollars, though?
    Or was the price jacked up the day before Steam sales so that the sale price was 50% off, instead of 33%.
    Great to see publishers gaming the system and getting away with it.