Dino Safari is the latest DLC for Lawn Mowing Simulator, and so obviously requires the base game in order to play. It includes 4 new contract locations; Cretaceous Canyon, Raptor Enclosure, Herbivore Valley and T-Rex Paddock.
Before anyone gets visions of dodging T-Rexes like Sam Neil, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, Dino Safari is of course just one of those theme parks inspired by the popularity of dinosaurs and the monstrous Hollywood movie franchise. The park features static and animated scale models of dinosaurs, some of which have sound effects—and even though they're just models, when a T-Rex roars you may still floor the throttle on the mower or just plain poop your pants.
The Dino Park areas are quite complex and a lot more interesting to mow than some of the overly-large areas included in the last DLC, Ancient Britain. Many areas require the specific use of a grass trimmer/strimmer, particularly around a dinosaur's legs and tail. It's a good idea to trim a wide area around them as one particularly spazzy manoeuvre saw me get completely stuck on a Parasaurolophus tail! Fortunately there's a "reset mower" button to get you out of just such a scrape.
Playing as I always have, almost entirely from the first-person view, I mowed one section around some large oak trees while thinking "those trees down there are pretty close together"... only after mowing between a couple of them realising that I'd just mowed under a massive brachiosaurus!
Mowing around dinosaur feet obviously means more intricate lawns to cut, and this is a good thing. Unfortunately when Skyhook updated the game at some point something happened to the amount of grass required to complete a contract, and now the frequent requirement of a 99.9% completion is extremely tiresome to achieve, when it used to be fairly easy by just mowing, before we had grass trimmers to finish edges and tricky sections. This only occurs at certain locations, yet conversely some don't even require the edges to be trimmed! This uneven difficulty is irritating but the solution is obviously simple; lower the contract requirement to 99.5% across the board or add a difficulty/risk/reward system—but if they were going to do that they probably would have already. This means some lawns are a real chore, and you really feel like you earned your money.
As for the visuals, one problem I had from the first time I played MLS is the grass itself, and in particular the way it looks after you've mowed it, which is often considerably uglier than the long grass you were contracted to mow. Depending on the type of mower, tyre marks or just lines left by the cutting blades do not look nice, and even the mowers that have rollers can't disguise this fact.
On the good news front, recent updates have seen a well-known bug (employees that go on permanent vacation) finally return to work (I think they enjoyed the lockdown furlough a bit too much), and the Ancient Britain and Dino Safari locations also appeared in contracts as soon as I'd cleared my existing ones, so thanks to Skyhook for improving that aspect. There are also 3 new locations at 56, 58 and 62 Coville Street to add to the rota, all of which have complex layouts and areas that can't be reached with a mower. Although I've played LMS since launch on the Xbox Series X and S, it's also good news for everyone concerned that LMS is now available on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and 5, it's a niche game for sure, but a strangely addictive one, and although some of the career contracts may be testing and the Challenge Modes (with time or fuel limits) tough if that's your thing, thanks to the Free Mow mode it's still a "chill" experience that everyone can enjoy.
Dino Safari is priced at £3.99/£3.59 with Game Pass.