Atari User

Hover Bover

Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: Mastertronic
Machine: Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #27

Hovver Bovver

A game about lawn mowing by Jeff Minter? What, he of the megatomic, all-action, rip-roaring, blast-'em-out-of-the-sky fame? No, it can't be the same Minter!

But it is. Hovver Bower is not a new game - in fact it came out on the Commodore 64 way back in 83.

The game has you borrowing a neighbour's hover mower to cut a series of lawns. You've barely started cutting your first swathe when the neighbour decides he wants his mower back. Then begins the chase, you racketing around the lawns, flower beds and hedges with the neighbour in hot pursuit.

Hover Bovver

If you go too berserk with the mower, it overheats and cuts out, causing a hiatus in your manicuring exploits until it has cooled.

Should you send your mower ploughing across one of the many flowerbeds, an angry gardener joins in the pursuit.

One way of fending off pursuers is to set Rover, your faithful dog, on to them.

Hover Bovver

The gardener and Rover, sensitive souls, will never cross a flower bed unless you have slashed a path through it. Not so the neighbour, who will trample anything in his desire to recover the mower. It pays to play the vandal to keep the edge on them.

You have three fives and sixteen gardens to conquer. Thereafter, you get the lot again at a faster speed. You can begin on any of the first eight lawns you like and have a one- or two- player game.

The view of the action is from directly overhead which, although it now looks a bit dated, is cleverly done.

Music (a jaunty rendition of "In an English Country Garden") and sound effects are excellent. Hovver Bovver offers many an enjoyable, fast-action bout of daffy fun. Should be top of your shopping list!

Bob Chappell

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